Saturday, January 4, 2014

Starving Conscientious Objectors

Here is an interesting bit of WWII history:

Each man was in his 80s when interviewed and each spoke passionately when discussing why he chose to be a conscientious objector. The men universally stated a simple, solid conviction not to kill another human being. For some, the conviction was borne of an upbringing in one of the Historic Peace Churches. Others were influenced by pacifist writers such as Wilfred Grenfell (1865–1940), leaders of peace fellowships, or the teachings of the Oxford Movement. Still others saw the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) as a testament to the potential effectiveness of nonviolence. William Anderson put it most succinctly: “No one could make me kill anyone else.” Carlyle Frederick stressed that conscientious objection was not unpatriotic: “[Some] thought conscientious objection would be almost like being a traitor. But I was not objecting to my country as much as what my country was doing. In other words, my definition of patriotism included my refusal to kill.”

Heroics unsung.

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