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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:32 AM

Conscientious Objection...do you approve or not? and when?

We haven't discussed this in awhile...just wondering where DU'ers come from on this.

Please post comments with this as well.
19 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Support the right to Conscientious Objection in cases of total opposition to ALL wars
12 (63%)
Support the right to Conscientious Objection for particular wars
0 (0%)
Support the right to Conscientious Objection for the above and for particular orders
5 (26%)
Oppose the right to Conscientious Objection
2 (11%)
Other
0 (0%)
No opinion
0 (0%)
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Arrow 54 replies Author Time Post
Reply Conscientious Objection...do you approve or not? and when? (Original post)
Ken Burch Nov 2012 OP
graham4anything Nov 2012 #1
wickerwoman Nov 2012 #4
graham4anything Nov 2012 #6
wickerwoman Nov 2012 #12
Selatius Nov 2012 #7
graham4anything Nov 2012 #52
Democratopia Nov 2012 #9
LP2K12 Nov 2012 #14
glacierbay Nov 2012 #24
quaker bill Nov 2012 #34
JVS Nov 2012 #2
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #3
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #18
glacierbay Nov 2012 #25
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #47
Angleae Nov 2012 #46
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #49
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #5
Ms. Toad Nov 2012 #30
Angleae Nov 2012 #8
quaker bill Nov 2012 #35
Angleae Nov 2012 #44
quaker bill Nov 2012 #53
MineralMan Nov 2012 #10
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #19
MineralMan Nov 2012 #21
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #23
MineralMan Nov 2012 #26
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #38
Ms. Toad Nov 2012 #31
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #40
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #11
quaker bill Nov 2012 #36
Agony Nov 2012 #45
flamingdem Nov 2012 #13
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #15
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 #16
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #17
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #20
MineralMan Nov 2012 #22
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #27
oberle Nov 2012 #28
quaker bill Nov 2012 #37
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #41
quaker bill Nov 2012 #54
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #50
Cairycat Nov 2012 #29
Blue_In_AK Nov 2012 #33
Blue_In_AK Nov 2012 #32
quaker bill Nov 2012 #39
Xithras Nov 2012 #42
Aerows Nov 2012 #43
Agony Nov 2012 #48
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #51

Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:12 AM

1. I think YES, providing in all of ones life, they refuse to pick up a gun

 

that means NO guns/bullets ever.
NO fighting
NO fist fights
NO knife fights
NO bullying

If one wants to be true, then NONE of it, ever.

(If the whole world would drop their guns, if guns were eliminated, maybe there would never be another war again).

I wholeheartedly approve of conscientious objectors and it should be that.

(NOW- in 2012-maybe there should be an alternative choice to military service-something along lines of helping your community for the same number of years.
Creating something good, instead of becoming a killing machine.

If one believes in peace, one should believe fully and never pick up that WMD(a gun).

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:22 AM

4. So all conflicts are equal?

There's no difference between refusing to fight in a WWII-type scenario because you're a pacifist and refusing to fight in an Iraq-type scenario because it's an illegal war started by a craven bunch of chickenhawks so their military contractor friends can line their pockets?

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:47 AM

6. I did not pick that answer you are implying

 

I actually didn't vote because the choices are not enough choices

Your question is the "Dukakis question asked by Bernie Shaw".

No soldier ever knows the info you are providing prior to being drafted.
And there is no draft now, and the people who do willingly go into the armed forces, do so
to acquire benefits in the future and/or to serve, of their own free will.

only after a conflict begins do things get messy.

(I would add- that ALL should be forced into service but conscientious objectors, to eliminate the unfairness it brings that VIPs kids don't serve.

If Prince Harry gotta serve in the UK, then so should any republican(male or female).

But I do suggest above, a different type of service to the country, a non-military option.

but to restate-a soldier has no idea of what you suggest prior to entering, and it's a judgement call anyhow.

