Tar and Tax

By: Joyce C. Lock

It wasn't but a few short years ago, especially in the south, that tobacco was many farmer's main crop and even preachers were known to smoke ... and it was accepted. It was the tobacco industry that added ingredients to keep one hooked and our government who looked the other way ... the same government who has, now, picked out a select minority to tax and breed hate.

Those same people, who's service for the Lord was once honored, are not allowed to serve in titled positions of churches today. What? Did God stop speaking to people because they smoke? Ok, did He stop speaking to you who drink coffee? Or, have you ever heard God speak in the first place?

The government's excuse for taxing smokers is that they run up more medical bills. Well, if that's the true concern, why aren't we taxing the gay community and why are we funding abortion? In addition, studies have proven the effects of obesity are just as damaging to one's health as smoking. Equality for all? I don't think so.

Though, many smokers were guilty of one thing ~ being rude and inconsiderate with their smoking. But, do you know what? I don't like the smell of people who need bathed, dirty diapers, or vomit, either. So, why don't we penalize them while we're at it?

Regulations have gone from smoking in separate sections, to no smoking in public areas, to no smoking within the building, to no smoking except outside, to no smoking except in weather designated areas, to no smoking on premises ...

even amidst acres of parking lot.

Recent campaigns suggest one is abusing their children by smoking. But, if you pay attention to their statistics, one would have to hold a child captive to a smoke filled room for an entire day to intake the equivalent of 1/2 packs of cigarettes. The likelihood of that is so rare that it hardly merits an expensive campaign that can, one day, lead to children being removed from their homes if a parent smokes.

Besides, being that cancer patients, who wear glasses, are more likely to die of cancer than those who don't, money would be better spent on a campaign for UV protection.

We believe whatever we're told to believe, hate whatever we don't understand, label sin, judge people by degrees, and look the other way to our own vices. Perhaps, brother hating brother originates with one's need to feel superior. But, let me tell you, it's just as ugly and damaging as tar.

My father was a licensed preacher, an ordained deacon, and from the south. As a church planter, he served, through the years, in most every top leadership position of the church and, often, multiple positions at the same time. His home served as temporary residence for untold numbers of evangelists, missionaries, summer workers, and the like. Even his wallet belonged to the church.

Only, legalists never knew dad that way. They judged him from onset and killed my daddy, long before cancer got him ... and his was hereditary. All of his children mourned for what their hate had done to him. My father lived and died for the church, and this one's for him.

Some quote Romans 12:1 for any imperfection of the body in which is deemed we could possibly control. Maybe they forgot 1 Timothy 4:8. Our physical body isn't the part that's eternal. But, no matter how you look at it, some never get done looking down on others.

None-the-less, when we shoot our own wounded, we cross the line, ourselves. To not acknowledge that such hurts have always existed 'in the name of the Lord' and that each 50 years our beliefs have changed, yet we still believe whatever we're told to believe, is to not come to the realization that our learning needs to come at the feet of Jesus. And, therein is a dilemma in itself, how to get that across to the people.

To tar smokers is ungodly. To tax smokers is unconstitutional.

Hate breeds contempt.

People fail us. We fail God. But, God never fails.

? 2003 by Joyce C. Lock
http://my.homewithgod.com/blessingsandlessons/
This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tactFeature Articles,
for non-profit ministering purposes.

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