Paul’s Perambulations

April 5, 2007

NPR interview on not paying taxes for war

Filed under: Peace — admin @ 10:31 pm

I was recently interviewed about my war tax resistance for a JusticeTalking episode on NPR. I had initially questioned my role in doing this interview, because I  felt that the heroic actions of some of my friends represented a more powerful message than my own civil disobedience with the IRS via war tax resistance.  I came to the conclusion that this was an opportunity for me to be “everyman” and to present my experiences in such a way that war tax resistance could be understood as something everyone should think about and that anyone could do.  This might sound like WTRlite, but this particular program is directed to listeners who likely have no knowledge of WTR and no expectation that the topic would arise in this context.

For example, when Margot Adler asked if I was a Quaker, I confirmed that I was, but emphasized that most war tax resisters were not Quakers, and that this was an issue that concerned many different people. For me to have been identified simply as a Quaker would have tended to marginalize the issue to “those Quakers.”

Perhaps I should have expanded on my response when Margot asked if I was afraid of the IRS (particularly seeing that I was speaking so publicly).  I replied, without any hesitation “Margot, I am not afraid.”  If I am following my conscience, and doing what I must do to be myself and to have any integrity, being afraid is hardly the issue.  It would be much worse, if not nearly impossible, to act otherwise.

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