I.E.-THERE ARE BAD PEOPLE after 9-11, though Iraq was not where the bad people were.
(and I would rather have MORE drones unmanned that could in an instant get rid of say Hitler before he was a problem worldwide, than any manned service.
Living human beings were not created to fight and kill.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:03 PM

12. But the problem with saying

you can only be a conscientious objector if you never pick up a gun in your life is that it misses the distinction between different kinds of conflicts.

Let's say you're 18 and you get drafted for an Iraq type scenario and you refuse to go because it's obviously a bullshit war. And then let's say you're in your 30s and Canada attacks (the sneaky devils) and you need to defend your home town from a legion of Mounties. Would you then be open to prosectuion for draft evasion because you refused to fight in the bullshit war earlier?

Situations change and peoples' views evolve. Most people don't have the same view of war at 18 that they do at 30.

I don't believe in the draft/national service because I don't think the state has the right to compulsorily require physical labour from its citizens. And I don't think we should be fighting any war that the state can't sell to its own citizens/soldiery.

We should be encouraging people not to check their brains and consciences at the door of the recruitment station. And someone who has been traumatized by combat and has changed their views about it should not be forced into continuing because they signed on the dotted line when they were still basically a kid.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:07 AM

7. My two cents on taking human life is that there are really only two types of killing.

1. Necessary killing, typically to ensure self-preservation

2. Unnecessary killing, killing for gratuitous reasons or reasons unrelated to self-preservation at all

World War Two came closer than any war in American history in the last 100 years to what I would define as a necessary war. Viet Nam and the Iraq War are two examples that don't even come close to being necessary; it was an absolute waste of human life for no reason except profits and the want to exercise power.

The folks that started those two wars knew the price of everything but the value of nothing. Like Viet Nam, it was all fine and dandy, the business of war, so long as their sons and daughters weren't going to show up on the wrong side of their list of profits and losses.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:35 PM

52. IMHO a drone on Hitler before the escalation would have stopped it then and there

 

wars (man to man) should not be needed anymore

The shorter the "war", the less people dying on all sides.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:02 AM

9. Absolute Pacifism - Graham4Anything, what you suggest is immoral

 

So you are approving of somebody who refuses to fight in the case that a man has broken into a house and one-by-one family members, including children, women and elderly grandparents are raped, tortured and murdered?

You "wholeheartedly approve" of a big, powerful family member, who could grab the intruder's gun at any time, you approve of him just standing there watching what is happening, when at anytime he could try to stop it? I am sorry, but he has a moral duty to fight.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:18 PM

14. Change we can believe in?

How about people like Jon Michael Turner? Look up his speech on YouTube where his throws his medals he "earned" as a Marine.

People change.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:56 PM

24. Absolute wrong

 

you can be a pacifist and still own guns, for hunting food, for sport shooting, for a pleasurable day at the range and yes, for self preservation, as in self defense.

You can defend your life with a firearm and still be a pacifist.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:55 PM

34. I am good with that

And usually there is alternate service.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:14 AM

2. I do better than support conscientious objection. I oppose the draft.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:21 AM

3. When Republicans are in power

Democrats would never start a war that wasn't totally necessary to the existential survival of the nation.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:20 PM

18. Uh....does the word "Vietnam" mean anything to you?

n/t.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:57 PM

25. Beat me to it. nt.

 

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:11 PM

47. That's ancient history

Democratic politicians have evol.. err.. advanced since then, consider that not a one of them voted for the IWR or to fund the invasion of Iraq.

http://sync.democraticunderground.com/1240137023

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:00 PM

46. Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, etc.

Democrats have gotten us into more than enough unnecessary conflicts.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:23 AM

5. Without a draft, how is CO at all relevant to anything? I assume that there is some point to

 

this, but I can't figure out what that might be.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:01 PM

30. There is mandatory selective service registration for males

And things like education money and the opportunity to work for the federal government are tied to registration, not to mention the potential for a $250,000 fine or 5 years in jail. Ironically, young men not registering who wish to become doctors are not eligible for what is, in essence, forgiveness of medical school loans in exchange for alternative service in the National Health Service Corps in rural and under-served areas (the government sponsored non-military route to forgiveness of medical school loans).

