Monday, February 2, 2015


It’s the vigil of the main feast-day, January 15th, in this town.   Waiting, sitting, three hours in the central church for the 100 automobile procession through the mountains to arrive from Jolja, delayed by rain.   The mass for the coronation of Nuestro Senor de Tila has yet to begin, and will last another two hours plus, more than 5 hours total.   No one in the packed Sanctuario church leaves, except for seven or eight of the oldest, walking away disappointed, with their canes.  It’s surely the longest church visit of my life, and beautiful.     These following thoughts, along with the rosary, and prayer for my family and friends, fill some of the time -----

Yes, you must pay for the common good, but never obligated to pay for the corporate bad.  To pay into an unjust system that brings war death and suffering to so many, in the name of protecting our comfortable way of life, is social [communal] sin.  Our current U.S. federal taxes are also intrinsically unjust, favoring the rich in so many devious details.   How far away from these faithful people that sit around me here in this sacred Sanctuary, is the mountain of money sat on by the international super rich.

Even your charitable contributions—are factored out for most of us.  You must be relatively rich to get credit for giving to the poor.  Unless one has many professional expenses and qualifying deductible for interest paid on large debts, and capital depreciations, IRS Schedule A & B says your charity doesn’t count.   Even though the poor and middle class are as charitable percent wise, or more so than the rich, our system ignores their gift.  In the U.S. gambling and instantaneous financial speculation in stock market and foreign currency exchange are much more rewarded, than kindness to our neighbors.

Pay taxes, but for real needs, not to those that rob and kill the poor to give excess to the rich. 
Here in Tila we’re surrounded by poverty, and faith.

ow back home in Port Huron, MI USA, as April 15th slowly approaches -----

Lord, help us in our country, land of the free, take the IRS risk of re-directing our federal income tax dollars—to help end injustice at home and abroad, encourage creative work, turning away from war towards peaceful purpose.

Martin Luther King has said that an unjust law is no law at all.  Isn’t cooperating with a system which routinely exploits the poor worldwide, and favors the powerful, a cooperation with evil?  [We keep talking about winding down our wars, but nearly 50% of our federal income tax money still goes to the military’s war-making and preparedness] How long will we wait for the powerful to give us back a balanced, grass-roots democratic system {unshackled from billionaire manipulators} which meets all people’s needs, and rejects the violent domination of war machines?   Vote for peace and charitable justice now, openly, with civil disobedience tax dollars.   {On how, & risks, visit the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee }.

“Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people,” Dr. King said.   The people of Tila are embracing this courage, out of years of “low intensity” war in their part of Chiapas, Mexico, a war that was partially maintained 30-35 years ago by our tax money.  They’ve prayed for healing grace this Jan 15, and are on the path of reconciliation and peace.  May we also pray, and take courageous steps to embrace our all being members of the same church, followers of the Lord Jesus, seen in this part of Chiapas as Nuestro Senor de Tila, who enjoins us everywhere to, “love your enemies, pray for them who persecute you.”  “Put away the sword.”
Mexican soldiers of low intensity warfare - still present in Chiapas

We are considering a number of small charitable projects in partnership with the parish of San Mateo, Tila to continue with them on the path for justice.  More on these later.

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

Click on image--enlarges most of them.

See video [first effort] of our local group in front of the St. Clair Co. Courthouse, July 4, 2013, urging us all to take steps to convert from unjust war taxes--from war tax to peace tax.  Thanks to, and prayers for, Sandy Quintano, the videographer now deceased, for her years of courageous persistent service to the cause of peace.


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