Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Just Paid My War Taxes--Mea Culpa!

Paying My War Taxes

Today I filed my federal war taxes. I am almost ashamed to admit it. Many friends of mine risked their freedom, their careers, their homes—really, almost everything, by refusing to pay war taxes. Many of them went to jail for this. Others had to live below the taxable poverty line, in other words, very simply, with an extremely low income threshold. I’m thinking of people like Chuck Matthei, Marion and Ernest Bromly, Juanita and Wally Nelson., the Berrigan’s, Phil and Dan, Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy (The One-Man Revolution), Maurice McCrackin. Many folks in the Peacemaker Movement and the Catholic Worker Movement. Many Quakers and Mennonites. I appreciate their enormous sacrifices.
Chuck Matthei
I am not against all taxation. I am happy to pay my taxes and share my resources for many things having to do with the health, welfare, and cultural resources of our country. I am also happy to share my resources with those in need outside my country, the poor, needy, refugees, the hungry.

Wally and Juanita Nelson, Ernest and Marion Bromley, Maurice McCrackin

But I strongly object to the use of my taxes for war and for imperialism. Our tax dollars have done so much damage in the world. And lately, the sabers have been rattling again—at people and groups in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, China, and many other places. And most ominously of all, in North Korea, where “all options are on the table.” Well one of those options is the use of nuclear weapons. If it comes to that, then the future of the world, the entire future of civilization, is put at great risk. The world could essentially end. All our own hopes and our hopes for our families, friends, children, and grandchildren could be dashed—incinerated.
Ammon Hennacy (right)

Can we trust our leaders not to use these weapons of destruction—in fact, weapons of mass destruction. We have them at the ready. They could be launched at any minute.

Dan Berrigan and Thomas Merton

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