April 14, 2010
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Atlanta, Ga 39901-0102
To Whom it May Concern:
My wife and I are filing our form 1040 but cannot in good conscience comply with the payment instructions.
We were both raised Quaker (The Religious Society of Friends), one of the three traditional Peace Churches, in families that have been Friends since before the Declaration of Independence was signed. This includes multiple individuals who performed alternative service during the WWII draft because of religiously based conscientious objector status.
Federal budgetary priorities are heavily weighted toward funding current and past military expenditures, not only outweighing most other federal spending priorities, but also outspending the next several national military budgets combined. We firmly believe that there is no moral or ethical difference between taking up arms and paying for someone to take up arms. We also believe with equal firmness that laws which require us to do so infringe on our freedom of religious expression, just as conscription for military service does. We simply cannot in good conscience write a check knowing it will be used to fund military action that is against our fundamental beliefs in nonviolence
We believe in taxation, but cannot pay taxes when such an overwhelming percentage of the funds are used for the military. We support H.R. 2085, The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill, believing it to be a revenue positive solution for our federal government regarding the accommodation of our concerns about our religious freedom.
We consider ourselves patriots, model citizens and are both strong believers in democracy. We feel dismayed that, in a country founded in part by our forbears, who were fleeing religious persecution in England, there is not yet a ruling that supports our religious conviction.
Jordan Taylor and Mariana Garrettson
cc: President Barack Obama
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Kay Hagan
Representative David Price