Ammon Hennacy

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Ammon Hennacy (1893–1970) was an American Christian anarchist, Christian pacifist, and social activist.


  • Oh judge! Your damn laws! The good people don't need them, and the bad people don't obey them.
    • Troester, Rosalie Riegle (1993). Voices from the Catholic Worker. Temple University Press. p. 114. 
  • A pacifist between wars is like a vegetarian between meals.
    • Coy, Patrick G. (1988). A Revolution of the heart: essays on the Catholic worker. Temple University Press. p. 153. 
  • An anarchist is someone who doesn't need a cop to make him behave.
    • The Book of Ammon. Hennacy. 1965. p. 31. 
  • "The dictionary definition of a Christian is one who follows Christ; kind, kindly, Christ-like. Anarchism is voluntary cooperation for good, with the right of secession. A Christian anarchist is therefore one who turns the other cheek, overturns the tables of the moneychangers, and does not need a cop to tell him how to behave. A Christian anarchist does not depend upon bullets or ballots to achieve his ideal; he achieves that ideal daily by the One-Man Revolution with which he faces a decadent, confused, and dying world."
  • "Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. Therefore one with love, courage, and wisdom is one in a million who moves the world, as with Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi."
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "Despite the popular idea of anarchists as violent men, Anarchism is the one non-violent social philosophy.… The function of the Anarchist is two-fold. By daily courage in non-cooperation with the tyrannical forces of the State and the Church, he helps to tear down present society; the Anarchist by daily cooperation with his fellows in overcoming evil with good-will and solidarity builds toward the anarchistic commonwealth which is formed by voluntary action with the right of secession."
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "A Christian Anarchist does not depend on bullets or ballots to achieve his ideal; he achieves that ideal daily by the One Man Revolution with which he faces a decadent, confused and dying world."
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "When I was working a man asked me 'Why does a fellow like you, with an education, and who has been all over the country, end up in this out-of-the-way place working for very little on a farm?' I explained that all people who had good jobs in factories, etc. had a withholding tax for war taken from their pay, and that people who worked on farms had no tax taken from their pay. I told him that I refused to pay taxes. He was a returned soldier and said that he did not like war either, but what could a fellow do about it? I replied that we each did what we really wanted to."
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "At times those who do not want to have their inconsistencies pointed out say in a super-sweet voice to me 'Judge not, lest ye be judged.' I reply 'O.K., judge me, then.'"
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "[T]he only revolution worthwhile was the one-man revolution within the heart. Each one could make this by himself and not need to wait on a majority."
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "We really can’t change the world. We really can’t change other people! The best we can do is to start a few thinking here and there. The best way to do this, if we are sincere, is to change ourselves!"
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "Too many of us dissipate our energy by being 'for all good causes,' attending meetings and passing resolutions, organizing and presenting petitions — all this effort to change others, when if we really got down to it we could use this energy to change ourselves… We become tired radicals because we use our weakest weapon: the ballot box, where we are always outnumbered, and refuse to use our strongest weapon: spiritual power."
    • Source: The Book of Ammon
  • "I am writing this preliminary statement of my reasons for not paying taxes ahead of time, as I was recently informed by your office that I would be imprisoned for my constant refusal to pay taxes. Upon my arrest I will give you the correct report of my earnings to date in 1948. My belief in the iniquity of government, which exists primarily to wage war, has been stated this last six years in my statement to your department when I refused to pay any tax, and also in articles in the Catholic Worker".

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