Why don’t I get to decide whether my taxes pay for war?

 

 

by Karen Topakian

Once upon a time in a land far far away, a group of civic-minded people of conscience decided that they couldn’t allow their hard earned tax dollars to be spent on war and destruction and violence and mayhem at home and abroad.

So these civic-minded people of conscience met with their good and smart elected representatives and drafted a bill. They called the bill the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill (H.R. 2085). If the good and smart members of their congress passed this bill, then people of conscience throughout the land could direct their tax dollars away from military spending into a non-military trust fund.

Every year this good and smart congress would then allocate these funds towards government activities and operations that were unrelated to military purposes. Purposes that promoted peace and peacemaking or protected our environment or defended our human and civil rights or supported the arts and education. Purposes that didn’t involve a gun or nuclear weapons or threats of harm to other sovereign nations.

One distinguished member of this congress of good and smart people introduced this bill onto the floor of the House. He was a civil rights leader from Georgia. A man who led the march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. across the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday.

Fourteen other good and smart members of this congress representing states from coast to coast joined this man of conscience to co-sponsor this bill.

But the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill is not the law of the land.

These civic-minded people of conscience can’t redirect their hard earned tax dollars away from war and destruction and violence and mayhem at home and abroad. So nobody lives happily ever after.

Not unless we all work to make this bill the law of our land.