Reality Check: Readers’ Responses James Campion July 10, 2013 Columns 1 It is stunning how skillfully this column is able to walk the tightrope between social commentary and political ideology without ever, and I do mean EVER, getting deeply caught in the morass of either. (THE SELF-PERPETUATING GORGE OF POWER or How The IRS Becomes HAL 9000 – Issue: 6/5/13) This column is just bulging with the kind of wit that is hard to find today in most anyone else I read. I have to admit it is infuriating, but then again, it is sure as hell infuriating to endure what we do at the hands of our government, or as you put it so well, because it matter none who is in charge, it’s mostly the same shit, the system! It’s hard to argue that if you are a tax paying citizen on how or why the IRS should be involved in the political system, but it seemingly always has found a way under every administration since FDR. And in this world of forced transparency, where nothing is private and everything is either photographed or recorded or videotaped, who thought they could get away with this? I guess what I am saying is that there is no other way to frame this nonsense unless you’re a one-way ideologue than what I just read by you. Bravo, sir. —Anthony S. You barely touched on this, but none of these “common good” groups had any business applying for tax-exempt status in the first place. I don’t want some goofy gun lobby or pro-life types getting tax breaks so they can dump funds into the Mitt Romney campaign anymore than I want some pro-choice, Obamacare freaks asking for hand-outs to get the president re-elected. This is a big portion of the missing story here. —Gail Says Nay! Fuck the IRS, whether Jesus would have been on board or not. However, since you brought the big guy into this, I have read your theories on Jesus being an anti-religious teacher and have done much research on this—including reading your book, Trailing Jesus, cover to cover and hearing you speak once on the subject in Westchester—and although it is true he challenged the church, which is the basis of Christianity in terms of combating the origins of Judaism, or as Ann Coulter put is so delicately, perfecting Judaism, it appears his affront to Rome was merely ancillary. While it is true his attack on the Temple just prior to his death was indeed a politically motivated act, the changing of Roman coin for Temple trade was absolutely a mockery on the melding of church and state that rankled the Jesus movement, he is quite adamant that to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s is a pretty hands-off political approach for a time rife with political uprisings. Having said that, it is obvious to anyone with a remote knowledge of first century Roman Law within the provinces that to call for social change meant to crack the foundations or Rome’s peace through force, and that stuff is dangerous mojo. And it is nice to see unfair tax practices by the establishment rousing the name of Jesus. —SS5757GOES Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s; render unto God what is God’s isn’t terribly anti-establishment. It’s quite literally saying give Caesar his due. And Caesar was the Roman establishment (not Julius of course; it was an office by then, not a person). Nor it is anti-establishment to say, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law of Moses, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew) Upholding the law is the Jewish establishment. And there’s plenty more where that came from. That said, I’m no fan of the IRS or the FBI in terms of the latter’s political policies. At least you know I’m paying attention. —Vincent Czyz I’m sorry, this asshole is a traitor and he needs to be dragged back here and hung for it. (EDWARD J. SNOWDEN & GLENN GREENWALD: HACKING INTO HYPOCRISY? – Issue: 6/19/13) Him and this Greenwald guy, who put this country at risk with their selfish and grandstanding moves. If he’s such a hero and a whistleblower, as his supporters claim, then why doesn’t he just come back and stand trial and defend his actions? He cannot, because they are indefensible. And so he runs like a coward. —D. Severin Snowden did not do the right thing here, however he did bring to light something the Bush administration did without warrant and this administration has continued, albeit legally, but still an attack on the Fourth Amendment. It is actually quite disgusting that this president ran against these policies of spying on the American people and not only continues it but acts high and mighty over this leak. Again, I think Snowden was not right in the way he did this, but there is nobody but nobody who is innocent that has run this government since the towers went down in 2001. Disgusting. —Laura B. Hooray for Snowden! He is an American hero! This is about our rights that are being trampled on. You know you’re on the wrong side of anything when Dick Cheney supports it. I think he should stay away, stay in Russia, go somewhere and the government should let him go and tighten the way they do their business. How could they let this happen? Fuck this, why can’t the FBI or the NSA or the CIA do their jobs without spying on us? Total bullshit. Snowden is our new Thomas Jefferson. What did he say about revolutions happening every generation or so? —Layton Ed Snowden is just another citizen that has pulled back the curtain on the wizard, and he’s just an old stuttering gypsy con man. Ya dig? —Roger’s Gamble On Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at www.facebook.com/jc.author James Campion is the Managing Editor of the Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus” and “Midnight for Cinderella” One Response Ned Netterville July 12, 2013 “Render unto Caesar” as spoken by Jesus means exactly what the words say. Of course if you don’t have anything belonging to Caesar, as in my case and we can safely assume in the case of all of those listening to Jesus at the time, the only thing you can give back to Caesar is nothing. Jesus was relying on Scripture, as he often did, wherein it is said at least six times, but best in Psalm 24, verse 1, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” which leaves nothing for poor old Caesar, and nothing is what Jesus meant his followers should give to thieving Caesar. While his words befuddled the spies the chief priests had sent to “trap him in speech” by asking him “slhould we pay Caesar’s tax?”, when the spies reported back and told the priests what Jesus had said, they knew Jesus had condemned Caesar’s tax. So two days later they sent their henchmen with Judas Iscariot to take Jesus by force. They dragged him before Pilate, who was responsible for collecting Caesar’s tax in Judea, and told him, “We found this man perverting the [Roman] nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar…He has been stirring up people with his teaching from Galilee where he started all the way here.” (Luke 23:2-5) So Pilate crucified him. 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