February 16, 2005

Conscientious Objectors--The Time Has Come To Leave

How can you compare the character of a man like Pat Tilman who joined the Army walking away from the fame and fortune of an NFL career and gave his life for his country and a guy like Perry O’Brien who joined the Army, looking for a nice, safe paycheck. Now he’s a civilian out on a crusade as a “conscientious objector.”

During the days of the draft, our government acknowledged that there were people, who out of sincere, religious conviction, believed that war is always immoral. So the government accepted the religious convictions of what comprised a small minority of the population granting them status as a conscientious objector (C.O.) freeing them from military obligation. To force such a person to serve in an organization that exists solely to fight would essentially prohibit the free exercise of their faith.

Well and good, but when the draft ended, C.O. status should have ended as well being deemed irrelevant if not ridiculous. The reason is simple; if you have a conscientious objection to war, don’t join the military; it’s your choice.

How about a little reality check here: How can O’Brien object to a situation that he initiated and to which he agreed? Given the nature of an all volunteer military, what we have today are not conscientious objectors, but just more fruit of the “ME” generation that takes all it can until something is required in return. Then they sing the victim song, bolting to the next oasis of self-indulgence getting plenty of help on the Internet.

There you find predictably, that the real culprits are the recruiters who have the effrontery to visit high school campuses “feeding on the ignorance of the students.”

One teacher said, “If our students could hear (about the downside of war), it would be a bigger numeric consequence.” (Meaning fewer would join in the first place.)

Well I have a news flash for you. Students hear and see the downside of war every single day; it’s not like the media have been extolling the glamour and glory of military service.

So let’s be honest. This isn’t an issue of religious or moral conviction but about encroaching on someone’s comfort. This is an issue of personal integrity and the wanton breech of contract once the contract is enforced.


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