[December 2004] In this time of war and increasing violence around the world, many people are challeged to decide whether to participate in the organized violence represented by the military services. In the past (in the United States) it was possible to participate in the armed forces holding the idea that military force would only be used as a last resort, only for highly moral causes, and only in self-defense, in response to an attack. While these conditions were often not met, as in the cases of Vietnam or Panama, these thoughts were an ideal that many people held in their minds that allowed them to feel morally justified in participating in the military.
The current war in Iraq and the recently announced doctrine of preventive war, promoted by the US administration of George W. Bush, re-opens in a very serious way the moral questions about military service that have been explored for centuries by Quakers, Mennonites, Buddhists and many others around the world. This page will introduce you to the best web resources I have been able to locate on the topic of conscientious objection.
A Change of Heart ~ An Interfaith Guide to Conscientious Objection large PDF file (2MB) of partially completed book by Dennis Rivers. Free. Includes Book of Readings.
Of Courage and Resistance -- a speech by the late Susan Sontag honoring
BY YOUNG PEOPLE, FOR YOUNG PEOPLE: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's
DEMIL GUIDE 2005 on recruitment and militarism. (PDF file, 2.4MB)
Think Outside the Bomb Youth Outreach Program
Conscientious Objection in America -- Primary sources for research
Leave My Child Alone -- In the absence of a military draft, recruiters from the armed forces, backed by little-known provisions of the "No Child Left Behind" Act, are relentlessly expanding their efforts to get high-school students to enlist. Leave My Child Alone is a parent's movement to protect their children.