Imagine what would happen if a massive popular movement of ordinary Americans decided to voice their concern about military spending – by withholding $10.40 from their 1040 tax forms this year? A simple, small, symbolic, but concrete gesture of protest to the $200,000 dollars a minute being spent on militarism while programs that support life go bankrupt.
A few months ago I gathered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with hundreds and hundreds of church leaders to ponder such a thing, and to launch a little project called 1040 For Peace. Many of the folks in attendance were from the Anabaptist "peace church" tradition of Christianity. Mennonites and Brethren, like the Amish, come from the Anabaptist movement, tracing back to the radical reformation of the 16th century. They, along with the Quakers, are known for their commitment to peace, a simple way of life, and for their suspicion of power. They also have a history of war-tax resistance.
Money has power. And so withholding money has power ...1