Resistance to War Tax: A Christian Perspective

By Nathan Beall. My desire to live in community and to resist war began while I was in college, studying religion and working on the campus community garden. The spiritual and intellectual seeds planted there grew during my time in seminary, after which I returned to the college and parish that I attended as an undergraduate to live and work on that same community farm in Maryland. My community and I pray together and grow food for ourselves and for the poor. After a year, I was ordained as a priest and found my way into three employment opportunities: campus minister at the college, assistant at the parish, and professor of Religious Studies. All of these represented not only promising […]

Tax Testimony

By Margaret Weitzmann Courtesy of Margaret Weitzmann A bit of history: On November 4, 1977, Islamic revolutionaries in Iran stormed theU.S. Embassy, launching the hostage crisis. On February 1, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini became Iran’s premier. The deposed Shah bargained for asylum around Europe, the Mideast and Africa into the summer, when President Carter admitted him to the U.S. In April 1979, two things happened: The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Iran. And, friends who just happened to be visiting a Navy Fleet massed in Miami witnessed what looked to be a decontamination drill on board one of the vessels. I jumped to the conclusion that Carter was about to solve the hostage crisis by attacking Iran. Tax Day 1979 […]

Psychologically Unable to Write a Check to Maim and Kill

By Kathy Labriola I am a counselor, nurse, and hypnotherapist in private practice in Berkeley, California, and I have been a war tax resister for nearly 40 years. With tax time fast approaching, I thought my story might be food for thought.) Any nation needs three things in order to wage war: young men and women to join the military, billions of dollars to finance a war, and a compliant and complicit public. Those of us who oppose war can take action in any or all of these three arenas. Refusing to pay taxes for war can be an important part of an overall strategy to end war, and I have tried to do my small part to obstruct wars […]

War Tax Resister Since 2010

By Anne Barron, San Diego My sister was a war tax resister. She was the first person I knew who actively resisted war and an oppressive government by refusing to fund them. Still, it was hard for me to take that first step, to actually withhold taxes. I’ve always loved taxes; I even campaigned for higher taxation. (Since taxes paid my salary as a public school teacher, you could say I had a direct interest in taxation.) So it is odd to me now to be on the other side some ten years later, where I withhold 47% of what the IRS tells me is my bill for the USA. I still believe in taxes but after decades of marching […]

Partnership in a Community Property State

By Matt Niznik; Oakland, California Editor’s note: This is one essay in the newest booklet in our “Practical War Tax Resistance” series. “Relationships and War Tax Resistance” is #8 in the series and is due to be published by January 6, 2016. Copies will be $1.50 each or contact the office for bulk orders. The text will be posted at My partner Rose and I have been together for 32 years, since we met during senior year of college. Although Rose does not define herself as an activist, the movements I was involved in around that time — anti-apartheid, solidarity with Central America liberation, opposing militarism, support for political prisoners in the U.S. — have been and continue to […]

Choosing Solidarity Over Comfort – Ruby Phillips


By Ruby Phillips Time passes quickly, and it’s now been 30 years that I’ve refused to pay for U.S. military wars. I began to resist after a local war tax resistance volunteer attended a meeting at my workplace and introduced us to the practice and underlying philosophy of war tax resistance (WTR). Prior to his presentation, I had never heard of it; since then, I have been empowered by this way of life and cannot imagine returning to the excess obedience and internal denial of paying for war. Not that this journey has been without inconvenience, anxiety or unexpected difficulty. The IRS has emptied three bank accounts; though fortunately they have not been successful in harvesting vast sums from their […]

Redirection Reflection

By Robin Harper I was moved by Bill Ramsey’s eloquent article “Redirection: Our Constructive Program” (MTAP, June 2013) to recount a bit of history. Robin Harper speaking at a WTR workshop in Philadelphia, March 2013 (Photo by Ed Hedemann) It was back in 1958. I had been powerfully influenced by my participation in activities of Peacemakers and was ready to begin my witness as a WTR. I had met and married my dear German wife, Marlies, in 1953 while doing Alternative Service (Korean War) at the self-help housing project/AFSC workcamp at Flanner House in Indianapolis, Indiana. It needs to be said that Marlies had endured, and survived, living in Germany all during WWⅡ. As she recounted her harrowing experiences to […]

Better Late Than Never A Frivolous Success Story

An interview with Jack Herbert by Ruth Benn One thing about dealing with the IRS, it is time consuming. Our network probably needs an award to individuals for hours spent calling, writing, and waiting on the IRS. Jack Herbert in Oregon would be right up there among the nominees. At least his case has a happy ending. Jack learned about war tax resistance back in the early 1980s through Quaker Quarterly meetings in his region. He met John and Pat Schwiebert and Ann and Bruce Huntwork, stalwart Portland peace activists and war tax resisters. For some years he didn’t have to file, but when he started working for the state in the 1990s, he would refuse to pay any tax […]

Being Neighborly

By Lincoln Rice “And who is my neighbor?” A scholar of the law asked Jesus this question, and he responded by sharing the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). The Samaritan (an outsider) aided a victim of a vicious robbery after pillars of the religious community had ignored him. I was taught this story as a second grader in Catholic school, and it remains a vivid memory. Often putting others before ourselves, the teacher told us, was the moral of the story. After being picked up by my mother for the car ride home, she asked the mandatory question: “Did you learn anything in school today?” Most days I responded, “No,” and was probably thinking about trying to get […]

Strength in Community – Peter and Mary Sprunger-Froese

By Ruth Benn from an interview on March 9, 2015 Peter and Mary live in Colorado Springs and are part of the Bijou Community, which is an intentional, faith-based community working for nonviolence and social justice. They met when Peter was in graduate school at a Mennonite Seminary in Indiana, and Mary was working with a county home for indigent people. They married, lived in Canada near Peter’s family for six months, then set about looking for a community that combined their desire to work with poor people and with peace­making. “We see those as so connected. War im­poverishes the earth and impoverishes people. It’s just so antithetical to what makes for peace.” They found a small group of kindred […]

More Advantages of Aging

By Redmoonsong Having been a war tax resister most of my life (and doing mostly unwaged work — mother, housekeeper, etc.), the IRS says I only have 27 quarters — not enough for regular Social Security and Medicare. Well, if you wait till you’re 69 like I did, and are poor, disabled or blind, you can qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income). With that comes Medicaid/Medicare/food stamps — the whole ball of wax from the feds. I haven’t had a bank account since 1984. No credit, no phone, no electricity, no water, etc. Now they wanna give me everything. Should I take it? In a quandary about health insurance, I had contacted the local county’s Council on Aging to get […]

War Tax Resistance and Other Paths to a Better World

By Sylvia Metzler In 2014 my taxable income was $11,826 and I got a $41 refund. Too bad! I would like to have withheld some taxes to protest money used for wars and drone killings and budget cuts for education, health care, and environmental protection. I can no longer concentrate my protests only on military spending. These other issues are just as important and are, of course, related. But can you believe that I once supported the Viet Nam War? That I actually believed in the “domino theory” and was a Rockefeller Republican? The pastor of my Presbyterian Church and his wife changed all that—thank goodness—as they took courageous stands against the war and racism. As my indignation rose with […]