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1 correction by Moorlock - Show corrections

THE INCOME TAX. CHURCH AND STATE. A PULPIT DELIVERANCE. At one time political subjects were rarely touched upon in the pulpit, but that day has passed, many ministers apparently holding to the belief that such questions can be dealt with just as ably in a church as upon the public plat- form. Such opinion is evidently held by the Rev. J. Bangers, who last night dispensed with the usual sermon, and delivered instead an address entitled "The Income Tax: Payment or Passive Resistance." Basing his remarks upon Mattheov xxii. 21-"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"-he claimed that he had no need to apologise for selecting such a subject as the one which he proposed to deal with that evening. He said that in order to draw the people to the fold of the church he considered it was necessary that the churches should deal with questions pertaining to the wel- fare of the people. In discussing the question of the income tax, they had to consider it from an economic stand- point. A great, deal of foolish talk was being indulged in on all sides at the present time regarding the payment of the tax, and he would ask them to ut- terly disregard such wild utterances. It was necessary that there should be taxa- tion. The state could not carry out public works, such as roads, and bridges, without finding the necessary money, therefore. the people could not oppose any taxation imposed for legitimate pur- poses. When, however, taxation was imposed which could not be claimed to be legitimate, then it was time that the people brought Ministers up with a round turn. Any tax that pressed upon any one section of the community was unjust, and when they had instan- ces of lavish extravagance in Govern- ment departments it was not reasonable to expect the people to contribute from their earnings. One of the lessons taught in connection with the present demand was that the people themselves had displayed so much apathy in re- turning men to Parliament opposed to such a measure, with the result that the tax was being enforced. Another feature was the action of those members in the Upper House who had paid no heed to the mandate of the people. It was necessary that the Treasurer should be able to balance the state ledger, and the exigencies of the state demanded that the deficit should be wiped out. One section of the Launceston press ad- vised a passive resistance to the pay- ment of the tax, but he thought that was not the right kind of advice to give. It was all very well to talk about passive resistance, but it would be an entirely different thing when the minions of the law walked into their houses. He considered that the tax would have to be paid this year, but if imposed again, then he would counsel an active resistance, and he hoped that the meetings to be held would lead to the repeal of the tax. Time should be given people where necessary to pay the tax. To his mind the first thing the electors had to do was to have a reckon- ing with the Legislative Council. It had been shown that the tax would yield £34,000 more than was required, and that in itself was sufficient con- demnation of the impost. It would not be long before the electors would have the opportunity of reorganising the per-   sonnel of the Legislative Council, in which chamber there appeared to be men who had no sympathy whatever with the people. They might be brainy men, but they were evidently opposed to anything in the shape of reform, and were devoid of consideration for the great mass of electors, who, to mark their disapproval of such conduct, would no doubt give such legislative councillors their walking tickets. The present tax   would be felt most keenly by those who were least able to bear the bur- den, and to many homes it would mean oppression. It was their duty to see that the poor were not oppressed. The Master himself had declared against laws which were not fair and just, and it behoved those in authority to carry out the injunctions of the Great Teacher.