The New conscientious objection: from sacred to secular by Charles C. Moskos, John Whiteclay Chambers

By Charles C. Moskos, John Whiteclay Chambers

Even if conscientious objection is a long-standing phenomenon, it has only in the near past turn into a significant component affecting military and society. the one entire, comparative scholarly research of conscientious objection to army provider, this ebook examines the historical past of the perform within the Western international and country rules that experience grown up in keeping with it. It exhibits how the modern refusal to undergo fingers is perhaps secular and common instead of non secular and marginal, now together with carrier humans (as noticeable within the 1991 battle within the Persian Gulf) in addition to conscription resisters. No account of civil-military relatives or peace hobbies in complex business international locations is entire regardless of conscientious objection, and this e-book could be the general textual content at the topic.

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Longtime opponents of slavery and members of the Republican party, these pacifists found responsive Republican officials in state capitals and in Washington. These officials often obtained release of sectarian COs from the army. Many legislators were not so sympathetic, however. As a result, the first federal conscription law of 1863 did not provide specific protection for COs, although for political and industrial reasons it allowed any draftee to escape personal service by hiring a substitute or paying a three-hundred-dollar commutation fee (the equivalent of a worker's annual wages).

In part this situation resulted from American federalism, with its division of governmental authority between the states and the nation. Particularly in the early period, this bifurcation of authority offered the possibility of a variety of relationships between conscientious objectors and their governments. Furthermore, the evolution was related less to the economy than to cultural and political developments, which, in the context of war and defense policy, played the most important part in shaping the relationship between the conscientious objector and the state in America.

Instead, he stated, Their evident sincerity and willingness to suffer to the end rather than yield up their cherished illusion make impossible the wholesale condemnation of the conscientious objector as a coward and a slacker. . [B]oth morals and sound policy require that the state should not violate the conscience of the individual. 49 A Settled National Policy: 1940—1970 The harsh and fumbling experience with COs during World War I contributed directly to a more liberal and humane governmental policy toward conscientious objectors in World War II.

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