Marion Frenyear, War Tax Resister

Today I’ll present some of the residue left behind in the news media by the war tax resistance of Marion Frenyear. First, this letter to the editor from the Glens Falls, New York Post-Star:

For the Collector

South Hartford, N.Y.

To the Editor of The Post-Star:

When I sent in my income tax return this year with a check for [illegible] of the tax due the federal government I wrote to the Collector [illegible] Internal Revenue as follows:

“I have sent 75 percent of [illegible] tax due to … agencies which [illegible] working for world peace and [illegible] conciliation. I cannot pay this [illegible] of my tax because as a Christian I believe war is wrong. I also believe that modern war is obsolete [illegible] futile, a form of collective insanity [illegible] that we cannot defeat communism by killing communists.

“I believe that if we turn from our present foreign policy and courageously follow Christ, strengthening the United Nation so that [illegible] becomes a limited world government leading in world disarmament, [illegible] using our wealth to help the people who most need help, there [illegible] be a real possibility of peace. [Illegible] present concentration on preparation for war will lead to war if continued.”

Very truly yours,
(Miss) Marion C. Frenyear
Rev. Marion C. Frenyear, Pa[stor?]
South Hartford Congregational Church.

Then, from the same paper, :

The Lady Is Real

Published elsewhere on this page is a letter signed “Wanda Turpen,” referring to a letter published here on over the signature of the Rev. Marion C. Frenyear. The Turpen letter says that the Frenyear letter was written by a fictitious character to “other side-splitting letters” of the same type and purported authorship. It enjoins The Post-Star to “Give us credit for having a little more intelligence, please!”

We have a surprise for Miss Turpen. Miss Frenyear is, and so signed her letter whose authenticity has been questioned, the pastor of the South Hartford Congregational Church. We rather imagine that if Miss Turpen cared to verify the statement she could do so simply by addressing a letter to Miss Frenyear direct rather than by doubting her existence in the press.

Obviously, Miss Turpen cannot imagine anyone so incredibly foolish as to believe so firmly in a religious principle that she would defy the government of the United States in order to stick to it. How far Miss Frenyear and an organization to which she belongs will get is problematical. They have decided not to pay that portion of their income taxes which they figure, on the basis of the national budget, will be devoted to military expenditures.

Concerning Miss Turpen’s P.S. as to the Internal Revenue Collector’s response, he is not called upon to make one yet since Miss Frenyear has compiled with the income tax law by paying, her first installment. But on the New York Times reported that a Rev. Abraham J. Muste of New York City, another member of the protesting organization, wrote his tax collector as follows: “For the third successive year I must refuse to file an income tax return or to pay the federal income tax.” He explained why.

The Post-Star does not endorse Miss Frenyear’s method of going about attaining peace and sternly advises the general public not to try it. We strongly disagree with Miss Turpen, however, as to who is “unenlightened.” It is not Miss Frenyear. She is merely conspicuous.

Next, from the Binghamton [New York] Press:

Pastor Refuses To Pay “War” Tax

 A woman pastor says she has paid only one-fourth of her income tax because she couldn’t “support a government in participation and preparation for war.”

The Rev. Marion C. Frenyear of the Congregational Church in this Washington County village said she had notified the Bureau of Internal Revenue that she would pay 25 per cent of her tax.

She said she had paid only a quarter of her tax , too.

Bureau officials, however, subsequently obtained a lien against her salary.

The Amsterdam, New York, Evening Recorder of added:

The church paid the lien and deducted the amount from her salary, she said.

“Taxes should be used to bring peace and disarmament to the world,” she said.