Annotated Bibliography on War Tax Witness by Rosa Covington Packard

Prepared for a talk at Friends General Conference, July 2000

Most of these writings became available in the last twelve years after the publication of The Handbook on Military Taxes and Conscience, listed below, which has a fine bibliography on war tax witness to which this is a personal supplement.

Linda Coffin, editor. Handbook on Military Taxes and Conscience, Philadelphia: Friends Committee on War Tax Concerns (sponsored by Friends World Committee on Consultation), 1988.

Currently available without charge from the War Tax Concerns Committee of New York Yearly Meeting. A comprehensive look at Quaker war tax witness with chapters by various authors: on biblical context, Quaker history, testimony of Churches, international responses, legal options and consequences, spiritual leadings, the search for legislative accommodation, and personal and corporate experiences of tax witness. The book was published by a committee under the care of Friends World Committee on Consultation during the time that Gordon Browne was clerk. The editor, Linda Coffin had been for a number of years a staff member of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Wallace Collett, formerly chairperson of the American Friends Service Committee, was clerk of the Friends Committee on War Tax Concerns.

Chel Avery. Peace and Taxes...God and Country: A Guide for Seeking Clearness on War Tax Concerns, Philadelphia: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1990.

A member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's War Tax Concerns Committee provides concrete advice for Meetings and individuals on the spiritual discipline of clearness committees that allows the individual to test their conscience and the meeting to discern and support tax witness as particular expression of the Quaker Peace Testimony.

Martha Paxson Grundy. Tall Poppies: Supporting Gifts of Ministry and Eldering in the Monthly Meeting. Wallingford, Pa: Pendle Hill Pamphlet 347, 2000.

A helpful and concise exploration of the traditions and dilemmas facing Friends called to vocal and pastoral ministry and to the ministry of furthering concerns. The relationship of the Monthly Meeting to the individual member led to ministry is the focus of the pamphlet. Recognizing, recording, financing and receiving gifts are discussed. Approaches developed by Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and New York Yearly Meeting were resources.

Elaine J. Crauderueff. War Taxes : Experiences of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Quakers through the American Revolution, Wallingford, Pennsylvania: Pendle Hill Pamphlet 286, 1989.

This is a 38 page summary of her Masters thesis at Villanova in 1986. Elaine Crauderueff presents a diversity of Friends perspectives on war taxes that mirror issues that continue to test Friends in the twenty-first century. The concluding queries are useful for Monthly Meeting study.

Howard W. Brinton. The Peace Testimony of the Society of Friends, Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1966.

This is still a timely, concise, articulate treatment of the spiritual basis and the history of Friends Peace Testimony and its necessary unity with other Friends Testimonies. The passages specifically on war taxes( pages 8 and 9) quote journals of John Woolman, Joshua Evans and Job Scott’ that address their refusal to pay for the Friends and Indian War and the Revolutionary war. Brinton notes the refusal of many Friends to buy Liberty Bonds in the first World War. He describes the frequent discipline among Friends of self taxing to support efforts to heal from war and to avoid war when not able to refuse taxes in the mix. Also helpful is a reprint of Brinton's Pendle Hill pamphlet #27: Sources of the Quaker Peace Testimony which is drawn from an address he gave in 1940.

Jim Corbett. Goatwalking: A Guide to Wildland Land. A Quest for the Peaceable Kingdom, New York: Viking Penguin, 1991.

Civil initiative is the name that Corbett, the Quaker founder of the Sanctuary Movement, gives to his understanding of nonviolent response. Civil initiative has deeper spiritual insight than Thoreau's civil disobedience and clearer cultural relevance to the United States than Gandhi's satyagraha. Corbett asserts the duty of the individual to obey the law when the government defiles the law by calling illegal acts legal. He places the fundamental root of the law in spiritual experience. As a goat tender in the Arizona desert he experienced the deep meaning of the Jewish experience of Exodus and this prepared him to assist refugees from Central American in their flight to Canada. His Quaker commitment to helping those in need on any side of the conflict and to maintaining the rule of law without consenting to illegal law separated him from other activists protesting the Central American civil wars. Arrested and tried with other Sanctuary leaders, the US government was unable to shake Corbett's position. Corbett enlightens, enlivens and deepens the Quaker Peace Testimony.

Walter Wink. The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium, New York: Doubleday, 1998.

An excellent explanation of the Biblical understanding of nonviolence, which the institutional church has often turned upside down. This short, readable book summarizes Wink's three volume scholarly work: Naming the PowersUnmasking the Powers, and Engaging the Powers. Wink teaches at Auburn Theological Seminary and has been active in the civil rights movement, against apartheid and other social justice concerns. He coedits a feature, Nonviolence in the Arena for the Fellowship of Reconciliation's magazine, Fellowship.. Wink explains the cultural setting of the active, creative and responsible responses to oppression that Jesus lived and taught. He understands all of us, institutions and individuals, are good, are fallen and that we must be transformed. He advises that neglecting any of these three aspects of our spiritual life increases the violence of principalities and powers.

