At Blessed Sacrament cathedral in Sacramento

The following excerpts come from an April 25 Associated Press story.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — About 200 religious leaders from numerous denominations endorsed Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed November tax initiative Thursday, saying they believe those who are blessed with riches should share them with the less fortunate.

Brown met with leaders from PICO California in the basement of the downtown Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the regional Catholic diocese headquarters a block from the state Capitol. The nonprofit group’s ministers and rabbis were lobbying lawmakers for policies they say reflect their values of social justice and caring for the needy…. 

The religious leaders say they will work to register voters in their congregations and urge them to support Brown’s proposal. His initiative, which has not yet qualified for the ballot, would raise income taxes by 1 percent to 3 percent for seven years on people who make more than $250,000 annually and raise the sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent for four years, starting in January.

Brown told the group his initiative promotes fairness because it asks everyone to contribute, while generating the most revenue from those who make more than $1 million a year.

“It’s something that represents our best spirits. Those who have made $1 million or $500,000 or $250,000, they’ve been blessed and they must join with us in blessing those that have not been so fortunate,” Brown, a Catholic and former seminary student, said to raucous applause. “At the same time, this initiative does ask a quarter-cent sales tax from every Californian, no matter how rich or how poor. We’re all in it together.”

Read more here.



Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:05 AM By Ski Ven
If that’s the way they feel, they should pony up taxes themselves. Oh wait, Churches are exempt. No surprise. Liberals support imposing rules on society that they are exempted from. Let’s keep throwing good money after bad into big government waste and corruption and keep coming back to the taxpayer and expect them to cough up more money to support the lavish lifestyles of the well connected and payouts to political classes for their support of the baby killing party. Money doesn’t belong to people who worked for it anyhow. It all belongs to the government to be used to support every liberal cause under the sun. The people of California should be grateful that the government has allowed them to have the money that rightfully belongs to the most beneficent government.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 4:37 AM By PETE
Are Catholic leaders going to insist that CA pay its’ DEBT? CS debt is in the BILLIONS. CA is one of the most indebted States in the Nation due to overspending and waste. CCC: ” 2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, PAYING DEBTS, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. WITHOUT COMMUTATIVE JUSTICE, NO OTHER FORM OF JUSTICE IS POSSIBLE. One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in PROPORTION TO THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS AND NEEDS.” (-Caps are mine.) Has anyone heard of cutting State Government spending ? ? ?

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:33 AM By Paula
Please call Gov J. Brown what he is. He is not Catholic. He is a “HERETICAL and SCHISMATIC CATHOLIC” in TRUTH. See definitions in CCC #2089. Its about time that all Catholic publications start publishing accurate information about politicians based upon their public statements, public actions, and public voting record. We all must strive for accuracy and truth.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:35 AM By JMJ
What happened to the so-called ‘separation of church and state’? Brown is NOT a Catholic, but just one of the normal baptized pagans that St. Augustine and Pope Benedict have raised concerns about. So Brown wants to punish those that have used their God-given talents to move up the ladder and most of them are helping others by creating jobs, etc.. It is way past the time for these blind politicians to quit wasting God’s money and to learn how to use it properly. They can start by getting rid of all of the fat, high salaries and all of the perks that they receive and shut down all of those useless departments that are not needed, quit funding ‘p.p.’ and other hate groups and the list just goes on and on. +JMJ+

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:43 AM By Sandra
The Lord said that the poor will always be among us. The Lord said that we are called to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. The Lord did NOT say that the government should FORCE us to be charitable. We faithful “Catholics” are a charitable lot and will give more than our due, on our own. Governor Brown, give us a TAX BREAK for our charitable donations instead. Much will get down and many will be helped.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:49 AM By Dr. K
No surprise here. PICO is just another ACORN. Marxist to the core.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:51 AM By Ted
Those taxes will become permanent, then the legislature will spend even more. This is not a matter of social justice, it’s a matter of utter irresponsible spending to buy votes. That is the REALITY of the situation, whatever anyone says to the contrary.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:06 AM By Sue in soCal
I’m sorry but taxing someone’s income is not “sharing” but “redistribution” and if government is involved you can bet it will be done as inefficiently as possible, costing much more than it should. Sometimes government involved spending is necessary, such as public safety. Other times it is unnecessary partially or entirely, such as deciding whether to let water flow to support fish or farms. Please tell me that our Catholic bishops are not supporting the redistribution of wealth. What they need to be supporting is subsidiarity, a very Catholic idea.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:17 AM By Jake
Reading articles like this make me think of a cartoon of Haggar the Horrible about to leave in his ships to pillage the coast of Europe but first being blessed by the local priest. Just how is our obligation to charity achieved by theft.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:28 AM By Sawyer
No mention of curtailing wasteful spending by the state government. Typical. If the proposal passes, the top marginal tax rate would be 13.3%. The religious leaders are endorsing theft under the cover of legislation. Thou shalt not steal.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:30 AM By JLS
Who defines Brown as Catholic? How is it that the bishops can preach this political event from a Catholic church but cannot allow priests to say anything political without losing tax exemptions?

