The Right to Refuse to Bear Arms: A Growing Movement of Veterans Promotes Selective Conscientious Objection

By Mehl-Laituri, Logan | Sojourners Magazine, December 2010 | Go to article overview

The Right to Refuse to Bear Arms: A Growing Movement of Veterans Promotes Selective Conscientious Objection


Mehl-Laituri, Logan, Sojourners Magazine


AT AGE 22 I found myself in the deserts of Iraq. My religious background then was tenuous at best; later, as I was called to an embodied faith, I wrestled with how I could simultaneously be a Christian and a forward observer for the artillery, the "queen of battle." In 2006, friends in Hawaii, who were helping me process the dueling allegiances I faced between God and country, introduced me to just war principles and selective conscientious objection (SCO).

SCO is an important--but, so far, missing--piece of the national discussion on military service and Christian faith. I am part of a growing movement of Christians in the military who are working to promote full legal protection for our moral, ethical, and religious scruples.

The U.S. and its military already recognize conscientious objection--an individual's right to refuse, based on religion, morality, or ethics, "participation in war in any form." The right of those "religiously scrupulous of bearing arms" to refuse to bear arms was even included in the original Second Amendment ratified by the House of Representatives in 1789 (although the Senate deleted the phrase, fearing the federal government could misuse it to abolish state militias).

A selective conscientious objector, however, objects to a particular war for moral, ethical, or religious reasons, including just war principles or church doctrine. In just war doctrine, the imperative to determine the justice of a war falls not simply to the church hierarchy, but to individual believers as well. The U.S. Catholic bishops, in a declaration rooted in Augustine's theology, re-emphasized in 2007 that "our nation must also make provisions for those who in conscience exercise their right to conscientious objection or selective conscientious objection" (emphasis added). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Right to Refuse to Bear Arms: A Growing Movement of Veterans Promotes Selective Conscientious Objection
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.