My faith discourages not only participation in war, but also in the preparation for war ("we should live "in the virtue of that life and power that away the occasion of all wars.") That includes selective service registration. There are a number of young Quaker men (although not all), and others in the traditional peace churches, who have refused to register for the selective service.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:46 AM

8. I'll support CO for those forced to serve, not for those that volunteered.

And then only those forced to serve that have lived that life, not those that changed their mind afterward.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:55 PM

35. Once you sign up, CO status is over

under the law.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:39 PM

44. That hasn't stopped people from trying.

Claiming they found religion or had an otherwise life-changing event.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:44 AM

53. Unfortunately

you give up alot of rights when you sign up. The first advice of draft counselors is sign nothing unless you print big and bold "I am a conscientious objector" on it.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:26 AM

10. Other. It's irrelevant unless there is a draft.

There is no draft now. It is irrelevant now.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:22 PM

19. What if you joined, saw the reality fo war(after joining voluntarily)and THEN decided

that war was wrong? Or, at least, that the particular war you are in was wrong?

Should a soldier who joined voluntarily be forbidden to have a change of consciousness?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:36 PM

21. I doubt that's a common occurrence, frankly.

What the job of the military is is pretty clear right from the start. As for objecting to a particular war, a lot of guys tried that, and either went to Canada or something else. Militaries fight wars. That's their reason for being. Sometimes there is no war, but one can start without much warning. Since there is no draft any longer, I assume that people who join the military are aware that they may be fighting in one when they make their decision.

On the other hand, a genuine religious conversion that led someone to truly become a pacifist who could not in good conscience fight in a war would probably be able to declare conscientious objector status. I believe that happened in a few cases during the Vietnam era. It was very uncommon, but it did occur, if memory serves me correctly.

If you oppose war altogether, joining the military is probably not a good choice. If you join, you'll be expected to serve according to the rules under which you joined. It would be rare for someone to be able to convince people that they had changed so drastically. Not impossible, but difficult.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:47 PM

23. You're assuming that everyone who joins the military

actually gets it that war is a real possibility, or understands what war really is WHEN they join. How much reality are most of us in touch with at the age of eighteen?

A lot of folks join because(especially if they're poor)it's the only way to get job training or any chance of a college education...and the recruiters let them think that that's all it's about.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:02 PM

26. Yah, well, I was just 19 when I joined the USAF in 1965.

There was no question in my mind what would happen if I had been drafted instead. If you're stupid enough at 18 not to know you might end up fighting when you joined the military, I maintain that you're not smart enough to become a conscientious objector, something that takes some thought.

These days, most 18 year olds have played hours of violent military-style video games, have seen movies, and watched television. I don't think many people at age 18 are unaware that the military fights in wars.

If I'm wrong, then people are a lot more stupid than I think they are.

I don't know how old you are, but I'd ask you to think back to when you were 18. Did you not know, then, that the military fought in wars?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:01 PM

38. I'm 51. I remember being 18.

Like many people, I was far from fully-formed-I'm still not, and hope never to be absolutely fully formed, because at that point you ceast to grow and, ultimately, you cease to live.

You don't get the reaiities of war from video games and movies(as an actual veteran, you of all people should know that).

Does the idea of troops refusing to fight bother you?

It seems to me if the actual troops are saying they don't want to go there, that's a pretty strong case that whatever they're refusing to do shouldn't happen.

We'd have a lot fewer wars if it were accepted that the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airman who said no in a particular situation might possibly have a point.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:19 PM

31. We actually have an economic draft.

The military is one of the few options for advancement for many poor youth.

