Affirming Peacemaking as it Relates to the Peace Tax (U.S.)/Peace Trust (Canada) (General Conference Mennonite Church, 1995)
Whereas "We believe that peace is the will of God ...Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance even in the face of violence and warfare," (from Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, Article 22, first paragraph);
Whereas our history as a people of peace is made evident in our work in the following areas: relief and development efforts, peacemaking, conciliation and mediation, and direct witness to government with evident results, (for example Conscientious Objection); and,
Whereas warmaking is destructive physically and financially, through the siphoning off of resources from constructive services to the poor, weak and refugees; and,
Whereas momentum is growing in the ecumenical faith community and the political arena for a peace tax/peace trust fund that recognizes the right to exercise conscience on this issue.
Therefore be it resolved: That now is the time for us as a Mennonite people to support efforts being made to finance alternative approaches to peacemaking by the redirection of our taxes away from the military.
1. We call one another to witness to Congress and Parliament through writing, telephoning and visiting of appropriate government officials in support of the Peace Tax (U.S.)/Peace Trust (Canada) campaign.
2. We ask our congregations to designate persons to provide leadership:
a. in keeping their congregations aware of developments in this campaign, and,
b. in strengthening their corporate peace witness.
3. We ask our conferences to continue to provide leadership in this area of peace, justice and social concern.
Adopted by the General Conference Mennonite Church, July 29, 1995
Context of Resolution
This resolution by delegates at the Wichita 95 convention continued a series of similar statements by the General Conference Mennonite Church. The statement emerged from the Commission on Home Ministries; its portfolio included peace and justice issues.
Statements by the triennial delegate convention were not binding on member congregations or affiliate area conferences.
Published by permission of the Joint Moderators and Executive Staff of the Mennonite Church, General Conference Mennonite Church and Conference of Mennonites in Canada.
Context written March 2000 by SJS