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On April 5th, 2017, Civil Rights figure and Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5) proposed H.R. 1947, or the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017. The purpose of this bill is “to affirm the religious freedom of taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war, to provide that the income, estate, or gift tax payments of such tax payers be used for nonmilitary purposes, to create the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund to receive such tax payments, to improve revenue collection, and for other purposes.”
This bill ultimately reaffirms the rights of conscientious objectors to war so that they not only are under no obligation to fight wars for the State, but they are also under no obligation to fund such wars. Although this bill is specifically designated as a bill to promote religious freedom, Conscientious Objector is defined as “a taxpayer who is opposed to participation in war in any form based upon the taxpayer’s sincerely held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs or training.”
If this bill passes, the tax dollars of Conscientious Objectors will not go to the Department of Defense, any member of the intelligence community, parts of the Department of Energy “that have a military purpose,” The Selective Service System, any NASA activities with military purpose, or the “training, supplying, or maintaining of military personnel, or the manufacture, construction, maintenance, or development of military weapons, installations, or strategies.”
In order to ensure this, the bill designates the Secretary of the Treasury to establish an account called the “Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund.” Funds from this account cannot go to purposes designated above.
This is among the best bills I have seen in my lifetime. Along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act, this bill is a remarkably good thing a Democrat has done in office. If only they could universalize this principle.
In a libertarian society, you would decide what contracts you sign, and therefore what you fund with your time and money. By allowing people to opt out of funding wars, Congressman Lewis is (perhaps unknowingly) giving the people a taste of what it’s like to be free to choose. Perhaps this taste will give people the desire for more freedom. Perhaps this bill will show that society can indeed function without centralized planning.
I mean it when I say I support principle over party. I don’t care that a Democrat wrote this bill; were I in Congress, I would co-sponsor this bill. It’s a truly remarkable opportunity to give society a taste of freedom and it would be an absolutely devastating blow to the Military Industrial Complex and the Deep State. I endorse this bill, and I hope you will too. Follow and read the bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1947/titles