Marian Franz. Questions That Refuse To Go Away, Herald Press, 1991.

Franz holds a Masters degree from Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Chicago. She has been the executive director of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund for many years. She ministers to the members of Congress that she visits on behalf of conscientious objectors to war taxes. Her regular articles in the newsletter of the Campaign are valuable resources. Recently she has completed a paper describing the US court cases that have made legislative accommodation of conscientious objection to paying for war so necessary. This short book is suitable for Christian congregational study. She asks who is Lord? God or Caesar? Christ or Hitler? Military strength or trust in power of the Divine Creator? She discusses the three positions of the institutional Christian church on war: the holy war, the just war and Christian pacifism. The Christian pacifist is not passive, assumes risks and costly responsibility. Chapter 11, What Belongs to Caesar gives the context of the oft quoted response of Jesus Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar and unto God that which is God's. The question Jesus answered was designed to trap him into a treasonable response. The coin in the story, the denarius, was minted for tax purposes only and had the image of Caesar graven upon it with inscriptions and symbols attributing divinity to Caesar. Jews understood that the first and second commandments were violated by possession of the coin. Luke (23:1-2) reports that Jesus was led off to Pilate and accused We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king. The crucifixion followed. Later, when many Christians refused both military service and taxes for Caesar's wars, they died as martyrs.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Little, Brown and Company, 1995.

Grossman is a military psychologist who understands that the natural condition of human is not violence but conscientious objection to violence. A military psychologist who has taught at West Point, he asserts that the purpose of military training is to train people out of the natural condition of conscientious objection so that they will kill. He observes that we live in a culture that has adopted the methods of military training as a cultural pattern. While believing in the necessity of having a military, he warns against the violent social consequences of a militarized society, especially affecting children. He notices that our culture educates us in violence through the military training methods of enemy demonization, desensitization to suffering, distancing from personal responsibility for harming others, brutalization and automatic target accuracy gained through video and computer games.

Maria Montessori. Education and Peace, Chicago: Henry Regnery; first published in 1949. Translated by A.M. Joosten and Mario M. Montessori .

Individual conscience emerges in early childhood and is the key to ending war. The child's inner guide or conscience is often oppressed by traditional education that supports a war mentality. Montessori speaks of the widespread abuse of children and the psychological need of adults to deny that abuse. Her insights, can help us address the roots of violence in the human condition, the world over. Montessori believes, the oppression that underlies all the other oppressions and injustices is the oppression of all children. Other books by Montessori and the organization of her classrooms and curriculum give help to encouraging the inwardly guided development of the child within a caring community. Her approach to education is experimented with in many cultures. She worked not only in the West but for many years in India, including cooperating with Gandhi in developing a school for untouchables to prove that they were indeed as capable as children from other castes.

Alice Miller. For Your Own Good; Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, New York: Farrar Straus, 1983.

Translated by Hildegard and Hunter Hannum. Miller, a Swiss teaching psychoanalyst and writer, delineates the effects of traditional childrearing methods on almost all of us; decent people who were once beaten. She gives three case studies of extreme examples of poisonous pedagogy. the childhoods of a heroin addict, Christiane F.; a genocidal dictator, Adolf Hitler; and a murderer of young boys, Jurgen Bartsch. Her quest was to discover how her people could have allowed Hitler to be in power. She discovered the path of art to be healing.

Michael True. An Energy Field More Intense than War: The Nonviolent Tradition and American Literature, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1995.

Michael True, a Quaker and a leading peace studies scholar, emphasizes the power of the written word to influence social change. In a chronological approach from colonial times to the present day, he affirms pacifist experience and stimulates the desire to learn more about this underreported aspect of American history. The book is well threaded with Quaker references and with mention of war tax witness. He quotes William Stafford, conscientious objector and poet: You didn't want to give it but they took your money for those lethal tanks and the bombs....Which bombs did you buy for the death rain that fell? Which years taxes put that fire to the town where the screaming began. (Entering History). Michael True celebrates poets and other writers and artists.

Peter Brock. The Quaker Peace Testimony : 1660 to 1914, York, England:, Sessions Book Trust, 1990.

Brock describes the experience of English, Canadian, American, Irish, French, Prussian, Norwegian, and Australian and New Zealand Friends A chapter is devoted to war tax witness. The Canadian author is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Toronto and was a conscientious objector in the Second World War. He is a leading international scholar of conscientious objection. Other books by Brock look at the experience of conscientious objection in other times and faith positions. The most recent is Peter Brock and Nigel Young. Pacifism in the Twentieth Century, University of Toronto Press (printer) Syracuse University Press (distributor), February, 1999.

