Don Schrader

| Letters

Written as a letter to the editor of the Daily Lobo

Dear Editor,

When would it be right for an enemy nation to murder your family?

If never, how can it be right for the United States to murder the families of people in our enemy nations?

Would I, as an openly gay man, fight to be accepted into the mafia? Would I, as an openly gay man, fight to be accepted into a violent street gang? Would I, as an openly gay man, fight to be accepted into a band of drug dealers or bank robbers?

The U.S. military has murdered far more people than all the bank robbers, drug dealers, street gangs and mafia combined!

I know of no street gang, no mafia that pays a preacher to ease their consciences and to pray with them for God’s help in slaughtering their enemies, but the U.S. military does — paid chaplains in U.S. military uniforms.

Governments lie! Especially in time of war, all governments lie!

Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, said “If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army.”

Henry David Thoreau said “How impossible it is to give that soldier a good education, without first making him virtually a deserter … His natural foe is the government that drills him.”

I oppose all war! Forty-five years ago I began two years of non-military community service under the draft driving the Vietnam War. First in Arizona and then in Albuquerque — that is how I first moved here in 1970. I refused to go murder people in Vietnam.

I oppose all war, so for me to pay federal income tax to train other Americans, largely people of color and of low income, to become professional hired killers to murder on command with no conscience would be more evil than being a soldier myself.

How much good is it to pray, hope and march for peace if we pay for war?

Secretary of State Haig, under Reagan, said about the anti-war protesters, “Let them demonstrate all they want as long as they pay their taxes.”

Half of the federal income tax goes for U.S. wars — past, present and future.

If your tax dollars burned homes and killed families on your street, would you pay? Are neighbors abroad less human, less precious than neighbors on our street?

I have paid no federal income tax for 35 years. I refuse to pay to murder moms, dads and children in many nations.


Don Schrader
Albuquerque, New Mexico