The U.S. government is annually levying the constituency of Mennonite Church USA more in taxes to support war and militarism than what we are contributing to our church budgets. So it’s shocking and sad that a decision was made to defund the Peace and Justice Support Network (Oct. 8). Among its efforts, PJSN was enabling the Mennonites Against Militarism initiative, which sought to reinvigorate our collective voice against the destructive power of militarism.
Now it appears the Church Peace Tax Fund is one of MC USA’s few remaining vestiges of a once-robust agenda of conscientious objection to war befitting a historic peace church. This fund is designed to support those engaged in resisting war taxes, reward active peacemaking among Mennonite youth, underwrite educational programs that oppose militarism and annually recognize faith leaders in the denomination who are committed to resisting war and promoting peace.
Our peacemaking voices and actions are required at a time when Congress continues to commit over $700 billion a year to the Pentagon. Now is not the time to end PJSN. Its efforts should be expanded.
Harold A. Penner, Akron, Pa.