Are you a slave to the IRS? Do you sign government documents under the penalty of perjury?
Do you Pay Caesar his tribute and Pharaoh his tale of bricks? (the terminology Tale of bricks is from Genesis 5:18).
In the Bible, slaves under Pharaoh had a 20% income tax during a time of national emergency (Genesis 47:23-26). The other 80% was their living allowance. How does this living allowance compare to your take-home allowance?
Now that we must confess our slave status to the IRS, I have a timely reminder of just how harsh the penalty of perjury really is. Why would someone who does not understand the tax laws sign a perjury oath signature on a government form?
Tucker’s Blackstone was an 1803 law textbook that updated a British law textbook Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England with commentaries on U.S. Constitutional law and the laws in Virginia.
Appendix Note H, The State of Slavery, compares Virginia slave laws, much improved after our independence, to those of the British laws that we separated from. We were slowly recognizing that criminal courts must treat everyone equal, even slaves. There were only three remaining laws that treated slaved more harshly. One was the perjury punishment.
… [for Burglary] But wherever the benefit of clergy is allowed to a slave, the court, besides burning him in the hand (the usual punishment inflicted on free persons) may inflict such further corporal punishment as they may think fit;1* this also seems to have been the law in the case of free negroes and mulattoes.
[for Perjury] By the act of 1723, c. 4, it was enacted, that when any negroe or mulattoe shall be found, upon due proof made, or pregnant circumstances, to have given false testimony, every such offender shall, without further trial, have his ears successively nailed to the pillory for the space of an hour, and then cut off, and moreover receive thirty-nine lashes on his bare back, or such other punishment as the court shall think proper, not extending to life or limb. This act, with the exception of the words pregnant circumstances, was re-enacted in 1792. The punishment of perjury, in a white person, is only a fine and imprisonment. …
1*. 1794, c. 103.
… [for livestock Theft] The punishment for the second and third offence, of this kind, is the same in the case of a free person, as of a slave, namely, by the pillory and loss of ears, for the second offence; the third is declared felony, to which clergy is, however, allowed. The preceding were, until lately, the only positive distinctions which remained between the punishment of a slave, and a white person, in those cases, where the latter is liable to a determinate corporal punishment.2*
2*. But herein the law is now altered by the act of 1796, c. 2, which does not extend to slaves.
And now we live in a nation where government can lie to us, but we cannot lie to them. Lawyers can lie to us in court, but we cannot lie. Government can photograph us, but if we photograph a rampaging plain-clothes officer in an unmarked car we can be sentenced to 16 years in prison.
NOT EVERYONE CAN SET THEMSELVES FREE. First Corinthians 7:21 (KJV): “Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.”
Those who have a debt to the master that they have chosen cannot be free until the debt is paid or they are kicked out. By helping set others free, you may someday be invited (delivered from bondage) into “… a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you” Leviticus 20:24
More information is in my article on paying your tale of bricks. And in the quotes from the book Ancient Law and in the definition of Fictions of Law that are in my essay on Presumed Contracts.
You may also be interested in my book on Oaths.