A Christian locked in a court battle with the Internal Revenue Service for his opposition on taxpayer-funded abortions has received a major victory.
Michael Bowman, a 53-year-old contract engineer who lives in Columbia City, Oregon, has refused to pay taxes, or even file a return, since 1999 due to his pro-life position. He stands with 60% of Americans against allocating public funds to abortion clinics.
“I’m not a tax protester. I love my country,” Bowman said to The Oregonian. “I have a duty to my country. I have a duty to my conscience.”
Due to his refusal to pay taxes from 2002-2014, the IRS has been on the attack. The Oregon Department of Revenue began garnishing wages directly from Bowman’s bank account in 2012. He responded by leaving only the minimum balance required in his account and cashing out all his paychecks.
Bowman’s defense, according to his attorney Matthew Schindler, was that he was careful to be fully transparent about his reasons and actions step by step, down to the last detail. All his checks were cashed under his own name and he showed the government full transparency with all his earnings.
“Like a player collapsing as they lose Twister, the government has reached too far forward and stretched way too far back,” Schindler said in his motion to dismiss.
Then, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman made a monumental ruling last week, taking Bowman’s side on the felony charge. The IRS did not prove to the court that Bowman concealed any income or tried to deceive the U.S. government in any way. The prosecution still has the door open to re-introduce the charge, but they are currently deciding whether it is worth it for a case with such a rock solid defense.
Bowman explained his position last Tuesday in an interview with CBN News.
“First, I would love to pay taxes so as to have a normal life, however, our government is using the tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood; which commits abortions – the death of the innocent,” Bowman told reporters. “Apparently, a woman has the right to choose, but evidently, I do not.”
He also countered the argument often used that sometimes we all pay taxes on publicly funded programs, such as war, that some citizens don’t necessarily agree with. “You see, the Constitution grants certain abilities to the government, e.g. funding the military, but killing children is not a Constitutional backed, compelling interest of the government by any stretch of the imagination,” Bowman said.
Each year, Planned Parenthood executes more than 300,000 abortions and obtains more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer money. The law says that federal money can’t be spent directly on abortion procedures themselves, but pro-life groups are pushing back, pointing out that the tax money is what enables abortion programs to expand their influence and frees them up to use the additional funds they receive on the abortions procedures.
“All the government has to do is put a check box on the tax forms that says check here to support Planned Parenthood, and write in your donation amount,” was a compromise Bowman suggested. “Then, just like any church or charity, Planned Parenthood will be funded by those that have no problem with it, and the 150 million people like me that are pro-life, can pay their taxes and live knowing we kept our conscience clean.”
Bowman assured his supporters against big government and big abortion that he will keep pressing on with his fight as long as he can.
“My effort [is] about standing up, standing firm for my Constitutional rights, and getting the government to honor title 42 Chapter 21.b The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so that I may live a peaceful life, and in the end face God, and hopefully have Him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Pawl Bazile is Patriotism Correspondent for DANGEROUS and Production Director for Proud Boy Magazine. He tweets at @PawlBazile.
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