- February 27th, 2012
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The U.S. has spent more than $700 billion on defense in the past year, the same year in which 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty. There are two ways people of faith can advocate to change this disturbing reality. First, as Ron Sider describes in his latest book, Fixing the Moral Deficit, we must call for major cuts in defense spending (Sider recommends a ten percent cut, compared to President Obama’s recent one percent cut).
Second, we can consider withholding a percentage of taxes to symbolically resist military spending. This exercise of religious liberty requires courage, an understanding of the potential risks, and a strong commitment to peace building.
The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund a D.C.-based nonprofit organization, has worked for decades to request that Congress extend conscientious objector status to taxpayers, allowing them to divert their income, gift, and estate taxes into a trust fund for non-military purposes only. Congress has been reluctant thus far to consider the bill, citing the potential risk to national security this measure could pose. Yet support for the measure remains. Almost one year ago, on March 17, 2011, representative John Lewis of Georgia, along with five cosponsors, reintroduced the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill to the House. If adopted, the bill would allow U.S. citizens who oppose war to have their taxes used for nonmilitary purposes. Evangelicals for Social Action and PCPJ support this effort, and we hope you will to.
Tell Congress you support the Peace Tax Fund today!