Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), an Anabaptist Christian denomination that emphasizes peace, justice and nonviolence, released a “Statement on the value and morality of the 2022 U.S. defense budget” in response to the National Defense Authorization Act, approved by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 15, 2021 and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 27, 2021.
“Budgets are moral documents, reflecting what we value and prioritize collectively as a nation,” says the statement, which calls for congregations and members to weigh the financial and moral cost of the $770 billion defense budget in comparison to national and global needs for COVID-19 vaccinations, healthcare, safe drinking water and humanitarian aid.
“As Anabaptists, we follow the way of Jesus who resisted violence, even to his death on a cross,” said Sue Park-Hur, MC USA denominational minister for transformative peacemaking. “We have a long tradition of being active peace witnesses and working for justice. Knowing how our national treasure is being spent, we cannot stay silent.”
The statement recommends ways MC USA congregations can take action against the budget decision.
MC USA provides a number of resources for further learning and opportunities for people to get involved in advocacy work and war tax resistance efforts.
The statement was written with the Mennonites Against Militarism (MAM) reference council, a collaborative resourcing initiative that seeks to reinvigorate the collective voice against the destructive powers of militarism. MAM includes MC USA’s mission agency Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Central Committee U.S., an independent relief service and peace organization.
MC USA’s collaborative work with MAM included “Cost of War,” an online resource, launched in February 2021, to raise awareness about the economics of war and the impact of militarism on communities here and abroad.
The denomination also resists militarism through its Church Peace Tax Fund, which provides funding for educational peacebuilding programs, including an annual grant to support Mennonite youth actively engaged in war resistance and peacebuilding. Donations can be made to the Church Peace Tax Fund here.
By MC USA staff
Updated Dec. 27, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. ET