by William Ruhaak, Pax Christi Illinois
Our government coerces and compels every person who pays federal income taxes to participate in the killing of human beings. For some of us, this becomes a moral dilemma. What can we do about paying taxes for war and the cost of preparations for war?
In an article entitled, “To Teach What Jesus Taught: A Call to Fidelity,” Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy writes:
“The issue of whether Jesus teaches by word and deed a Way to Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is settled. He does! All attempts today to justify violence from the life of Jesus or His teachings are devoid of spiritual and intellectual merit. That is not opinion, that is fact.”
When it comes to paying funds used for intentional violence, a moral decision can be simple, provided that you are willing to suffer the consequences.
I ask myself: When I pay my federal income taxes and that money is used to cause the death and suffering of others, am I morally responsible?
And my conscience answers: Yes, I am responsible.
If you also face this dilemma, then there is something that you can do. You can write a personal “Statement of Conscience” about paying for war, and then send a copy to me at this address:
c/o Sacred Heart Parish=
337 South Ottawa Street
Joliet, IL 60436