Christian Anarchists and Tax Resistance

On Thomas Bushnell’s LiveJournal blog, I’ve been observing (and engaging in) a discussion he’s started about Christian Anarchism and tax resistance.

Not being a Christian, I’m at a disadvantage in evaluating some of his arguments, but others I felt qualified to engage with. He started by saying that “One common thread among Christian Anarchists is a very different perspective on tax resistance from that found among Quakers and the like. Generally, the Christian Anarchists say (with Jesus) to pay your taxes…”

This surprised me, since the Christian Anarchists I was familiar with — folks like Ammon Hennacy, Leo Tolstoy, and Russell Kanning — counsel quite the opposite.

Bushnell seems most indignant towards those Christians who are happy to pay Caesar for some things but who draw the line at others. This he sees as, on the one hand, a selective approval of some of Caesar’s domination, and, on the other hand, an attempt to dominate Caesar or to hitch-hike on Caesar’s dominion by trying to guide it toward one purpose or another.

If you’re interested in following along, see: taxes, taxes, take two, and tax resistance at his blog.

George Monbiot has summarized for Guardian readers the many cases in Europe of activists who vandalized U.S. military equipment but who have been set free by juries who decline to convict because the war itself is a crime and therefore citizens were justified in breaking the law in trying to prevent it.