Lesson from Tax Class

Years ago, in a college tax accounting class a professor mentioned a study that was done to determine how long it took to prepare a Federal Tax return.  It was large group and each person did their taxes and 10 other peoples.  What the study found out was that it took, on average, a person twice as long to do their own as it did to do someone else’s.  The conclusion, after interviewing the people and recording their comments while preparing the taxes, was that people tried to read into the tax code things that would help them get the best of their return; but when it was someone else’s taxes it seemed the people read the rules with an open mind and followed them.

This past week after the sad decisions by the Supreme Court I posted on my facebook account the following:

“Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a psychological disorder over Divine and Natural Laws and while ignoring universal and historical social moreys. Society has been damaged by the attack on its most precious and fundamental building block – may God forgive us.”

Many supported my posting – but I got one response from a work-friend that disagreed.

“The supreme court ruled in favor of those who do not use the Psychological Disorder of religion to force a book full of social contradictions on society.”

I immediately thought back to the tax class.  There are only contradictions in Catholicism if people try to read into the faith what they want to see.  Contradictions are brought about by, big surprise, us – not Holy Mother Church.  If and when a person ‘reads’, learns, about the faith with an open mind the fullness of reason that it contains becomes an epiphany to them – they are amazed by its integrity and are humbled by the love it is built on.

To try and discuss and convince this friend of why he is wrong would be a waste of time – words would do no good.  Many like him think that obligations and limitations coming from social constructs is restrictive and coercive – freedom is being able to exercise your desires. Any opinions to the contrary are totalitarian and prejudicial.  Our prayers and quiet witness is the only tool we have for those types of people.  We will never back down from the Word of God, we will always be public with the Gospel message – and we need to prayerful and sensitive to those many people who try to learn about this faith through the eyes of their desires and fail to understand.  May we constantly pray that they not ‘be wrapped in the darkness of error’ but ‘stand in the bright light of truth’; as we ourselves prayed at the Mass today.


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