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:30 AM By Dana
Yeah, right…but shouldn’t blessing others be voluntary? Isn’t this supposed to be a democracy not socialism? It sure is easy to be generous with other people’s money. He is the same glutton with money that he was the last time. California can sure elect parasites and space cadets to lead them. I grew up at a time when you were allowed to keep most of what you earn to do with as you saw fit. That’s what I call fair. If you want to give it all away that was your choice. That’s called free will…what God gives us, and we in turn ‘get it’ and apply that principal to our daily lives and gov’t policy. Free will, free choice, freedom…what’ not to like?

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:35 AM By lisag
PICO should be requiring more accountability from state officials, union leaders, school districts rather than promoting taxing people more. How many Californians and their business have left the state already, because of tax rates? If California government operated efficiently instead of giving in to special interest groups there would be enough money to take care of the essential services.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:38 AM By Robert Lockwood
Nonsense! Simply more money for the radicals to waste! What we need is a big dose of honesty. The democrats have run this state for decades – into the ground.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 6:58 AM By Harry
It’s clear from the above article how the money will be raised ( increasing income taxes on the wealthy and increasing sales taxes on everyone). As is usually the case with government, it is not a all clear how the money will be used.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:17 AM By Mary D
Many of these “religious leaders” make six figure salaries running their charitable institutions. They receive billions in state money. The Catholic Church will never properly oppose abortion in California unless this incestuous relationship is exposed and stopped. Too many are dependent on it. This new tax initiative will just make the problem worse and accelerate the decline in our state.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:23 AM By MacDonald
“…they believe those who are blessed with riches should share them with the less fortunate.” Yes, this is pretty BASIC Bible stuff! In the Old Testament, you weren’t even allowed to plow the edges of your field, because God wanted you to leave something for the poor to harvest. Jesus went even further, of course! But then we got some nutty Protestant theologies that cursed the poor, claiming that riches were a “sign” you were blessed by God for your alleged “virtue,” and that the poor were miserable because they were sinners. John Calvin must be turning over in his grave to see this kind of basic Christianity being promoted, in contradiction to his zany notions…

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:24 AM By Stella
Wait a minute! Isn’t this the same Jerry Brown responsible for the American Holocaust in California???

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:44 AM By Dan
I am not an economist and am not competent to judge Brown’s proposals. I do know that small businesses are closing down in my area due to increases in rent, costly state sales tax, regulations/fees, and of course untaxed internet spending these days. Someone with more economic understanding than I have– please tell me what good Brown’s proposals be to small business owners, or does he have anythng else in mind to help them?

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:51 AM By Diane 
PICO is an Alynskian community organizing group using the Catholic Church as vehicle for political purposes. That means the democrat party. Like SDOP here in San Diego, these organizations are liberation theology at best and naked socialists at the worst. You will find them promoting same sex marriage, abortion, handing out contraceptives, etc. Real Catholic TV has exposed these groups in the DVD “CCHD and Saul Alinsky”. Please review and find out where your money is going when you give to the CCHD collection in November. These groups should never be allowed in our Catholic churches. Please email Bishop Jaime Soto and demand that he stop By allowing them on site, he gives them credibility.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:01 AM By Camille
Did Jerry make any reference to the biblical story about communal living? Those who don’t work, don’t eat? Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods? Thou shalt not steal? Continually raising taxes is coveting, its a form of stealing, it’s socialism.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:07 AM By Sarah
There is no such thing as a temporary tax. Politicians will never cut expenses as long as, year after year, they can coax more taxes out of a gullible public that believes their lies. Religious leaders should understand that an individual or family has only so much money. As fixed expenses increase (such as taxes, cost of gasoline, etc.) there is less disposable income available for donations to the church, for religious education and charity. Ever increasing taxes is another step closer to socialism. In some European countries, such as Sweden and Germany and others, the “approved” churches are supported by tax money, which means that the government has more control over that religion. Is this what this group of religious leaders want?

