[Sayma-Discuss] [afmdiscussion] Tax Protest

Julia Ewen jewen at bellsouth.net
Mon Sep 8 11:38:45 UTC 2014

A Friend has asked what point I intended to make here.  I thought it was obvious, but to clarify: 

The Jehovah’s Witness issue didn’t cost anyone any money if the child did not say the pledge. Therefore supporting her claim was “cheap grace” so to speak for those politicians who supported it. 


If Catholics, et al, have their right not to buy health insurance for nonmembers of their faith as well as members of their faith  because they would be paying for abortions and contraceptions, which they regard as destruction of life, then we ought to have the right to refuse to buy the means of war for non-Quakers to use  to kill people, against our conscience. What the Catholics  et al want to do does not directly affect the government’s revenue stream and is politically popular with conservatives in the GOP and   also throws one more set of tacks under the Tires of Affordable Health Care. So it has support in Congress. Most affected women will go ahead and get private insurance to cover these things or fund it themselves. But it will not cost money for politicians to back it.


Our refusal of war taxes, if allowed, would open the gate for ANYBODY to claim conscience didn’t permit them to pay the 40 percent or more of income taxes earmarked for war related matters. If many or most taxpayers tried to do that, the revenue stream would take a huge bite. The government could not  afford it and would have to spend lots of time and money either disproving people’s claims or process people’s proofs of claims, and that prospect would not be acceptable to either party of Congress. Yes, many people feel it is patriotic to pay for military spending, but the main American religion these days seems to be the Church of the Bottom Line and their creed is  “what’s in it for me?” There would be a lot of insincere claimants simply to get the tax exemption, declaring “ I saw the Light”!



Those of us who worked with the draft issue back in the 60’s know that sorting out the sincere objectors from the objectors of convenience took up a significant amount of draft board time and attention. The insincere claimants made things  tougher for sincere pacifists. Many Friends did not appreciate that!  Though a significant number of secular anti war workers felt like  anybody objecting for any reason slowed down the war and they encouraged the fakers.  Meetings and individual Friends were divided on this problem. I think most Friends wanted the sincere objectors recognized and wanted the insincere to  become sincere.  They hoped those who started out faking would eventually come to believe that war was not the answer.  The same sort of moral practical implementation issues would occur if war tax resistance became a recognized legitimate tax exemption. 


But the short answer is, if you want to know why someone in politics/government  is for or against something, “follow the money”. It will usuallyu tell you who’s doing what and why and for whom.


There, that should clarify the already obvious. For what it’s worth.   I liked my first SHORT comment much better. 


Julia Ewen



From: Julia Ewen [mailto:jewen at bellsouth.net] 
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2014 3:24 PM
To: 'Perry'; 'sayma-discuss at kitenet.net'; 'afmdiscussion groups'; 'forum at friendsjournal.org'
Subject: RE: [afmdiscussion] Tax Protest


When the Catholics and fundamentalists joined forces to refuse to pay for women’s reproductive health care in their insurance policies, on grounds of conscience and religious freedom, I called up Rep. Hank Johnson’s office and  said that fair is fair. If they get to refuse to put their money into a health program as required by law, then I and other Quakers ought to be exempted from paying the portion of income tax that goes to war expenditures, on the grounds that OUR religious principles require us to refuse to participate in paying for wars past, present or future.  However, I said, even if I got you to sponsor such a measure it would never pass. It wouldn’t take the public long to figure out that by being a pacifist  you got a 40 percent or more discount on your income tax, and it would make your head swim how fast and how many the “conversions” would be! The revenue loss to the government would be staggering!  So neither party  would ever let it happen. J  Julia Ewen

From: afmdiscussion at yahoogroups.com [mailto:afmdiscussion at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Perry perryt at bellsouth.net [afmdiscussion]
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2014 1:55 PM
To: sayma-discuss at kitenet.net; afmdiscussion groups; forum at friendsjournal.orgalSubject: [afmdiscussion] Tax Protest



Tax Protest                                    September 7, 2014
    An obituary in the NY Times recently headlined a 10-year-old girl’s refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance in 1935 and its consequences. She was thrown out of school and shunned. Her refusal as a Jehovah’s Witness went to the Supreme Court twice finally upholding her First Amendment right of free speech. Which brings me to my right of free speech? Since the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can contribute money for political means as a free speech right, shouldn’t I, as a Quaker, have the right to refuse to pay that portion of my income tax that goes for war based on religious grounds? Perry Treadwell, a war tax refuser for 40 years
health program


"Our life is love and peace and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another:and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another; and helping one another up with a tender hand." Issac Pennington,1828



Posted by: Perry <perryt at bellsouth.net> 


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