Chapter 23 » 23.93

Friends and state authority


Compulsory military service is sometimes claimed as a duty attaching to citizenship. But it is not true social service. On the one hand it is part of the attempt to maintain peace by force, and on the other it is training in methods that are contrary to the highest moral standards recognised by man… The training of men to kill each other is a violation of the sacredness of personality for it is a crime against that of God in every man. It requires an inhumanity and a blind obedience that is a negation of responsible service to our fellow men. It demands much that in private life is recognised as anti-social and criminal… Christ bids us love our enemies; governments bid us kill them. The conscript is, in effect, required to endorse war in advance.

Meeting for Sufferings, 1945

See also 24.1424.16 Conscientious objection to compulsory military service

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