April 10, 2006
Internal Revenue Service Center
Atlanta, GA 39901-0002
Re: 2005 1040 return for [SSN]
To Whom It May Concern:
Once again this year I am unable to pay any federal income tax which you might deem “due” from me. As I have stated to you in years past, I am a Christian. It would be a mortal violation of my faith in God to pay for war or the preparation for war. Jesus died for each of us and Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient for all salvation. Attempts at “saving” ourselves or anything we may hold dear which include a willingness to kill those for whom Jesus has died is a denial of His gift of Life to us. The Holy Spirit will not let me sin in this way. I am completely and utterly constrained by God from voluntarily paying for war.
Unfortunately, approximately 50% of federal income tax money, which goes into the U.S. general fund, gets spent in some way on past, present, or future war. Congress has not, as it should have, supplied a way for religious conscientious objectors to pay taxes without violating our religious beliefs. I, and others like me, are therefor left with no alternative but to not pay, since I certainly cannot willingly disobey God.
Because the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and certain U.S. treaty obligations to honor the religious practices of its citizens require that I not be forced to violate my faith, I do not, “to the best of my knowledge and belief”, owe any tax. Therefore, in order to be able to sign the attached tax return, which is required in order for you to consider it filed, I have left blank line 75, “Amount you owe”. I do not owe you anything, for the government has provided me no way of paying taxes which does not violate my faith in God.
I fully understand that you would want me to place a figure of $2841.54 on line 75. I must allow you to place it there yourselves else I could not in good conscience sign the return.
Some of the amount which I am not paying ($1182.85) is self-employment tax. I would pay this if the self-employment tax were going into the Social Security trust fund as it should. But it is not. Former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, in a speech before Congress in the Congressional Record of March 24, 1993, stated what I have known for years: social security money is really being spent on the “operating fund”, and that includes military. Nunn asked: “So the Social Security fund that everybody believes is in such great surplus, what does it have? A whole lot of Treasury bills. How are they going to be paid back?” I believe they are not. But even if they are paid back at some future time, I cannot now knowingly support killing by paying money which will be “borrowed” for military spending.
I have seen nothing to indicate that this current use of Social Security Trust Fund money for regular ongoing governmental expenditures — including military expenditures — has changed. Under the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism”, the government is again engaged in deficit spending solely because of its warfighting. I cannot knowingly allow the government to borrow money from me for killing any more than I can spend it directly.
Instead I am redirecting these unpaid taxes ($2841.54 worth of income and self-employment taxes) to the Tax Conversion Fund For Peace & Human Needs, from which the money will go to feed Christ’s sheep and promote nonviolence and peace, as commanded and exemplified by Jesus himself. I am asking that you also, in recognition of my religious freedom, return to me the $72.31 which was withheld from my pay during 2005.
How horribly ironic that taxes for killing are due the day after Easter — after we celebrate God’s overcoming of death! If only we truly believed, truly understood and lived like death is overcome, like Jesus actually rose, we would not be paying for killing. In our militarized world, Tax Day is a blasphemous repudiation of Easter; it reveals our continuing enslavement to evil, our failure to accept the resurrection of Jesus as the means of salvation. And so, rejecting the gift of life, we continue toward Hell.
God has chosen another path and, by the grace of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit in my life, I am mystifyingly but thankfully enabled to follow God on that other path. While Congress flaunts Jesus’ commands to care for the poor, hungry, sick, and imprisoned by cutting funding for the poor, hungry, and sick, while increasing prisons and prison sentences — while it slashes housing for the poor and health care for infants but raises funding limits for the military and gives huge tax breaks to the wealthy (oh, were the prophet Amos here today!), my God continues to say to me, as God has said to me for thirty years now: “Don’t worry about tomorrow; I will take care of you. Just do not sin. Put away your sword; love those who are supposed to be your enemies, and feed my sheep.”
That is all I am doing: following my faith in God Almighty. For that I am sure you will continue to seek to extract from me by force that which I cannot give you voluntarily without violating my relationship with God. That the U.S.A. is supposed to honor religious freedom seems not to matter, for the government is Caesar and Caesar mistakenly thinks it is God. You wrongly believe your military might to be the source of salvation and you will persecute those of us who refuse to pay homage to false gods of metal. I can only await your persecution, for what good does it do someone to save their bank account or home (the IRS has seized and sold our home in the past) if they lose their soul in the process?
On the other hand, you could honor the Gospel and the Constitution, upholding Christ and freedom of religion, by accepting the redirection of my taxes as sufficient to meet my obligations under the supreme law of the land.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I am sorry I cannot know in advance the name of the person who will be reading this letter, but I hope you will handle my dilemma in a personal and responsive manner.
Robert G. Randall Ⅱ