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Conscientious Objection Stories

Historic Profiles

  • St. Martin of Tours (315-397 AD)
    "I am a soldier of Christ. I am not allowed to fight."
  • Cyrus Pringle (U.S., Civil War)
    Pringle was forced into the Union Army and was subject to torture and abuse on account of his CO beliefs.
  • Archibald Baxter (New Zealand, WWI)
    "War can do nothing but bring harm to every nation that engages in it."
  • Henry H. Miller (U.S., WWI)
    "The teaching of Christ is not to resist whatever; and therefore I cannot help to overcome evil with evil."
  • Austin Regier (U.S., WWII)
    "The sanction of the state of the killing of an enemy soldier does not relieve me of my duty to my God."
  • Franz Jaggerstatter (Austria, WWII)
    Jaggerstatter refused to serve in Hitler's war machine. As a result, he was imprisoned and eventually beheaded.

Contemporary Profiles

  • Joe Gibson (Discharged from the U.S. Marines as a conscientious objector, February 4, 2012)
    "How can I possibly claim I love my enemy when...the military culture...teaches me to hate them?
  • Logan Mehl-Laituri (Iraq War Veteran, Conscientious Objector)
    "God displayed to me...what it means to love our enemies."
  • Ertell Whigham (VN War era Marine recruiter, now a Mennonite pastor)
    "How can you tell someone about the love of Jesus and take their life?"
  • Dale Bartell (Iraq War Veteran, Conscientious Objector)
    “Our children won’t be blinded by the message of military recruiters.”
  • Anita Cole (Conscientious objector from the U.S. Army, November, 2001)
    "I will not be able to live in any sort of peace if I kill."
  • Katherine Jashinski (First female conscientious objector to the Iraq War, from the National Guard)
    "The thing that I revere most in this world is life, and I will never take another person's life."
  • Aidan Delgado (Conscientious objector in U.S. Army Reserve)
    "..When you're in war and you're seeing it face-to-face, it becomes much more immediate, and you just can't ignore it anymore."
  • Michael Izbicki (Conscientious objector from the U.S. Navy)
    "The training did not live up to the ideals of the just war as I envisioned them."
  • Robert Weiss (Conscientious objector in U.S. Army, released from prison 2008)
    "The Bible tells me not to resist evil or to seek revenge for it but instead to respond with good and blessings."
  • Rich Siems (Conscientious objector honorably discharged from U.S. Army, 2008)

"I do not believe as humans, that we can decide who lives or dies."