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They had been war tax resisters for decades, and at this moment they were having their house repossessed by the IRS.
My mother had dragged her preschool-aged son to what was essentially an act of civil disobedience.
It’s Christmas Day and we’re at a house in my hometown of Colrain, Massachusetts. This memory was my mother’s way of telling me that I’ve always, even as a child, been politically active.
But they may be more famous than others thanks to a 1997 documentary called An Act Of Conscience, which chronicled their house’s seizure.
When I talked to Kehler recently, he was very insistent about including the “war” descriptor.
His practice comes from a deep-rooted pacifism, and is not to be confused with the ideology of libertarian-isolationists, like the Bundys, who rail against the federal government.
In the documentary, narrator Martin Sheen rattles off the statistic that there are 10,000-some-odd war tax resisters in the country, and claims that the number is growing. Kehler admitted that interest in the practice has peaks and troughs.
During the first Gulf War there was heightened appeal, much as there was during Vietnam. Now, however, it’s harder to figure out exactly what one should be resisting.