There are some fundamental differences in the motivation between the act of domestic terrorism committed by Joseph Stack on Feb. 18 as he flew his single-engine plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas, and the act of religious terrorism and war committed by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 – but there are also underlying similarities:
- Both had a pathological hatred of an enemy power that drove them to use their body and an airplane as lethal weapons against that power;
- Both were willing to take many innocent lives in their cause;
- Both were driven to demonic insanity that is one of the results of embracing destructive belief systems.
The essential difference is that the first group was part of a religious jihad carrying out the master plan of a large organization based on the practice of Islam, while Stack was an unhinged individual who had lost hope and acted on out-of-control anger against the unjust workings of his own government.
While the unfortunately expected linkage of his rage to the escalating frustration that has erupted into the tea-party movement reared its ugly head in some of the media, there is not one shred of legitimate comparison. The tea-party organizations, town halls and “throw the bums out” mindset are certainly diverse in terms of spiritual, social, economic and political backgrounds, however the people have been uniformly law-abiding, productive citizens who have realized that sitting on the sidelines while their government spins out of control is no longer acceptable.
The common source of our angst in whatever form is our own government, under the authority of “We The People,” whose leaders have largely fiddled while our Rome has burned. Stack’s target was without question the most hated and feared arm of our government.
The Internal Revenue Service operates under the authority of Congress, carrying out policies adopted by leaders whom the people have chosen from amongst ourselves, by our vote or our absence. It is also the single most-feared entity not only because it has been given police powers to enforce the taking of citizens’ income/property as allowed through the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – but also because, unlike most other federal agencies granted such powers, it reaches into the home and business of every person under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.
The primary “product” of the IRS is collection of revenues through what is now the progressive income tax. This one means of taxation has allowed the escalation of government taking and of restriction of constitutional rights beyond anything until Democrats added “endangered species” and “wetlands preservation” to the federal police arsenal.
A brief and readable history of the income tax shows its creation by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 as a “3 percent tax on incomes between $600 and $10,000 and a 5 percent tax on incomes of more than $10,000,” it’s repeal in 1872, reinstatement in 1894, and finally becoming permanent after the 1913 “ratification” and subsequent adoption of a 1 percent graduated income tax. The lid was blown off by the Federal Revenue Act of 1918, which introduced us to the progressive income tax we now know and “love” so dearly – and took tax rates as high as 65 percent in 1 percent increments.
As a side note, it is important to note that our founders considered your money as your property:
This term (property) in its particular application means ‘that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.’
In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage.
In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandize, or money is called his property. (emphasis added)
However, it is critical to remember that the IRS is only the “trigger man” for the “bosses” sitting in Washington, D.C., who have become so addicted to our money that it has mattered little which political party has been in power. The only difference has been the rate of consumption of our property, not its direction. Like the outstanding Pixar movie of last year, it is always “Up”.
The other history-changing impact of the progressive income tax was the overlay of incorporation into the church beginning in the late 1800s, the “nonprofit” status granted to those “religious corporations” and the heavy hand of Lyndon B. Johnson putting the IRS’ gun to “The Church’s” head in 1954. Be silent or we will tax you.
Thankfully, the Alliance Defense Fund’s “The Pulpit Initiative” project has pulled the curtain back on that wizard and revealed a comical old man rather than a powerful potentate. News flash for churches – not ONE church has been even contacted by the IRS after endorsing or opposing candidates as part of this “make my day” project.
The tragedy played out in Austin shows that we should not lose sight of God’s sovereignty over man as we are reminded in Psalm 2:4-6:
He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
We should then take responsibility for getting involved prayerfully, lawfully, meaningfully, effectively, wisely and consistently to put our government back into the biblical and constitutional cage that would contain it’s tyranny.