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When you don’t pay ‘war taxes,’ is it ‘peaceful nonviolence’ or more like smug self-righteous religious complacency?

Pontius Pilate chief tax manMonday night I got asked out of the clear blue sky at a meeting of self described ‘Peace’ advocates if I paid taxes? I was kind of drowsy from shift work I had just finished doing, and didn’t really consider the fact that Jesus was asked just about the same question in his time, but by those he considered to be spies of the Roman Empire. I was being asked the question though from a self righteous and complacent ‘Quaker’ woman who was in the process of giving me her idea of a litmus test, for whether I would be allowed by her and her husband to be in one local antiwar grouplet here in Colorado Springs called the PPJPC?

I failed her test when I answered that I did indeed pay taxes (too much so IMO), and my statement that it was so was soon followed by a self righteous and complacent harangue about her opinion that the woman and her ‘leader’ husband did not pay ‘war’ taxes and that that was that and why did I not do as they do? The implication was that I should just shut up and let them run things in the group and keep my mouth shut up for good. Why? Well because I pay my taxes!

Further I was told at the meeting by the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission that I was not ever going to be considered a member of the group, no matter what. I was told that I gave neither time nor money to the group!, and that I was out of it in their eyes because I had written previously in the local press about how the leader of the group had called the cops on us for trying to hold a meeting to plan antiwar activities outside the locked doors of the group’s offices.

“All those bad things you said about us of the PPJPC!”

Locked out, because as members of the group we wanted some democracy inside an organization that has but one pretend membership meeting per year and is run by salaried office folk who want to be small business adminstrators instead of anything much else!

I have been told too that I must sign onto some sort of ‘adherence’ statement to the ‘non-violence’ aim of the group. Further the religious pacifists running the show have stated to the press that I and others, too, do not adhere to their Christian motivated ‘nonviolence’, implying to the police and press that we are time bombs about to go off! Meanwhile, they continually invite representatives of the police to ‘meetings’ with themselves so that they can supposedly make their events more ‘nonviolent’, I guess? A hug here, a handshake there, and let us know what you want us to do, Peace Officers?

So back to the question of whether it is peaceful nonviolence’ or self righteous complacency when one does pay taxes at this time of the year? Let us go to The War Resisters League and examine their understated list of the Consequences of War Tax Resistance some. What can happen if you just opt out and tell IRS to shove it? Here, these Christians tell you that you can go to jail but not to worry about it because almost nobody does (in the US). Go figure? To the feds it is more trouble to jail these few religious ‘resistoes’ than to just harass them in other ways. Why shoot down a gnat with an elephant gun?

However there are other consequences, including your right to travel freely outside the US terminated (one of local pacifist families has been confronting just such a restriction imposed most recently, as they were barred from visiting relatives in Canada). You can lose your income through a restriction coming about on licensing in the line of work you do. You can lose your property, much more of it than if you had actually paid those taxes to the government. That happens a lot per the War Resisters League, but they assure us that it all looks good on their own balance sheet of pros and cons! Well not on mine. Nor on Jesus’s balance sheet either! He was resurrected but I don’t know really whether that would happen to me if IRS decided to crucify?

But back to the case of the Quaker woman and her ‘leader’ husband who don’t pay taxes as they assured me that was the case. Her husband actually was in the military and supposedly gets some special pension for that, that I guess I am stupidly paying taxes for them to then lecture me about what a supposedly moral cretin I must be? Kind of a weird situation, ay?

But then again, let’s say that I’m wrong about that, and that these 2 Quakers get no income for that military ‘service’ at all? Where do they get their money from then? Stocks and bonds? Social Security? God? Plus, how can you draw a line between taxes for the military and taxes for other things, since Quakers do most often pay taxes for ‘other things’ and actually most just subtract some percent away (43%) from the taxes they in fact do pay to the government? Does that make it all Kosher then???

It really does not do anything at all from an individual angle, since the government just ‘garnishes’ the wages with interest added on directly from the salaries of religious protesters. However, non religious tax ‘protesters’ are often time not even given such benign treatment at all, since the government has codified well the idea that all ‘conscientious objection’ comes mainly about because ‘God forbids Believers to do something or other?’

No belief in God? Then you got no ‘Right’ to state morality coming from God as motivation, and no Right to really object, you damn atheists!

Does erecting this artificial accounting wall between supposedly taxes for good purposes and taxes for bad purposes help grind the War Machine down and then out? The AFSC (Quakers/ Friends) thinks it does, and is pushing to have 2 tax barrels put into Federal Law, where their religion’s membership can deposit funds into a ‘Peace’ Barrel, while the other religious folk can get the War Barrel! Is this really all that ‘peaceful non-violence’ comes down to in the concrete? Like it makes some dimes bit of difference to the government to separate ‘war taxes’ from a ‘Peace tax’?

Let’s say though, that you do not pay a cent to the government and some how keep them from garnishing your income with interest added in on top? That’s nice, and some few actually do just that and get away with it without being jailed. That is about as effective a route to fighting war as doing nothing though. To stop the war mass action is necessary, and not just becoming the one or two individuals here and there who sneak by the IRS.

So where does this Quaker couple now get their income from? Due to a successful career perhaps from stocks, and not a dime from military pensions or social security, they’re living off corporate dividends and previous savings not garnished by the government for ‘nonpayment’ of taxes? I can only speculate, however, I don’t think they have accomplished much at all, other than to make themselves smug in their religious complacency, as they drape themselves in flag and ‘peaceful’ Christian mantle for cops and other agents of the Roman Empire.

There are ways of resisting the War Machine but I do not think that trying to withhold tax monies is one of them? Neither did Jesus from what I gather from rather unreliable documentation, but he did try to evade the question of whether one should pay taxes with tricky ‘sayings.’ Ultimately that cleverness and not paying the tax are maybe the issues that got him the death penalty? I wasn’t there so I cannot really say.

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