Environmentalists Against War
Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are

 

 

ACTION ALERT: Don't Pay for War! Support H. R. 1947


August 19, 2017
The Acton Network and World Beyond War

People who oppose war, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, must have the right to direct their tax dollars to peaceful initiatives and not to war or preparations for war. We ask you to ensure that tax laws respect this right of conscientious objection. H.R. 1947, the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017," would legalize conscientious tax refusal. If a citizen believes "Thou Shalt Not Kill," he or she should be should be able to argue "Thou Shalt Not Pay" for war and preparations for war.

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/people-who-oppose-war-must-not-be-compelled-to-pay-for-war

ACTION ALERT: NoWar2017 Conference,
September 22-24 in Washington, D.C.


BIOS AND PHOTOS OF WHO'S COMING.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT
DONATE TO HELP US MAKE THIS HAPPEN

On September 16, the Backbone Campaign is helping to launch a kayaktivist "peace flotilla" on the doorstep of the Pentagon. Rallies for racism are planned in Washington, D.C., on the same day. We need to turn out for peace. You can support us from land, bring your boat, or sign up for us to provide a boat for you. SIGN UP HERE.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Pay for War!
People Who Oppose War Must Not Be Compelled to Pay for War

The Acton Network and World Beyond War
How do you feel about paying
for war through your taxes?
Do you deeply object to being made
to participate in killing other people?
Would you rather see your money
spent on peace building initiatives?


(August 2017) -- The right of conscientious objection to war must include the right not to pay for other people to engage in war or preparations for war. Tax laws must be made to reflect this right. We will collect here signatures from around the world in support of this position. And we will update here, as you inform us of them, a list of proposed legislation and active organizations advancing this agenda.

Canada: Conscience Canada.
Germany: Netzwerk Friedenssteuer
United Kingdom: Conscience
United States:
Peace Tax Fund.
Past legislation in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, UK, and US

Conscience and Peace Tax International

CPTI is an international peace movement focused on "Taxes for peace not war," seeking to direct taxes away from preparation for war and towards peace building.

Our mission arises from the deep affront to our consciences that people are made to partici¬pate in war as combatants, civilian victims and through taxation. We are also moved by the common sense proposition that our taxes should be used to abolish war, not promote it.

The ethical principle of freedom of conscience, a moral imperative governing the behaviour of an individual, is central to the objectives and work of CPTI.
CPTI aims to win recognition of the right to con¬scientious objection to paying for armaments, war preparation and war conduct through taxes.

CPTI also supports the rights of conscientious objectors of all kinds and the worldwide recognition of human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English; in 438 languages).



ACTION:
Petition to the World's Governments


People who oppose war, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, must have the right to direct their tax dollars to peaceful initiatives and not to war or preparations for war. We ask you to ensure that tax laws respect this right of conscientious objection.

Sign here.


H. R. 1947

To affirm the religious freedom of taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war, to provide that the income, estate, or gift tax payments of such taxpayers be used for nonmilitary purposes, to create the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund to receive such tax payments, to improve revenue collection, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 5, 2017
Mr. Lewis of Georgia introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

A BILL
To affirm the religious freedom of taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war, to provide that the income, estate, or gift tax payments of such taxpayers be used for nonmilitary purposes, to create the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund to receive such tax payments, to improve revenue collection, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017".

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The free exercise of religion is an inalienable right, protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

(2) Congress reaffirmed this right in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, as amended in 1998, which prohibits the Federal Government from imposing a substantial burden on the free exercise of religion unless it demonstrates that a compelling government interest is achieved by the least restrictive means.

(3) Many people immigrated to America (including members of the Quaker, Mennonite, and Church of the Brethren faiths) to escape persecution for their refusal to participate in warfare, yet during the First World War hundreds of conscientious objectors were imprisoned in America for their beliefs. Some died while incarcerated as a result of mistreatment.

(4) During the Second World War, "alternative civilian service" was established in lieu of military service, by the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, to accommodate a wide spectrum of religious beliefs and practices. Subsequent case law also has expanded these exemptions, and has described this policy as one of ". . . long standing tradition in this country . . ." affording "the important value of reconciling individuality of belief with practical exigencies whenever possible.
It dates back to colonial times and has been perpetuated in State and Federal conscription statutes", and "has roots deeply embedded in history" (Welsh v. United States, 1970, Justice Harlan concurring). During and since the Second World War thousands of conscientious objectors provided essential staff for mental hospitals and volunteered as human test subjects for arduous medical experiments, and provided other service for the national health, safety and interest.

(5) Conscientious objectors have sought alternative service for their tax payments since that time. They request legal relief from government seizure of their homes, livestock, automobiles, and other property; and from having bank accounts attached, wages garnished, fines imposed, and imprisonment threatened, to compel them to violate their personal and religious convictions.

(6) Conscientious objection to participation in war in any form based upon moral, ethical, or religious beliefs is recognized in Federal law, with provision for alternative service; but no such provision exists for taxpayers who are conscientious objectors and who are compelled to participate in war through the payment of taxes to support military activities.

(7) The Joint Committee on Taxation has certified that a tax trust fund, providing for conscientious objector taxpayers to pay their full taxes for non-military purposes, would increase Federal revenues.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
(a) Designated Conscientious Objector. -- For purposes of this Act, the term "designated conscientious objector" means a taxpayer who is opposed to participation in war in any form based upon the taxpayer's sincerely held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs or training (within the meaning of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 456(j))), and who has certified these beliefs in writing to the Secretary of the Treasury in such form and manner as the Secretary provides.

(b) Military Purpose. -- For purposes of this Act, the term "military purpose" means any activity or program which any agency of the Government conducts, administers, or sponsors and which effects an augmentation of military forces or of defensive and offensive intelligence activities, or enhances the capability of any person or nation to wage war, including the appropriation of funds by the United States for --
(1) the Department of Defense;
(2) the intelligence community (as defined in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 104a(4));
(3) the Selective Service System;
(4) activities of the Department of Energy that have a military purpose;
(5) activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that have a military purpose;
(6) foreign military aid; and
(7) the training, supplying, or maintaining of military personnel, or the manufacture, construction, maintenance, or development of military weapons, installations, or strategies.

SEC. 4. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PEACE TAX FUND.
(a) Establishment. -- The Secretary of the Treasury shall establish an account in the Treasury of the United States to be known as the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund", for the deposit of income, gift, and estate taxes paid by or on behalf of taxpayers who are designated conscientious objectors. The method of deposit shall be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury in a manner that minimizes the cost to the Treasury and does not impose an undue burden on such taxpayers.

(b) Use Of Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund. -- Monies deposited in the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund shall be allocated annually to any appropriation not for a military purpose.

(c) Report. -- The Secretary of the Treasury shall report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate each year on the total amount transferred into the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund during the preceding fiscal year and the purposes for which such amount was allocated in such preceding fiscal year. Such report shall be printed in the Congressional Record upon receipt by the Committees. The privacy of individuals using the Fund shall be protected.

(d) Sense Of Congress. -- It is the sense of Congress that any increase in revenue to the Treasury resulting from the creation of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund shall be allocated in a manner consistent with the purposes of the Fund.

back

 

 

Stay Connected
Sign up to receive our weekly updates. We promise not to sell, trade or give away your email address.
Email Address:
Full Name:
 

 

Search Environmentalists Against War website

 

Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are