Return to national service concerns French churches

Jul 16, 2018 by and

A government plan to resurrect compulsory national service next year in France has Mennonites concerned about implications for young people in their congregations. While some details are not finalized, the...

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South Korea recognizes rights of COs

Jul 9, 2018 by and

The Constitutional Court of Korea brought an end to 70 years of imprisoning conscientious objectors when it ruled June 28 that it is unconstitutional for South Korea not to offer alternative service options...

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Death penalty testimony a matter of faith

May 7, 2018 by and

On Feb. 26, Greta Lindecrantz of Denver was a mitigation specialist working in the legal system to help a man avoid the death penalty. On Feb. 27, she was an inmate in the Arapahoe County Detention Center. It...

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Criminally Christian

May 7, 2018 by

Christianity was an illegal movement in its infancy. The first adult baptisms were punished by death in 1527. Christians, especially Anabaptists, have often faced the choice to obey God or the state. Defying...

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Courage to be a conscientious objector

Nov 13, 2017 by

It doesn’t take a lot of courage to be a conscientious objector — to something that everyone is objecting to. It is easier to object to racism today than it was to object to slavery in 1850. It is easier...

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Color vision of a conscientious objector

Nov 8, 2017 by

In the summer of 2010, I was in basic training at the Air Force Academy. I had heard that it was said, “war is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.” I also believed in the Bible, but it seemed to...

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Dicates of conscience

Nov 6, 2017 by

Historians and the media are remembering the First World War, which members of my family dealt with 100 years ago. One of my uncles was drafted into the Army; an attempt to obtain a farm deferment was not...

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Building a peace resume together

Nov 1, 2017 by

“Everyone’s a pacifist between wars. It’s like being a vegetarian between meals.” — Colman McCarthy, journalist, pacifist and peace activist This coming Sunday evening at Rainbow Mennonite Church...

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Anabaptists only one facet of World War I dissent

Oct 24, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many events have honored heroism and sacrifice during World War I, a different kind of conference gathered in an unlikely place to pay tribute to those who opposed the Great War a...

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‘Muted Voices’ conference recalls Hutterite martyrs

Oct 23, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tale of four Hutterite conscientious objectors who refused even to wear a military uniform, let alone serve in the U.S. Army during World War I, is well known in Hutterite colonies and...

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Mennonite editor charged with sedition

Aug 14, 2017 by

In the middle of World War I, on June 15, 1917, the highly controversial Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Act provided for a penalty of up to 20...

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History: An antiwar conspiracy?

Apr 24, 2017 by

The president had squeaked by in the general election. A key plank in his platform had been opposition to foreign military intervention. But in a matter of months after his inauguration, he reversed...

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A life in pursuit of peace

Mar 29, 2017 by and

Helping people lay down weapons was a thread running through much of Michael J. Sharp’s life. From work with U.S. military personnel in Germany seeking conscientious objection discharges to developing trust...

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Won’t pay for war

Jan 30, 2017 by

Prophet Martin Luther King Jr. damned the Vietnam War with his most controversial speech on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. King said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the...

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Canadian documentary tells CO stories

Jan 16, 2017 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — A film produced by the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives about conscientious objectors in World War II is garnering significant attention. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. recently aired The...

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Lessons from ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Nov 17, 2016 by

My husband, Stuart, and I saw Hacksaw Ridge, based on a true story, and both of us were tremendously moved, for similar although markedly different reasons. We were emotionally affected in spite of this being...

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Yoder-Short: Choosing our rituals

Oct 24, 2016 by

Football player Colin Kaepernick, with a cross decorating his arm and Bible verses tattooed on his chest, started a conversation by refusing to stand for the national anthem ritual. How do we speak to an...

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To vote or not to vote?

Oct 12, 2016 by

I have never voted in an election. Not because I don’t care about my country. I care very much. I love this country where I live. I love its beauty; love the broad sweep of its land, the diversity of its...

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War resisters part of World War I story, too

Oct 10, 2016 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — The trophies and destruction left by battles are many, but items that tell the stories of war resisters are scarce. The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., is...

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The CO Mennonites once found objectionable

Aug 15, 2016 by

Nearly 50 years ago, the self-proclaimed greatest boxer of all time became the greatest religious conscientious objector to war of all time. Because of his Muslim faith, Muhammad Ali, the talented and...

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Who can end life?

Aug 1, 2016 by

Canadian Mennonites are getting a chance to dust off their conscientious objection after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2015 that Parliament must enact legislation legalizing medical assistance in dying....

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Free to believe

Jul 4, 2016 by

The most famous conscientious objector during the Vietnam War was a fighter. Muhammad Ali fought with his fists to earn the title of “the greatest.” More important, he fought for his beliefs. “My...

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Draft a new solution

Jun 6, 2016 by

On May 17, the U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee stripped a proposal from a defense policy bill that would have required women to register with the Selective Service, just like men already...

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Problematic drive-thru stickers

Jun 1, 2016 by

With me in the van last August when I pulled into the drive-thru lane at our credit union were three grandchildren. “Ask for pretty stickers,” demanded the oldest, age 7, in back with her 4-year-old...

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Chaplain redirects some tax dollars to pay for peace

May 23, 2016 by

HARRISONBURG, Va. — For two years, Ruth Anne Friesen has redirected a portion of her federal income tax payments to support the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience program at Eastern Mennonite...

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