These individuals may, when they join - as a way out of poverty - believe they can participate in war. There are quite a few who find out that, despite their honorable intentions going in, they cannot morally continue to participate in the military. The Dream Act (if it passes) will make that even more challenging - youth who feel that they must atone for the sins of their parents who brought then to this country without documentation (and who cannot afford to go to school) will feel even more pressure to join the military, perhaps believing they can live with what it requires.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:02 PM

40. My point exactly. Excellent post, Ms T.

n/t.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:34 AM

11. I support the right of conscience-based objection to all wars.

In grave enough national emergencies like WWII, I also support conscientious objectors being conscripted into non-military service, though; there's a balance between the conscience of the individual and the obligations of citizenship.

I have no sympathy whatever for anyone who joined the military and suddenly decided he was a conscientious objector when a war he didn't approve of came along, though. It's an all-or-nothing proposition. You can't say "this war is fine, that one though is right out"; you're in the fucking military, you swore an oath, you have a duty, not just to yourself, not just to your country, but to the other men and women in your unit. And after you've already enlisted is not the time to be changing your mind. The army is not like the Boy Scouts on steroids; sorry if that's what you thought you were signing up for.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:57 PM

36. The law has no sympathy either

You are either a CO all the time, or you aren't. The law does not allow you to pick and choose.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:44 PM

45. The DOD allows for discharges based on conscientious objection even after having been deployed.

Why would not ones experience in a particular war allow a change in conscience? we are human after all...

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:13 PM

13. People change in the course of their lives

My dad did this. His father served and he was in the reserve and then became a Conscientious Objector. So he decided on a philosophical level that he would no longer be involved with organized violence. What helped when he made his appeal to the courts, and I don't know or remember the details of this part, is that he had become a Quaker. Thus, he was able to argue his case with a wider philosophy. What's not fair is that some with less education may not be able to articulate their change of heart, that's why anyone who wants to declare themselves as a CO should be able to do it, in my opinion.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:23 PM

15. Approve

I have a daughter who went to Afghanistan and a son who went to Iraq. They came home safe and sound. While I never argued with their choices to serve, and supported them in their time there, as I would for anyone else, I would vehemently supported their right to not do so.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:25 PM

16. I oppose CO status unless we were

to adopt a standard that simply not wanting to go constitutes a conscientious objection.

The government should not be in the business of weighing people's religious sincerity or how principled their views.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:32 PM

17. You're right

I was kind if thinking that way anyway; I forgot about the religious angle. Everyone should be able to refuse

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:24 PM

20. I wanted to explain what I meant by "Conscientious Objection to particular wars"

By that, I meant a person who might have thought that one war was justified(say, World War II) but that another(say, Vietnam or Iraq)was not.

What do people think about that idea?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:39 PM

22. It's a difficult question.

The justification for any war is a complex matter. Often, it can be hard to get a complete picture of why a war is going on.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:05 PM

27. Forcing people to murder their fellow humans is barbarism.

And, people should be free to refuse to do so at any time, for any reason.

Killing isn't, or, at least, shouldn't be a "liberal" value.

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy.”
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:14 PM

28. Vietnam

My husband was a C O during the Vietnam War. At the time, we were practicing Quakers. Since he was a teacher, they let him continue doing that.

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Response to oberle (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:58 PM

37. Other Friends took alternate service

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:04 PM

41. A lot of those refusing to join wars would gladly do that, I suspect.

They could also help in humanitarian relief in war zones...which certainly requires as much physical courage as carrying a gun and joining the battle, since such relief workers are often under fire themselves.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #41)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:48 AM

54. I have in my past had lunch

with COs for every war of the 20th century. It was once not hard to find them among Quakers. Since the end of the draft, it is not so easy. All of them shared their experience of alternate service, to include the Friends Ambulance Corps in WWI. They were on the front lines without guns driving ambulances. Pretty risky stuff.

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Response to oberle (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:32 PM

50. I knew a couple of guys who were COs and served as combat medics in Vietnam

I don't think Quakers did that, but the military service branches did take draftees who were COs if they were willing to serve in non-combatant roles--and some did. Medics served in combat, but it was a non-combatant job.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:44 PM

29. I am a member of a religious denomination which conscientiously objects

to all wars ... I'm a Mennonite, but traditionally Church of the Brethren and Society of Friends (Quakers) are also conscientious objectors.

