Mennonite Central Committee
In response to global violence, we call the church to . . . be steadfast in our refusal to participate in, train for, pay for, or profit from the use of military violence.
(From “And No One Shall Make Them Afraid:” A Mennonite Statement on Violence)
The Mennonite Church
Resolution on Military Tax Withholding
1. That the Mennonite Church General Board facilitate the church’s continued study of issues raised by taxation for military purposes. These issues include:
a. The church-state issues raised by the collection of taxes by church agencies, paying particular attention to our history, and the action of other groups within our faith family.
b. The payment of the military portion of taxes by individuals.
c. Church institutions responding to employees who, for the sake of conscience request that the military portion of their income taxes not be withheld/forwarded.
Proposed steps by which the Mennonite Church General Board would facilitate these studies are:
a. Preparing study materials related to the issue (gathered from historical committee, General Conference materials, etc.).
b. Planning for a consultation using these materials to which conference would be encouraged to send teams of persons who would, in turn, guide conference studies.
c. Gathering a sense of direction from the conferences that work at it for a report to Assembly 91.
2. That conferences and congregations be urged to provide financial and other support for the Peace Tax Fund options being proposed in both Canada and the United States. We call each household in the Mennonite Church to commit itself to a contribution of at least $5.00 to the Peace Tax Fund campaigns in Canada and the US as well as to write letters of support for the legislation to the appropriate elected officials. This effort will be coordinated by the Peace Staff person at MBCM.
3. That, in cases where members have a conscience against paying the portion of their income tax used for military purposes, and where they are now able to resist the collection of that part of their taxes, we encourage our congregations to be supportive by:
a. Studying the pertinent biblical texts and praying together.
b. Negotiating financial assistance to those required to pay penalties.
c. Participating with the resisters in the opportunity to witness to the authorities.
d. Sharing in the sorrow and joy of being misunderstood by other Christians as well as those exercising power over us.
4. That the Normal 89 General Assembly delegates (a) support the Mennonite General Board in establishing a policy that federal income taxes not be withheld from the wages of any of its employees who make this request because of conscientious objection to the use of their taxes for military purposes, and (b) support other church boards and agencies that may adopt similar policies.
(Adopted by the Mennonite Church General Assembly, August 3, 1989)
For more information, contact: Peace and Justice Committee, Mennonite Church, PO Box 173, Oroville, OH 44667-0173; firstname.lastname@example.org