Give a Tax Resister a Pat on the Back

Individuals can demonstrate their support for tax resisters in various ways. Sometimes just dropping them a line can be a good pat-on-the-back. Here are some examples of ways in which people and groups have given their thumbs-ups to tax resisters:

  • When the IRS seized Amish farmer Valentine Byler’s horses to cover his unpaid social security taxes, Byler received dozens of letters of support from around the country, with sentiments like:
    • “I congratulate you on having the intestinal fortitude to stand up for your beliefs.”
    • “Your courageous stand for your religious principles is to be commended.”
    • “I am sincerely sorry this has happened.”
  • When the “Texas housewives” banded together to refuse to withhold social security taxes from the wages of their domestic help, Vivien Kellems (another American conservative tax resister) sent a telegram of support.
  • When Utah governor J. Bracken Lee started resisting his federal income tax to protest what he felt to be unconstitutional federal spending, he got hundreds of letters and postcards of support from across the country (including, again, one from Vivien Kellems). Among the messages:
    • “Good for you — both for having the courage to stand up to this tax-despotic government of ours and its paid press, and for being right.”
    • “When a man of your stature comes out as you have on such a vital issue it rekindles the hopes of the American people that all is not lost and that there is still a chance.”
  • The [U.S.] National Woman Suffrage Association put forth resolutions at their conventions of in praise of resisters Julia & Abby Smith, Abby Kelly Foster, and Sarah E. Wall.
  • When the government tried and failed to auction off goods seized from a tax resisting doctor in the Dutch West Indies in , “[a] cheering crowd carried the physician about shoulder high.”
  • When the Wyoming Conference of the Methodist Church dismissed a minister for being a war tax resister, another minister, James Gail Garst, resigned from the Conference in protest.
  • At NWTRCC gatherings, one regular activity is for the attendees to sign cards of support to send to resisters who have suffered property seizures, liens, levies and other such government reprisals for their resistance.