My understanding is that CO status was never automatic for members of these denominations. Young men who applied for CO status had to make their case the same as others. Members of these denominations ("Historic Peace Churches") often engaged in alternative service in WWII and Vietnam.

The Mennonite Church USA has a ministry reaching out to service members who become conscientious objectors during their enlistments. It's usually a far more complicated matter than somebody thinking the Army was like Boy Scouts on steroids and finding out different. Here is a link to an article about this: http://www.themennonite.org/issues/13-7/articles/Honorable_discharge_for_conscientious_objection

Personally, I could not participate in war making or being in a situation where that was a possibility. I find it impossible to reconcile loving God and following Jesus with harming another human being. It was with a heavy heart that I watched my older son register for the draft. He has not chosen to join the church, but considers himself a conscientious objector.

Another issues that lays heavy on my heart is taxes supporting the military. Without the draft, conscientious objection is moot. But our dollars are being drafted every day, used for killing and harming people. I hate that I either pay Federal taxes (not just income tax but in the form of taxes on telephone service, etc.) or go to jail. For many years there has been a campaign to have a Peace Tax, so people would not have to compromise their deeply held beliefs. If one opted to pay the Peace Tax, more actually would be owed, since there would be an administrative cost. It strikes me as very unfair that Catholics and fundamentalists can be taken seriously when they say the Affordable Care Act would infringe on their religious freedom by making them pay for contraception, yet religious pacifists like myself must support with our money that which we find just as objectionable. Here is a link about the Peace Tax: http://www.peacetaxfund.org/

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #29)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:34 PM

33. Me, too, cairycat.

See my post right under yours.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:28 PM

32. Absolutely.

I was raised in peace churches -- first Quaker and then Church of the Brethren. During Viet nam many young men did alternative service for two years. I had friends who worked for church world service packing up boxes of clothes etc. for the needy.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:01 PM

39. I have trained in and counseled others in how to establish a legal claim to CO status

As a long time Member and Clerk of a Quaker Meeting, I fully support the status.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:06 PM

42. I will fight to defend my home, my family, and my nation.

I will not kill another man over oil, politics, or for the financial benefit of another. If the enemy is landing on our soil, I'll bring my own damned guns if I have to. If the "enemy" is another conscript army halfway around the world fighting because some tinpot decided to challenge our "right" to their oil, or to control land granted by some imaginary sky fairy, then count me among the CO's.

War is murder. Self defense is the only justification for murder. And "pre-emptive strikes" DO NOT COUNT.

That said, if someone signs on the dotted line of their own free will, then they've already cast their lot. They have the right to object, but they will also have to deal with the consequences of that objection.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:22 PM

43. If you volunteer for the military

you serve, period. In times of dire emergency, you can still serve in non-combatant positions.

I really don't understand this at all, to tell you the truth. We have an all-volunteer Armed Forces. If you don't want to serve, don't sign up. If things get so bad that we need to re-instate the draft, let's cross that bridge when we come to it, shall we?

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Response to Aerows (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:18 PM

48. Why can't a person have a change of conscience based on their experience while serving in military?

http://girightshotline.org/en/military-knowledge-base/topic/conscientious-objection-discharge

"Everyone has a conscience. Few people wrestle with their conscience as much as members of the military, especially those in combat. Counselors with the GI Rights Hotline talk with military personnel every day who are questioning the morality of the orders they have received or jobs they are expected to perform.

If you are one of those people, you came to the right place. You should know that you are not alone. In fact, every year hundreds of military personnel apply for conscientious objector status. Conscientious objectors have been with us as long as there have been wars."

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Response to Agony (Reply #48)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:32 PM

51. Some people find it threatening, apparently, to accept the idea

of a soldier choosing, on moral grounds, to cease to be a soldier. Apparently, they believe that one's conscience should be checked at the induction center.

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