Some things can only be accomplished through persistence. Others seem to fall into place with such ease that you're left a little perplexed- "Wait, it can't be that easy, can it?" But the truth behind the easy ones is that they are usually the result of persistence that goes unnoticed or overlooked. Occasionally a fortunate person benefits from all that work by being in the right place at the right time.<read more>
I was that fortunate person when I called up John Stoner earlier this year to talk about creating a special issue of PeaceSigns focused on tax resistance. I had been thinking of trying to pull together such an issue for a while, but wondered how to go about it. I knew a bit of John's work with 1040 For Peace <http://1040forpeace.org/> and thought he'd be a good first place to start. My hope was perhaps he would contribute an article and point me in the direction of some other contributors.
Would you take a moment to consider this question?
by John Stoner
Can you think of anything which your government might do which would move you to do an act of civil disobedience as a moral witness and protest?<read more>
For some people, myself included, making war is such a thing. That is why my wife and I sent the following letter to the U.S. government and the leaders of our spiritual community explaining why we are refusing to willingly pay the full amount of our federal income tax. Again, can you think of anything…?.
Timeline of Mennonite-related war tax resistance
by Titus Peachey
At a minimum, Jesus raised a question about paying taxes when he said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's." In the minds of his hearers, clearly everything belonged to God. The point is that the question of paying taxes for war is a deeply spiritual one, and has been with us for centuries. Some brief highlights follow.<read more>
Personal story of war tax resistance
by Pat Hostetter Martin
The day income tax is due is always a time of reflection and some anguish as we try to decide what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God. It brings back memories of that young idealistic Mennonite woman who boarded a plane in Philadelphia in 1966 that would take me halfway around the world to Saigon, Vietnam. Assigned to work in refugee camps in Quang Ngai Province, I joined a Vietnam Christian Service team of eight.<read more>
Because of night time curfews, we spent our evenings together as a team. Our conversations during those first months together were typical of Christian college students-asking sophomoric questions like who came first, God or humans, and whether only Christians will get into heaven, and why God allows suffering. But within six months, our unanswerable questions fell silent as we witnessed the tremendous suffering and death around us, the complicity of our own country in what was happening, and the lies and deceit of our leaders.
Top Ten reasons Mennonites no longer resist paying war taxes
by Steve Ratzlaff
David Letterman's got nothing on Steve Ratzlaff. Here's a Top Ten list you won't see on Late Night.<read more>
Book Review: War is a God that demands Human Sacrifice
by Donald Kaufman
War is a God that demands Human Sacrifice<read more>
by Muriel T. Stackley
illusrations by Robert Joy
In her preface to War is a God that Demands Human Sacrifice, Muriel Stackley admits to the powerful motives we humans have for wanting to be warriors. But, nevertheless, "we must lament." We must "paint our Guernicas."
Pablo Picasso painted his in 1937 - the year Muriel was born. Her parents never told her that on market day, April 26, Adolf Hitler's 28 Heinkel bombers obliterated the town of Guernica (Spain) in three-and-a-quarter hours. Civilian shoppers were caught in the inferno. Picasso's painting depicts a crisis gone out of control. Opposing sides were killing civilians and prisoners without restraint.
Sorry, sorry, sorry
by Ken Sehested
Poem written after after viewing one too many public officials rationalize the spillage of oil-bartered blood.<read more>
We kill and bomb,
Murder and maim
Target and terrorize
mostly (for high-tech armies) from great distance,
the better not to see actual faces
or severed limbs, or intestines oozing through
holes where belly buttons used to testify
to being a mother-born child
Learnings of a war tax redirector
by Stan Bohn
War tax redirection reminds me who I serve and why I am here. The fellowship with other redirectors is as renewing as worship with fellow Christians. War tax redirection helps me understand in a deeper way what it is to be a Jesus follower. That is what it is all about.<read more>
What does conscience require?
by Berry Friesen
Paying taxes that are used for war has long been a vexing problem for those whose conscience forbids direct participation in war. If it would be wrong to take up arms and kill, then isn't it equally wrong to provide the means for another to commit the same act? The conventional escape from this dilemma is found in the legal obligation to pay taxes. Payment is compelled, not voluntary, and thus one's conscience remains clear.<read more>
"Conscience and Taxes in a Culture of War," a March 11, 2012 forum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania sponsored by 1040 for Peace and Every Church A Peace Church, asked a different question about the upcoming April 15 tax deadline: how can we use the filing of our annual federal tax return to witness for peace and against the wars that have become a permanent feature of U.S. foreign policy?
More resources on conscientious objection to war taxes
More resources on conscientious objection to war<read more>