Michael Bowman, 53, of Portland, Oregon says that the free exercise of his sincerely held beliefs prohibits him from participating in any way with what he calls “child killing. Therefore, he is refusing to pay taxes until the government stops promoting the “murder of babies” with his income taxes.
Bowman, a self-employed software developer, has claimed a conscientious objection to funding abortions since 1997. He has asked both state and federal authorities to exempt him from the portion of taxes that support abortion.
I do not know exactly how he thinks the federal government is promoting abortion. Perhaps Bowman believes the nonsense that flows so consistently from Christian pressure groups. However the principle is exactly the same as Colorado baker Jack Phillips. He wants an exemption lest he feel complicit in something he disapproves of
Ultimately this means one set of laws for conservative Christians and another for everyone else. Public policy doesn’t work that way which is precisely why Justice Scalia (of all people) wrote for the majority in Employment Division v. Smith that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws. He further wrote that allowing such exemptions would would make everyone a law unto themselves.
Bowman assumes a right that he does not have:
“I don’t believe I have broken any laws as I have a duty (and right) to protect my conscience and to ‘practice’ religion freely,” he wrote in a declaration filed in court. “A woman has the right to choose but apparently the prosecutor feels I do not have a right to choose,” he stated in federal court.
There is a place for Mr. Bowman in our society: