“The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017,” House Resolution 1947, is a bill introduced by your colleague Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. I urge you to support and become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1947 because this important legislation supports and strengthens religious liberty in our country.
Across our country there are people who have their deepest religious, moral, and ethical beliefs challenged when they pay their annual income taxes. These people conscientiously object to participating in, preparing for, or financially supporting war. Their objection to participating in war holds a historically and legally unique place in our nation. The courts have affirmed these rights. It is recognized that objections to killing other human beings are of far greater moral magnitude than objections based only on political, social, or economic preferences. People of faith and conscience are no longer conscripted in a time of war as their religious liberty is protected.
However, when it comes to paying income taxes, their deeply held moral and ethical beliefs are challenged and their conscience is not protected. They believe the percentage of their income taxes spent for military purposes compromises their religious and individual liberty. Their income taxes are conscripted, thus violating their First Amendment rights.
H.R. 1947 does not exempt people from paying their income taxes. These taxpayers will still pay 100% of what they must pay. However, the percentage of their tax money spent for military purposes will go into a separate fund used for non-military purposes. H.R. 1947 will protect their constitutionally protected religious liberty, and enable them to pay their full incomes taxes without violating fundamental dictates of conscience.
Respecting the moral and ethical beliefs of conscientious Americans is consistent with the First Amendment and strengthens liberty for all. Please co-sponsor H.R. 1947, The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017. Thank you.