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Quakers Unsuccessfully Fight the Government Citing "Religious Hardship"

Many Quakers have repeatedly refused to pay a certain portion of the federal income taxes that is used to fund the military. Their argument is that it violates their religious beliefs. Yet when two Quaker families were recently faced with back taxes, they agreed to pay them but not the late fees and penalties that IRS is charging them with.

Gordon and Edith Browne from New England and Priscilla L. Adams from Philadelphia, both had their cases ruled on in the Supreme Court on January 16th, 2001. The ruling upheld the rulings given by judges before them that said the Brownes and Ms. Adams had to pay the late fees and penalties. There argument for "Religious Hardship" was not valid. According to a federal court’s decision in 1982, taxpayers cannot be allowed to adjudicate which parts of the government receive the money and which don’t.

Both of these families like many other Quakers find it against their religious beliefs to fund the military. One of their main beliefs, the one that has remained constant throughout the many wars that United States has fought, is their refusal to use "outward" weapons in "outward" wars. They believe that peace lies within and it will prevail in the end. Obviously the U.S. government and IRS don’t feel this way. Every Citizen of this nation has a responsibility of protecting it against foreign aggression. In this day and age when technology is changing faster than the time on your wrist watch, more and more money needs to be spent on acquiring and developing military technology that is not only on par with other superpowers in the world but better.

In the end, the Brownes and Ms. Adams will have to pay not only their back taxes but also the fees and penalties that have accumulated over the years since they last started holding back a piece of their federal income tax that they judged would go to support for the military and the warfare. They may have been more successful had they refused to pay not only the fees and the penalties but also the back taxes. And their argument for "Religious Hardship" would have been stronger for they would have taken a full stand against the IRS on this issue, not a partial one.