Conscientious objector

refusal to do something on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion

A conscientious objector is an individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion.


  • A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded. ... If he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected. A military commander ... must resign or be rejected. If a catechumen or a believer seeks to become a soldier, they must be rejected, for they have despised God.
  • They would choose to die rather than kill someone. Consequently, I am sure if only Jehovah’s Witnesses lived on the earth then wars would not break out anywhere.
  • Do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven.
  • The courts properly decided that if government says that one religious tradition—Amish, Quaker, or Mennonites—is a valid religious basis for being a conscientious objector, but that some other religion is not a valid religion for being a conscientious objector, that decision constitutes backhandedly an establishment of religion, which the U. S. Constitution prohibits.
  • Lutherans and Catholics began to say that they have a right to equal protection before the law for their ethical teachings. They argued: "If a Quaker says, 'I cannot go to any war,' he is doing what his church tells him to do. If a Catholic says, 'I could go to a good war but not a bad one,' he is doing what his Church tells him to do. Why does the government make provision for the Mennonite who follows his church's teaching but not for the Catholic who does?” Logically, that is a valid argument, but it is not valid in American law.

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