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:15 AM By Amy
May I ask a question. Where does PICO stand on the subject of abortion. If you check out their website, you will see that one of the big contributors to PICO is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They are huge supporters of abortion. So how can any church back PICO? People need to educate themselves on organizations they are being asked to support. Just because a former Jesuit seminarian is holding a meeting in the basement of a Cathedral – does not make it something you wish to follow. Wake up people. You are being lead down the rosey path to ruination. And why would you believe a Governor who supports abortion? Abortion is not health care – pure and simple it is the murder of the unborn. Taxing us into poverty will – in the long run – not imporve poverty or bring about social justice.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:16 AM By Deacon Jim
Charity does not come under threat of arrest (that is, by the power of law). Charity comes from the heart — that which is freely given. Taxes and redistribution of wealth is NOT charity and is not the Christian way. Freely giving from our blessings to those less fortunate … THAT is charity.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:18 AM By Patrick
This is not religious but simply a Democrat Party initiative. If the Republicans were doing the same thing in churches, the Democrat Party allies would be screaming this was a violation of church and state.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:19 AM By Laurette Elsberry
In a nutshell, people who earn a good living will be forced by government to further support those who do not (or even will not) earn a good living (or maybe don’t even want to work). This is mandatory charity. Does the governor expect to be given heavenly credit by taking (notice I said taking) money from those who have it and bestowing it those who have not? Brown and his religious leaders do not seem to understand the basic commandment “Thou shalt not steal.”

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:23 AM By MD
What’s missing here? Oh yeah, freewill.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:45 AM By Catherine
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament should not be used as a political gathering space to be occupied by pro abortion same sex marriage promoting politicians who are selectively using the consecrated grounds of a Catholic Cathedral. Stay out of the Church basement too! Adhering to the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion IS caring for the needy. Adhering to Church teaching on the Natural Law is caring for the needy. Please Google and read the Church Approved Warnings and Prophesy of Our Lady of Akita, Japan. “The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by there confreres; churches and altars will be sacked; the Church will be full of those who *accept compromise* and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness.” – Our Lady of Akita October 13, 1978

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:46 AM By Scub
Once the church ensures the passage of all the liberal agenda items, and entirely surrenders to communism, then the “state” will become “the church.” Thus, our Bishops and priest… will be bowing down to worship Jerry Brown and Obama… Oh wait… I think that’s already happening… Count me out please. I will seek out the true Shepherd to follow. I hear His voice, and it doesn’t seem to be coming from Sacramento.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:16 AM By Dottie
Forced REDISTRIBUTION of wealth is Marxist and COMMUNIST. “Thou shall not covet thy Neighbor’s goods.” – God. Brown’s ploy is to encourage CLASS WARFARE, and get Obama re-elected. Neither Jesus nor the Apostles stated that the government should help the poor, but that each of us as individuals must.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:44 AM By JoeCee
This sort of activism blurs the separation of church and state. My religious freedom is at risk as a result.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:59 AM By The Other Rose
All to familiar stuff as experienced in our San Diego Diocese where many of our people are indoctrinated by SDOP in several parishes.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:50 AM By ann r
Businesses have been fleeing CA for years, especially larger ones. People with money who want to keep it will move their resources out of state. Fewer people with money means tax income will go down rather than up. Plus, everything in CA will cost more, because the cost of doing business will be figured into the prices, which means the poor and middle classes will actually suffer. CA is already known as a high tax state. Bunch of idiots!!!

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:11 PM By Brian S
The Church has always supported the proper role of Civil Authority including its taxing authority. In what alternative universe do you people believe the Church has lived all these centuries? And yes, Jake, priests indeed blessed Vikings, both before and after raids.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 2:25 PM By Jerry
Let’s face it, Moonbeam figures he can spend your money in a better way than you think you can spend it. He fails to understand economics, the zeal of the rich employeeing more people by generating new jobs so they all can earn more money! He fails to see how social welfare programs fail in their ability to get a majority back to work, some would rather just mooch off and live off the taxpayers backs for generations “because it is their right or the government owes them” no matter the fact it is not the government, but our neighbors the working taxpayers that are truly paying for welfare recipients support and expenditures. do these welfare recipients really care what adjusted gross income category/threshold the taxpayers they mooch off of? Doubtful, but Moonbeam needs to buy votes and the modern clergy need to pay attention to the government siphoning away the taxpayers income is just another form of white-collar stealing.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 2:44 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
A true religious leader would call for reductions in spending, a socialist religious “leader” calls for increases in taxes! Whatever happened to the instructions from the Vatican and the USCCB that pro-abortion politicians are not to be allowed to speak on Catholic Church property. Doesn’t Niederauer read those DIRECTIVES? God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 4:27 PM By Brian S
Folks, taxation simply is not theft. That is the propaganda of anarchists and Ayn Rand, but it is not Catholic teaching. Cite a single Pope who has described it as such.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 4:55 PM By rosaryfixer
It is not the rich that will be impacted by these taxes, it is the middle class and poor who will have even less to live on. Do the religious leaders realize that this tax will mean less in the collection plates? Yes-stop the outrageous spending, the duplicating of services, fire the 1/2 in the government that really don’t work much-and this includes public school administrators. Those who have worked in government and schools will verify this. A job in government or the public schools means a generous pension and retirement years before the person working in the private sector.

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012 4:59 PM By Abeca Christian
Yes the middle class will suffer even greater.