Conscientious Objection to Paying for War


A subcommittee of the NYYM Peace Concerns Committee was formed in the late 1990s out of the work of Witness Coordinating Committee in developing an amicus brief in support of the war tax witness of Rosa Packard, member of Purchase Meeting. In addition to support of individuals, the subcommittee circulated a survey to monthly meetings and issued a gentle guide to war tax witness. In April 2006 the Yearly Meeting adopted a minute acknowledging that paying for war violates our conviction in the Power of the Living Spirit to give life, joy, peace, and prosperity through love, integrity, and compassionate justice among people. The Yearly Meeting also approved the preparation of an amicus brief in support of the case of Jenkins v. IRS, submitted to the court in 2007.

In July, 2007, NYYM Friends approved full committee status to COPW(Conscientious Objection to Paying for War). The subcommittee and later the committee has sponsored a number of conferences and is available to help organize and facilitate workshops for meetings and other groups and we seek to continue to be a vehicle for helping individuals find clarity and act on issues of conscientious objection.

Purposes & Objectives

The purpose of the committee includes being vocal about the failure of violence and the blessing of nonviolence, as well as exploring with Friends in our Yearly Meeting the multiple avenues of being true to our consciences in not paying for war.

Functions & Activities

  • increase the body of written and video resources on conscientious objection to paying for war

  • promote preparation of statements of conscience by Friends and people of conscience everywhere

  • bring together Friends from meetings and regional meetings within NYYM and Friends from outside our yearly meeting who are working on issues of conscientious objection to paying for war

  • advocate for governmental accommodation to conscientious objection to paying for war through support of legal challenges to military taxation and legislative efforts to change taxation laws

  • be a visible and helpful presence in meetings and the Yearly Meeting as we strive for integrity in our lives


All of our committee meetings are open to all.  Friends who are led to serve on this committee, please contact us.