By Libby Lewis, CNN
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Washington, DC (CNN) - Dig under the rhetoric over taxes in Washington now, and you’ll find one question: should the wealthy pay more in taxes than other people?
It’s a question that goes back to the Bible. Geoffrey Miller is a law professor at New York University who’s written about taxation in the Bible.
He writes about the Temple Tax, the one God told Moses to impose in Exodus 30. It’s the one where each person, rich and poor, pays half a shekel – for the Temple – and God.
[:48] "The Bible says that’s because you’re redeeming your soul – and everyone’s soul is worth the same amount."
Adam Chodorow’s a tax professor at Arizona State University who’s written a lot about the Bible and taxation.
He says the idea of equality in the Temple Tax – and in some other Biblical tithes – has been a touchstone for some conservatives in tax debates.
He remembers a referendum in Alabama a few years ago to change the state’s tax system so that the wealthy paid more.
[1:18] "One critic of the reform said, and I’m quoting here, 'God imposes a flat income tax, or tithe, so it MUST be fair. If people do not pay the same tax rate, then obviously the rates must be arbitrary and capricious.'”