Staughton Lynd and Alice Lynd, editors. Nonviolence in America : A Documentary History, Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1998.

Source materials that address war tax witness are found in John Woolman page 6-8, Henry David Thoreau 21-38, Maurice McCrackin 175-77, and Adin Ballou: p17-21.

Dorothy Sterling. Abby Kelley and The Politics of Antislavery, New York: WW Norton, 1991.

Abby Kelley, a pioneer organizer and lecturer in the antebellum arena of women's rights, the abolition of slavery, and nonviolence. Abbey Kelley was a Quaker who with her husband Stephen Foster refused to pay taxes until women were allowed the right to vote. Dorothy Sterling's biography restores Abby Kelley to her rightful place of pioneer ground breaker in the nonviolent tradition of social change, long hidden by the male and military bias of historians. This nineteenth century movement was filled with articulation of religious belief and philosophical thought, courageous and original leadership, strategies of change and patterns of witness that still influence the present day. The information about the influence of Quakers and the controversies among Quakers is instructive.

Herbert Mayer. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, New York: Saint Martins Press, 1998.

A more male-centered version of the nineteenth century nonviolence movement, making clear the connection between the development of religiously and morally based nonviolent social change methods to end slavery and achieve women's rights. This intriguing biography introduces us to the many people who in this period developed methods and wrote literature that later influenced Tolstoy and Gandhi. It helps correct the stereotypes of Garrison formed by later historians who did not understand the religious basis of Garrison's thought and action and gives a good introduction to the perennial diverse positions that tend to reoccur in nonviolent witness. The title is drawn from Garrison's response to Samuel May that he was all on fire because he had a mountain of ice to melt. Again, the information about the influence of Quakers and the controversies among Quakers are instructive.

Chuck Fager, editor. Friends in Civilian Public Service: Quaker Conscientious Objectors in World War II Look Back and Look Ahead, Wallingford Pa : Pendle Hill, 1996.

In the context of a conference, that began Pendle Hill's contribution to documenting the Quaker Peace Testimony in recent history, Rosa Packard comments (pages 282-285) on tax witness as a way for conscientious objectors of both sexes and all ages to engage the discipline in the present time.

Rachel Goosen. Women and the Good War; Conscientious Objection and Gender on the American Home Front 1941-1947, University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

A ground-breaking book on the role of women in conscientious objection by a Mennonite scholar who understood herself as a conscientious objector during the early nineteen eighties when the US Congress was considering requiring women to register for the draft. Women were conscientious objectors in their own right even in World War II.

Rachel Avery Harrison. Gender and Conscientious Objection, unpublished manuscript.

A Quaker intern for the years 1998 -2000 at the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, explores her understanding of the role of the military in distancing men and women from each other and of the opportunity in the movement of conscientious objection to taxes for them to rediscover their unity.

Congressional Record. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, second session on H.R. 1870 United States Peace Tax Fund ActMay 21 1992, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1992.

The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill has been revised since this version.

John Lewis with Michael D'Orso. Walking With the Wind, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998.

An inspiring autobiography by the lead cosponsor in the US House of Representatives of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill. The author, now Representative from Georgia, was president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil rights movement and was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. See. H.R. 1474 introduced into Congress April 15, 1999. This bill introduced into Congress for over twenty five years has been revised several times. The current version and its status in Congress is available on line at

David Bassett.Richmond, Indiana: Quaker Life, April 1997

A personal account by the lead founder of the movement for a Peace Tax Fund Bill. David Bassett is a member of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting and active on the boards of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund and Peace Tax Foundation. He is also a founding member of Conscience and Peace Tax International, an international NGO representing peace tax movements in sixteen countries with ECOSOC status at the United Nations. David Bassett has attended their seven international biannual conferences and has helped to organized the eighth one to be held in Washington, DC July 2000.

Spencer Coxe, Edward Snyder, Joe Volk, Richard N. Reichley, Silas Weeks, Ben Tousely, Bruce Hawkins, Thoreau Raymond, Rosa Packard, Mary Moulton. Letters to the Editor concerning the Peace Tax Movement, Philadelphia: Friends Journal December 1999 and March and April 2000

Spencer Coxe. Rosa Packard. Letters to the Editor, Richmond, Indiana: Quaker Life January/February 2000

Irene Allen. Quaker Testimony: An Elizabeth Elliot Mystery, New York: Saint Martins, 1996.

