Presybterian Church Repents, Reinstates Tax Resisting Minister

, I reprinted a news item about how the Cincinnati presbytery defrocked Reverend Maurice McCrackin in because of his war tax resistance.

In they changed their minds about that. From the Lawrence Journal-World (excerpts):

Representatives of the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination… [met in t]he 199th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)… ¶ …and reversed a decision defrocking a peace activist.

Also , the commissioners discussed “Presbyterians and Peacemaking: Are We Now Called to Resistance?”

The document, which makes no recommendations, includes discussion on how Presbyterians might work for peace, sections on tax resistance and civil disobedience.

Several local Presbyterian groups, complaining that the paper is one-sided and divisive, have asked that the paper be withdrawn or the study process broadened to include other viewpoints.

A committee refused to adopt those recommendations, saying the process was still going on and those views could be part of a final position paper already scheduled for discussion .

The assembly on voted unanimously to restore the Rev. Maurice McCrackin, an 81-year-old Cincinnati pastor, to the ministry.

McCrackin was defrocked in by the then-United Presbyterian Church (USA) because of his repeated refusal to pay federal income taxes that support the military.

From the New York Times (excerpt):

Pentagon workers watched in silent, courteous curiosity while pacifist “speak-out” demonstrators roamed the corridors of the vast building handing out leaflets and making speeches in relays.

One of the leaders, Prof. Gordon Christiansen, announced he was turning in his World War Ⅱ army discharge “as a symbol of my withdrawn loyalty to the Pentagon.”

Professor Christiansen, head of the chemistry department of Connecticut College, New London, said he would pay no more income tax willingly.

Professor Christiansen, who said he served as an artilleryman in the Pacific in World War Ⅱ, read a letter he wrote to Mr. [Robert] McNamara. Standing on the Pentagon steps, he said:

“From this time onward I will not willingly pay my income tax. I refuse my loyalty to this institution; , I return to you as a symbol of my withdrawn loyalty, my certificate of honorable discharge from five years of service during World War Ⅱ.”