Monday, April 9, 2012


A society that spends one half of its income tax revenues on warfare follows the path of Roman Empire plutocracy, not the way of Jesus.   He has conquered death by dying, and being raised up a hundredfold.  Train with swords guns and bombs to fight for the Kingdom?  Heap up an arsenal of Christian democracy?  This is heresy, teaching as Gospel truth, the opposite of what Jesus said and did.  And it takes the Word of God in vain.  God tells us in the life death and resurrection of the Son, to forgive even our executioners, pray for our persecutors.  “Put away the sword” even when threatened with death. 

We have invested our country so heavily in the ways of war that we’re destroying true charity that begins at home---an even chance to succeed for all, and providing for the needs of the poor.  War has become so much business as usual, that our leaders have started, and can’t really finish, two unnecessary unjust wars—Iraq and Afghanistan.  And, like it or not, the common citizen continues to pay for, and contribute to, this most misguided and wasteful bureaucracy of our national government—a military industry now run in tandem by private defense companies, and Pentagon generals.

As we watch an unprecedented amount of money poured into our present national political campaigns by all our profits-maximizing corporations, it’s time for a national examination of conscience.   What would Jesus do?  Heal the sick, or put the enemy to the sword?  Does my vote count?  Does my tax dollar matter?  To whom?  Am I rendering to Caesar what is his?  What’s left for the creative life-giving works of God?  Can we continue to praise the Lord as we pass the ammunition? [World War II song that I listened to on my mom’s little box phonograph*]  How high the munitions stockpile before we’re safe?  Can we still feed the hungry?  Let them eat bullets?
As we sit down to our IRS tax computations this year, we should have questions that return to the center.  How to be a patriotic citizen of the USA, the world community, and a faithful child of God’s kingdom?  May everyone be inspired to find new and better answers to replace this system that now promotes war and greed.

Tax Day can become the new popular Election Day.  Our 1040 used truthfully and openly becomes our new ballot.  Vote as the super-wealthy do [more so since the Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision]---with your dollars.  Design your own pie chart of extra-governmental tax distribution, not for self-interest, but for the common good.  Until one person one vote is re-established, withhold what the national government is misusing, let the IRS know, and direct that amount to a good community project.  This requires wisdom to develop, and time to implement, as a civil disobedience--with the help of friends and neighbors. So I recommend starting now, in work & prayer, looking ahead towards next year’s Tax Election Day.

Total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,650 billion
MILITARY: 54% and $1,449 billion
NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1,210 billion
Federal Income Tax spending --- 2009
Jesus doesn’t appear compelled by tax systems.  When He and Peter were asked to pay a tax, they had an interesting discussion that somewhat resonates with today’s 1% - 99% dichotomy.  Jesus indicates that the sons & daughters of God’s kingdom are free of such world kingdom taxes, and then casts off this small concession.  "But so that we may not offend them [Capernaum’s earnest tax collectors], go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." Mt 17:26

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  This world in arms in not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”  President Eisenhower “Cross of Iron” speech April 16, 1953

“The armaments race is to be condemned unreservedly. It is an act of aggression which amounts to a crime, for even when they are not used, by their cost alone, armaments kill the poor by causing them to starve.” --Vatican statement to the U.N., 1976

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."   Mother Theresa
                Speaking of abortion.  Rings true for war also.

 “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”-- composed by Frank Loesser, 1942

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