The detective is clerk of Cambridge Friends Meeting. The victim is a war tax resister, and member of the meeting. Each chapter is preceded by a Quaker quotation relating to war tax witness. The characters and the issues that the Quaker author weaves into her mystery are a change from the usual mystery story pattern.

Ben Richmond. J.E. McNeil A Skeptical Advocate for Peace, Richmond, Indiana: Quaker Life, December 1999 .

Ben Richmond, editor of Quaker Life, a publication of Friends United Meeting, is on the board of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund and is a war tax refuser himself. Friends United Meeting has for a number of years maintained an escrow account for war tax witness. J.E. McNeil is a Quaker tax lawyer who is currently director of the Center on Conscience and War (NISBCO) and was the attorney for Gordon and Edith Browne's legal appeal for recognition of rights for conscientious objectors to paying for war. See also J.E. MacNeil and Barnaby Zall, attorneys: Petition for Certiorari: Browne vs. the United States.

John T. Noonan Jr. The Lustre of Our Country: The American Experience of Religious Freedom, University of California Press, 1999.

Noonan is a Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A Jesuit educated Catholic raised in Boston, Noonan offers a series of essays, each written in different literary styles, on the US Courts' interpretation of the first amendment. He sees religious freedom as a central contribution of American culture to the world, despite problematic interpretation by the courts. In the chapter Durkheim's Dilemma he examines the tension between religion as worship of the transcendent and religion as society's creation. He thinks both are true. He points out that the courts have held three aspects of our society sacred as an expression of our national religion, These are taxation, military power and the judiciary. The courts hold these superior to the claims of conscience. Exceptions are seen by the courts not as a matter of right but as a matter of legislative grace. Noonan considers with hoped for changes are possible only by prophetic crusades of conscience such as the civil rights movement.

Peter Goldberger. Conscience, Citizenship, and the Road Ahead Friends and The Vietnam War: Papers and Presentations from a Gathering for Recollection, Reappraisal and Looking Ahead Chuck Fager editor, Wallingford Pa: Pendle Hill, 1998.

Goldberger is a Philadelphia lawyer who has represented many Quaker conscientious objectors, including Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. He is General Counsel for the Central Committee for Conscientious Objection. He reflects on the legal context of conscientious objection in the United States. See also his briefs and audio tapes of oral arguments before the appellate courts in the cases of Priscilla Adams, and Rosa Packard.

Marjorie Kornhauser. For God and Country: Taxing Conscience, Madison. Wisconsin: Wisconsin Law Review Volume 1999 Number 5, 1999.

Kornhauser published her 70 page treatise on the three Quaker test cases (Priscilla Adams vs. the United States, Gordon and Edith Browne vs. the United States and Rosa Packard vs. the United States) just before all three cases were denied certiorari by the United States Supreme Court in early 2000. Kornhauser reviews the legislative and judicial history of war tax witness in the United States and favors the passage of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund bill. The author is law professor at Tulane Law School.

William Durland. The Illegality of Nuclear War: Colorado Springs: The National Center on Law and Pacifism, 1983 and People Pay For Peace : A Military Tax Refusal Guide for Radical Religious Pacifists and People of Conscience. Colorado Springs: Center Peace Publishers, 1984.

William Durland is an attorney and theologian, who represented conscientious objectors to paying for war before the US Supreme Court. He has been on faculty at Pendle Hill. He articulates the legal and religious reasons for war tax refusal and witness that the courts have ignored.

Peter Irons. The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans who fought their way to the Supreme Court, Penguin Books, 1990.

The author is an attorney who was jailed for draft refusal in the Vietnam era. One of the sixteen is Dan Seeger, whose case established a broader applicability of conscientious objector status.

See also Peter Irons. May It Please the Court The First Amendment, The New Press, 1997.

None of these cases deal with the free exercise clause of the first amendment but the book comes with tapes of free speech and separation of church and state issues being presented before the Supreme Court in oral argument. A good education in the law of the first amendment, its human component, its limitations and its glories. The author was imprisoned during the Vietnam War era for principled draft refusal.


Richard Bazelon, attorney for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting: Amicus Brief for the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Priscilla Adams vs. the United States Available on line at

Peter Goldberger and James Feldman, attorneys: Petition for Certiorari: Packard vs. the United States, Appendix contains text of Religious Freedom Restoration Act and of the Decision to Dismiss in the Federal Court. Available on line here

Fred Dettmer attorney for New York Yearly Meeting: Amicus Brief For Second Circuit Court of Appeals Packard vs. the United Statesand Amicus Brief for the Supreme Court of the United States Packard vs. the United States

Available on line here

Purchase Quarterly Meeting Peace Tax Escrow Account: Available on line here

This website has links to the websites of Conscience and Peace Tax International and the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund.

Annotated Bibliography On War Tax Witness Rosa Covington Packard 5/22/2000