For many years I have refused to pay a portion of my federal income tax because of conscientious objection to paying for killing in war. I instead pay the refused amount to an organization that supports peaceful activites such as UNICEF. My employer withholds most of the taxes that I owe, but I make certain that I always owe something at the end of the year. Fran and I have filed a joint tax return since our marriage in 2005, and she likewise refuses to pay a portion of our federal tax. We send a letter to the IRS with our tax return explaining the reason that the full amount was not paid. Click here to read the letter.

I also refuse and redirect the federal tax on our home phone bill. This tax (3%) has recently been removed from the long distance portion of the phone bill, but it is still charged for the local service component. The phone company is not legally empowered to disconnect your phone service if the tax is unpaid. That is because the legal issue is between you and the government, not you and the phone company. Much of the value of this “holy obedience to conscience” comes from explaining my reasons for refusing payment to phone company employees, when you need to straighten out the billing. They are usually interested and understanding of this witness. Of course, it is still civil disobedience and the government does not look kindly on it. But it is better to live according to conscience than according to government, whenever such a conflict exists. I can be sure that the refused tax money is going to life-affirming purposes and none of it toward war and preparations for war.

Peace Dove     There is no WAY to peace. Peace IS the way.