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U.S. PEACE TAX FUND BILL HEARINGS ATTENDED BY HUNDREDS

 U.S. PEACE TAX FUND BILL HEARINGS ATTENDED BY HUNDREDS
 /ADVANCE/ PHILADELPHIA, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Close to 100 Quakers and Mennonites from the Delaware Valley attended congressional hearings today on the U.S. Peace Tax Fund Bill.
 The letters of hundreds of others added to the testimony taken by the U.S. House Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means.
 The bill (H.R. 1870) would establish the Peace Tax Fund, a trust for the relief of conscientious objectors (COs) to war who must now choose between violating their religious principles and violating the law. Conscientious objectors would pay the same amount of tax as others, but the military portion would be designated for economic conversion and constructive means of international conflict resolution. Currently, religious witness leads many into war tax resistance and many more into the anguish of "praying for peach while paying for war."
 Official written testimony was submitted from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (the regional body composed of 103 local Friends Meetings) of the Religious Society of Friends. Edwin E. Staudt III, general secretary, said, "We are the heirs of William Penn, who established his commonwealth in the New World as a haven ... The Peace Tax Fund opens a creative space that encourages effective participation by all people in the operation of government without hindering the basic instincts of religious conscience."
 In addition to numerous car-pools heading out early for the mid- day hearings on Capitol Hill (Longworth 1100), buses were engaged to transport people from Pennsburg, Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pa., Christiana, Del., and other parts of the country. Richard Reichley (of Sumneytown, Pa.), Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's member of the board of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, said, "It is encouraging how enthusiastic people have been about attending these hearings and supporting this legislation."
 In addition to those who travelled, and those whose letters were presented to Ways and Means, were letters from many congregations supporting this legislation. Parallel to the laws surrounding the military draft, the Peace Tax Fund would permit registration as a "CO" and then the channeling of funds to congressionally approved projects as "alternative service" for the tax dollars of the COs which otherwise would fund the military.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/21/92/1400
 /CONTACT: Richard Reichley, 215-234-8201, or Suzanne Day, 609-829-7034, or Robert Dockhorn, 215-241-7238, all of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting/ CO: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends ST: Pennsylvania, District of Columbia IN: SU:


MK-CC -- PH009 -- 1197 05/18/92 09:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 18, 1992
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