Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's. Matthew 22:21
I don't have much of an objection to paying tax. I do object to disproportionate taxation, like the obscene levy we pay on fuel in this country. I am also think inheritance tax in morally unjustifiable. However I'm a subject of this rotting land and a moderately obedient one at that.
However I do wonder if Caesar is not just getting a little greedy in the things that he thinks he owns and the things he thinks we ought to be rendering up to him.
Caesar thinks he knows what will make us happy. We are supposed to follow his dreams through the meritocracy in which we live, following his aspirations for us, living his dreams, gaining his qualifications, passing his examinations, getting his promotions. We are likely to forget Caesar does not own our dreams or our happiness.
Caesar thinks he knows what we should learn. Actually Caesar is terrified of knowledge, that's why he insists on the wholesale institutionalisation of learning from early years to the grave which greatly inhibits free thinking and creativity. That's why he is terrified of homeschooling and school teachers developing their own curriculum. Caesar does not own our minds or the minds of our children.
Caesar thinks he owns our health and our safety. He legislates manically, telling us what tests we ought to have for our health, what pills we ought to be popping, how our public spaces ought to be arranged so as to manage risk and prevent accidents. He is obtrusive, nannying and mercenary, he plays with peoples' natural tendencies to care and makes them believe he always knows what is best. Caesar does not own our bodies or our health.
However Caesar does own our fear and he plays with it endlessly. Our fear of crime, our financial worries, our employment worries are all his. Give these back to Caesar and get on with living and loving as instructed to in the Gospels.
I used to be nearly envious of priests and the life consecrated to God. No mortgages, little in the way of taxes...all that obedience and submission and all totally devoted to the will of God....Not any more.
Our poor brother priests have to contend with the crippling bureaucracy of "Child Protection", "Health and Safety Legislation", "Disability awareness" and building "fit for purpose" insanity. Couple this with grossly unfair water rates, endless diocesesan initiatives, emasculated Catholic (in name only) schools and a large heap of the bureaucratic cr*p the rest of us have to put up with and the priest's life truly has a large chunk of it rendered up to Caesar. It is a grotesque and unnecessary "Kaiserschnitt" ripping the heart and soul out of parish life and leaving many a priest lonely and confused and desperately trying to reconnect to his vocation.