New National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee Newsletter

There’s a new issue of More Than a Paycheck, NWTRCC’s newsletter on-line. Contents include:

  • Charles Carney reflects on his conversion to war tax resistance, partially motivated by the war tax resistance of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen in .

    I have been able to divert over $100,000 away from the Boeings and the Halliburtons of the world to the Oxfams and Amnesty Internationals and Physicians for Social Responsibility and Harvesters of the world. It all started for me with that very liberating idea of unilateral disarmament. What a freeing thing to be able to lay down my sword and shield. What a freeing thing to tell the government, to tell the military-industrial complex, to tell Wall Street: “No you can’t have my money. All my checks will be written out to the people. All my checks will be written out to the 99 percent; no more checks written out to the 1 percent.”

  • Notes about the IRS policy on salary levies and on employers who are willing to work with resisters to help them resist such levies, on banks versus credit unions, and on the effectiveness of scary letters from the IRS.
  • Information about the upcoming International Conference of War Tax Resisters and Peace Tax Campaigns, on the European Court of Human Rights case for conscientious objection to military taxation being pursued by Roy Prockter, and on a new director for the American peace tax fund promoting group.
  • A report from the 26th annual New England Regional Gathering of War Tax Resisters.
  • Ed Hedemann’s proposal for “zombie war tax resistance,” in which he suggests that resisters prefill war-tax-refusing tax returns for several years in the future, and leave instructions for people to file them each year after your death. “Why concede the ‘death’ part in that old saying about certainty? Why give the government a break from having to deal with your resistance when you die? What if there were a way to continue war tax resistance from the grave?”
  • An update on the case of imprisoned war tax resister Carlos Steward.
  • Reports from the NWTRCC national gathering.
  • Cindy Sheehan’s response to the IRS notices and summons concerning her war tax resistance.

The following is an excerpt from the conclusion to the rhetorically powerful book The Moral Damage of War by Walter Walsh (1906). Though aimed at citizens of the British Empire a century ago, its argument would not need to be edited much at all to apply to the American Empire of today.

[I]t may be found necessary to resist the encroachments of militarism by the means adopted by the Quakers of the seventeenth century and the Russian Doukhobortsi of our own, — by submission to fines, imprisonments, and, in the last resort, death. Even in that Anglo-Saxondom which has boasted of its freedom men may yet be driven to bind themselves in a solemn league and covenant against the rendering of military service or payment of military taxes — and to take the consequences. The culmination of militarism in conscription makes compromise impossible, forces every citizen to make choice between the Prince of Peace and Imperial Baal. The question will soon cease to be one of expediency and will become one of principle; for the adoption of compulsory service is a definite repudiation of spiritual nature, a deliberate return to pagan ideals — at a time, too, when arbitration is the easy alternative. As soon as the mark of the false prophet is visibly inscribed on the forehead of developed men and free citizens, it is time for them to stand together and resist “even unto blood” — their own blood, not the blood of their persecutors. That they may not become murderers, they must be ready to be made martyrs.

That state which has ceased to foster citizenship has renounced every claim to the allegiance of citizens. Men who regulate their civic as well as private life on moral principle can be under no obligation to support a government which deliberately renounces morals, basing itself on force; which spends on education and culture only a fraction of what it spends on war and murder; which everywhere elevates the materialistic above the ethical and the civic; which puts military regulations over the Ten Commandments, and the Administration above God. Passive resistance, even to the point of martyrdom, will then become the duty of all good men. There can then be no question of upholding the cause of a country which, in violating the rights of other countries, has abolished her own; which, in crushing the freedom of other citizens, has absolved her own from fealty. Public wrongs call for repudiation equally with private wrongs and for similar refusal to share the spoil. A good man can neither fight nor pay to maintain the “honor” of a nation which has become systematically dishonorable, or to promote the glory of a nation whose glory has become her shame. Citizenship is what distinguishes civilization from barbarism; and he who would not consort with savages must dissociate himself from those national adventures whose object is to destroy foreign citizens while weakening democracy in the home land.