Will the Bible change Alabama's tax code?
The front page of today's Wall Street Journal reports, "An unlikely force is setting off a tax revolt in Alabama: religious fervor."

An Alabama Law Review article by University of Alabama tax-law professor Susan Hamill has the attention of the state's churches and politicians, and now she's preaching tax reform in pulpits around the state, the Journal reports.

"The injustices perpetuated by Alabama's tax structure are immoral and cannot be defended under any reasonable interpretation of Judeo-Christian ethics, and therefore individuals claiming to be part of the People of God can no longer complacently tolerate Alabama's tax structure as it currently operates," says Hamill's Fall 2002 law review article, titled "An Argument for Tax Reform Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics." (A more readable four-page summary is available here, but a condensed brochure called "The Least of These" doesn't seem to be available online.)

"How could we, in a free society of a bunch of Christians, have the worst, most unjust tax structure that you could ever have dreamed up?" Hamill, a Methodist and former IRS worker, asks the Journal.

And the Journal seems to be on her side. It calls Alabama's tax structure antiquated and lists its injustices: "The Alabama code requires families of four earning as little as $4,600 to pay income tax, the nation's lowest threshold. It charges a higher sales tax on baby formula than on cattle feed and permits timber interests to pay relatively meager property taxes compared with homeowners."

Republican Gov. Bob Riley endorsed Hamill's article on television, and churches have endorsed it too. The state's Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians joined together to call ...

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