Maurice McCracken Prefers Jail to Paying Taxes for War

From the Milwaukee Journal:

Cleric Ends Tax Sentence

Serves Five Months

A Cincinnati minister who went to jail rather than pay taxes to help finance the country’s military program was freed from the federal prison farm at nearby Allenwood.

The Rev. Maurice F. McCrackin, known for his pacifist sentiments, served five months and four days at the farm, which is run in connection with the United States penitentiary at Lewisburg.

Mr. McCrackin was sentenced to a six month term and a $250 fine . With time off for good behavior, he would have been released . However, he refused to pay his fine, and therefore had to serve an additional 30 days.

A small gathering of sympathizers, bearing printed signs of approval of what the clergyman did, greeted Mr. McCrackin as he was released.

“But everything was calm and peaceful,” said Warden Frank Hagan. “There was no disturbance at any time.”

The pastor said he was going back to Cincinnati. Another minister from that city was waiting for him with an automobile.

Mr. McCrackin said of his stand on taxes:

“I feel as strongly as ever. I am opposed to war and I believe that people who take that stand should act accordingly.”

He also said he planned to conduct services at his old West Cincinnati-St. Barnabas church, an integrated Presbyterian-Episcopal church.

The Ocala Star-Banner published a follow-up a few days later:

Pacifist Minister Returns To Church After Prison Stint

A controversial pacifist minister returned to his old church and old life here after a federal prison term, but there was one big change.

The old church-connected Neighborhood House once directed by the Rev. Maurice F. McCrackin had been cut loose and set up as an independent corporation.

Close associates said the minister put much of his church work into building up the Neighborhood House.

The church is a joint Episcopal-Presbyterian venture. After the minister’s legal troubles cropped up, Episcopal Bishop Henry Wise Hobson decided to take over the Neighborhood House, owned by his diocese.

The Rev. Mr. McCracken gave his first sermon since release from a federal prison farm in Allenwood, Pa.

The Rev. Mr. McCracken, who says he won’t pay his income taxes because they help pay for war weapons, was released after serving five months and four days of a six-month term.

He was convicted on a charge of ignoring a federal summons to a conference on his income taxes.

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