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 […]

21 Years and Still Hanging In There

I began my journey with war tax resistance in 1989 and now, over twenty years later, I am still hanging in there with every bit as much resolve. My conviction that it is wrong for my tax dollars to fund wars to "keep us secure"
remains strong.

Staying In the Way

By Cathy Deppe My first run-in with the IRS was a direct result of refusing the federal excise tax on telephone service, which was increased by President Lyndon Johnson to help pay for the war in Vietnam. Although LBJ said we could have guns and butter too, we would have to pay for both. My husband and I were University of Illinois graduate students, living on next to nothing anyway but both determined our tax dollars should fight a different kind of war – the “war on poverty” Johnson had promised to wage. As conscientious objectors, we were part of a growing movement to resist the war through refusal to fight for it and refusal to pay for it. The […]

Passionate for Peace

By Jason Rawn Aanya Adler Friess has been resisting war taxes since the 1960s. At age 86, she no longer attends meetings on a regular basis, though she lives below the taxable income level. She discusses war tax resistance with activists from the organizations that make up Albuquerque’s Peace and Justice Organizations Linking Arms (PAJOLA), of which she is a founding member. She “stood with Occupy for a while” and works on water issues in arid, militarized (Kirkland Air Force Base, in particular) New Mexico. “It’s wicked what we’re doing,” she says. In the 1970s, Aanya’s WTR work included offering canned goods as payment of her “tax obligation.” “The IRS people were amused, not hostile,” she recalls. She and her […]

A Part of My Identity

Q & A with Rev. Andrea Ayvazian MTAP: Tell us a little about yourself. Andrea: When asked about who I am, how to introduce myself, I fumble around and use some or all of these words – I am the proud mother of Sasha Klare-Ayvazian (now 24); I am a woman of faith, a long-time activist for peace, social justice, environmental sanity, and an anti-racist world; I am an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, a former Quaker, a singer, songwriter and poet. And I am the life partner and long-time fan of Michael Klare, who I admire enormously (Michael is Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, an expert on global resource politics, and […]

Professional Life, Public Resistance

By Seth Berner My name is Seth Berner. I’m a poverty lawyer and general human rights activist in Portland, Maine. At some point I realized that I could not act for change and help those in need if I blindly supported the status quo and despair by automatically paying all the taxes my government wanted me to pay. For some people the next step is easy—just stop paying taxes altogether. This is not a solution for me. I’m not opposed to taxation. On the contrary, I believe that governments should exist to help those in need and provide and regulate programs essential to the public good; and that government cannot do its job unless those who can contribute to their […]

Committed Radicals

By Carol Dotterer My 88-year-old mom, Ruth Kirk, was visiting me in South Carolina when we were asked to write a profile for this newsletter after we asked for some Zombie war tax resistance forms mentioned in the December 2011 issue. Ruth: I sent every senator and representative a copy of the book Addicted to War. I sent them a questionnaire to answer about the book. Not one of them answered it. I followed up with a letter a year later saying you were not courteous enough to thank me for the book I sent. I received one reply. That senator said he never got the book. It seems to me that all our representatives benefit from war profiteering, therefore […]

A Protest Becomes A Way of Life

By Beth Seberger This is the text of Beth’s presentation at the November 2011 WTR gathering in Kansas City. You can watch it on YouTube.com; search for “Why I am a War Tax Resister.wmv.” In 1970, two years out of college, as a recent arrival to Kansas City, and in the midst of the Vietnam War, I became a war tax resister. Why? Because when I told a friend I didn’t feel right about paying the IRS that year because of our country’s involvement in the Vietnam War, he said, “Then don’t! Haven’t you ever heard of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker? They don’t pay taxes.” This was astounding news to me, and I was ready for it. I had two older […]

Taking Responsibility

By Lauren Tepper “I believe that we must consciously develop a greater sense of Universal Responsibility. We must learn to work not just for our own individual self, family, or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind.” —H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” —Dwight Eisenhower When I first began war tax resistance, it was not something I wanted to do. It felt like, as Julia Butterfly Hill has called it, a “choiceless choice.” Given my abhorrence of war, I could not justify paying for it with my tax dollars. I had felt this way for years, but it seemed futile for me alone to take a stand. I […]