Conscientious Objection

Conscientious Objection

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore… - Micah 4:3  

Current Campaigns

Center on Conscience and War

The Center on Conscience and War (formerly the National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors) maintains an excellent website that provides procedural information for those interested in conscientious objection.  More Info.

CCW/NISBCO is also leading the effort to update U.S. policy regarding Conscientious Objection.  The current policy fails to protect the religious freedom of many by not allowing for selective conscientious objection.  The current policy mandates that in order for a person to be considered a CO, he/she must object to all wars.  The reality is that someone can also be morally opposed to a specific war out of his/her faith tradition.  Such a shift in policy is needed to reflect both the way in which modern war is waged as well as the broader range of faith perspectives on violence (such as “Just-War” and “Just Peace” traditions).  A policy that allows for selective conscientious objection is supported by the overwhelming majority of faith traditions, including the United Church of Christ through past synod resolutions. 

CCW/NISBCO and other groups have been working with congress to pass the Military Conscientious Objector Act (MCOA), which would direct the military to reflect selective conscientious objection.  To raise your voice on the issue with you member of congress, download the grassroots advocacy packet  here.

Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity

The Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School was established in 2012 to research and better understand recovery from the extreme distress that results from moral injury. Moral injury is a complex wound of the soul. It results from empathy and self-reflection on moral values in the wake of morally ambiguous, extreme conditions. In making choices in life-threatening situations that pose ethical quandaries, especially, for example, in war, people may feel they failed or made the wrong choice. They may have to kill or violate rules of engagement, but they may also witness death, fail to prevent harm, or feel guilty about surviving. Unresolved traumatic grief or feeling betrayed by persons in authority can also be precipitating factors.