Christian Peace Witness for Iraq Issues War Tax Resistance Pledge

It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed like the war tax resistance movement couldn’t get no respect in the anti-war movement at large. But now there are multiple, independent, war tax resistance campaigns — evidence perhaps that finally this idea’s time has come.

The latest campaign is a project of Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, a coalition of many Christian groups who “are called to raise a prophetic voice, speaking truth to power and proclaiming that security cannot be obtained through military domination, but through trust in God alone.

Therefore we confess our complicity in this merciless violence and commit ourselves to finding genuine security in God, who insists that we build just relationships with all people. We call our government to immediately begin an orderly process of withdrawing U.S. troops and closing U.S. bases with a timetable supported by the Iraqi people and to work toward an end to funding war.”

Up to now, as far as I can tell, the coalition has limited itself to prayer, vigils, protest, petitioning, lobbying, and symbolic displays in pursuit of this goal. But they’ve just asked coalition members to sign on to “The Pledge for Peace” which asks them to go further, and which reads in part:

I will do everything within my power to avoid complicity in acts of war that violate my fundamental beliefs. I pledge:…

  • To resist the powers and principalities:

    Through war tax-resistance: I will educate myself about war tax-resistance and share that information with others. As I am able, according to my own calling and conscience, I will with-hold all or a portion of my own taxes until I can be confident that the United States will seek peace through a combination of diplomacy and development together with other nations of the world.

Meanwhile, people continue to sign on to the “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” war tax resistance pledge. Here are some comments from recent pledgers:

The entire anti-Iraq ‘movement’ in the US should join together in this effort. I hope Code Pink will collaborate with other groups to get the word out on this important act in order to make a hard-hit impact.
Katina Cummings, Chicago, Illinois
Thank you for organizing this important effort, and for all your amazing work.
Emily Levy, Santa Cruz, California
The only way this administration listens is with their wallets. For a long time I’ve been thinking that this is what needs to happen to stop this military machine.
Marla McDonald, Dallas, Texas
I did everything I could to stop you from invading Iraq under false pretenses. In my view the entire debacle is one huge war crime and my government is complicit. I will not support these heinous crimes against humanity with my taxes. I will not!
Randall Shields, Powder Springs, Georgia
I, as an act of civil disobedience, pledge to with hold all of my taxes which you have allocated toward the unjust and illegal (illegal both nationally and internationally) war you are perpetrating upon the People of Iraq and the proposed war you wish to perpetrate upon the People of Iran.
Amelia Free, Middletown, California
The ‘power of the purse’ is ours! When our representatives refuse to use it, we must!
David Lubeck, Los Gatos, California
Why don’t we quit with the token resistance and stop paying taxes altogether. Are we afraid we might go to jail… get our property seized. What good are things in a totalitarianism. Civil Disobedience is the shadow of real resistance. Those in power will not relinquish it without a struggle. We can ‘protest’ all we want but the press will ignore us just like the government has been doing. The War costs 270 million/day. That makes me sick… and to support it through my taxes makes be an accomplice. I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.
Matthew Schmidt, Barnesville, Ohio
Demonstrations are important, but 100,000 resisting taxes would make more of an impact than 500,000 attending a demonstration.
anonymous, Washington, D.C.
If our ‘public servants’ will not listen to the concerns of the people then we can and will take matters into our own hands.
Bethany Norris, Cincinnati, Ohio
Based on my religious and ethical beliefs I cannot in good conscience partake in war in any form. This includes funding it through taxes. The courts have ruled again and again that we do not have the right to do refuse taxes based on conscience, that we do not have free exercise of conscience even if we exercise it in non-violent ways. Free exercise of religion must entail free exercise of conscience or else it means nothing. I intend to donate the full amount of taxes I owe in ways that will not fund the war.
Thomas Gokey, Syracuse, New York
I’ve been resisting war taxes since we invaded Afghanistan, but I want to add myself to this list. Everyone, think about this: if you met an Iraqi who lived through the war in Iraq, could you look him in the eye and say you did everything you could to stop the U.S. from destroying his country? everything? If we attack Iran will you be able to say the same to an Iranian?
Steev Hise, Tuscon, Arizona
It’s about time we got together and presented a fearless, effective, united effort at war resistance.
Maicol Kelee, Sonoma, California
This may finally be something that the administration can’t ignore.
Joseph Italiano, Wilmington, Delaware
It is immoral to pay taxes that fund an illegal war and when I pay my taxes I am just as criminal as our three branches of government in continuing our illegal occupation of Iraq. I refuse to be held hostage to an immoral tax system.
Laila Selk, La Honda, California

I’ve just learned of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network. It looks as though it may develop into a useful resource for people working to build and strengthen alternative economies to those taxed and regulated by the government.