NNOMYnews 1055: February 26 2021 - Historic Peace Church Peace Activism

NNOMYnews 1055: February 26 2021 - Historic Peace Church Peace Activism

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NNDecember 2022  


"You are part of the national network of peace groups working to stop the militarization of schools and young people! "

 

 

NNOMYnews 1055: February 15 2021 - Historic Peace Church Peace Activism

Hello ,

Historic Peace Churches have played a consistent and continuing multigenerational  role in those movements and within their own organizations that have confronted war and the conscription of youth into those wars. The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth was born, beginning in 2003, when the American Friends Service Committee, a secularized social justice organization of the Religious Society of Friends hosted a gathering in Philadelphia. In this month’s NNOMYnews for February 2021, we recognize some of those efforts of Peace Churches and the activism and sacrifice that came out of their pacifist principles.

From the website of the Peace Church Alliance: “

 

“Quakers, Brethren, and Mennonites have been called "Peace Churches" for our shared commitment to non-violence. We don't own these conversations—but we fearlessly hold them—and actively seek to bend the arc of the dialogue toward equity and peace. 

Yesterday, we fought for abolition and propelled the Underground Railroad. Today, we invite other individuals and communities to join as Peace Alliance Partners as we work together for "Positive Peace." - https://www.peacechurches.org
 
#counter-recruitment | #nnomypeace | #peacefulcareers | #revisitingouroutrage |  www.nnomy.org

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Peace Churches in the Orbit of Youth Demilitarization Activism

2/25/2021/  Gary Ghirardi / NNOMY – In my years working as a communications consultant to counter-recruitment organizations, now approaching twenty years for the summer of 2021, I have experienced personally and observed the organizing and activism of groups formed by historical peace churches make prolonged and concerted efforts to intervene against the militarization of our youth by departments of defense.

 


Religion After 9-11: Pacifism on the Record

Fall 2001  / Dennis R. Hoover / Trinity College - "It’s a tough time to peddle pacifism," began Saeed Ahmed’s October 9 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Local Peace Activists Seek to ‘End War Now.’" With polls showing upwards of 85 percent of the public in favor of a military response to the September 11 attacks, it was hard to disagree.

Still, dozens of news stories and columns were devoted to the war-wary minority. Journalists fanned out in search of quotes from those thought to be representative of "pacifism," phoning or interviewing them at local peace demonstrations. Invariably at least one person from "the peace church" was willing to go on the record.

Not that there is a single "peace church" or Christian pacifist point of view. Within Roman Catholicism there are pacifist groups like Pax Christi, while within Protestantism groups typically referred to as "historic peace churches" include Anabaptists (Mennonites, Amish, Brethren) and Quakers, who differ among themselves in how they understand and live "pacifism." Too often after September 11 journalists missed the variety of views. The result was coverage largely comprised of softball news stories and simplistic editorial bashing.

 


 

Nonresistance under Test

Titus Peachey and Linda Gehman Peachey / Mennonite Central Committee - “Our church taught that it is wrong to engage in strife, that Christians should follow the footsteps of Jesus. But the church also taught that we should pray for rulers, pay taxes and be good, law-abiding citizens.”  Emanuel Swartzendruber, a Mennonite young man, struggled to practice these teachings in the midst of World War I, under the pressure of a military draft.

Emanuel received his call to report for military service on March 4, 1918. He and seventeen others boarded the train at Bad Axe, Michigan for the long trip to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

At his assigned unit, Emanuel took his first opportunity to explain his religious beliefs and convictions against war to his commanding officer. The officer was understanding, and respected Emanuel’s refusal to wear the uniform or participate in drills. Emanuel also declined kitchen duty, saying, “I am not opposed to work, but I can’t be a member of the army.”

After several weeks, Emanuel was transferred to another company where the presiding officer had successfully forced another conscientious objector (CO) to wear the military uniform. He expected the same results with Emanuel, and tried hard to force his cooperation.

 


 

History of War Tax Resistance

War Resisters League - Up until World War II, war tax resistance in the U.S. primarily manifested itself among members of the historic peace churches — Quakers, Mennonites, and Brethren — and usually only during times of war. There have been instances of people refusing to pay taxes for war in virtually every American war, but it was not until World War II and the establishment of a permanent, centralized U.S. military (symbolized by the building of the Pentagon) was the modern war tax resistance movement born.

 


 

What Does the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision Mean for War Tax Resisters?


November 8, 2014 / Peter Goldberger / Earlham School of Religion -
When I learned there was a meeting of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee focused on Quaker themes, to be held at Earlham School of Religion in November 2014, I raised the question whether we didn’t want to talk about the Supreme Court decision from the spring of 2014, the Hobby Lobby case under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to explore whether there was anything in there that war tax resisters could use. Wouldn’t it be fun to talk about that? Lonnie Valentine and Ruth Benn responded, “Well, do you want to come out and do that? We can fit you in.” So that’s what happened; I talked myself onto the program. When the Court’s decision came out, I wanted to think about it from this point of view. There was a lot that was being said in the spring about it, and I wanted to sort through more seriously what was true and what was not true, what was nonsense and what was less nonsense. In particular, I wanted to ask the question whether there was something useful in it for conscientious objectors to taxes for military purposes.

 


 

Behind the Camouflage: A Primer on Military Enlistment for Youth Pastors, Mentors and Counselors

Titus Peachey / Mennonite Central Committee - As a pacifist writer, I am clearly not able to join Cpt. Kilner in explaining a moral justification for killing in combat. My plea is simply for pastors of all churches, whatever their theological orientation, to help young peoplestruggle with the moral and spiritual dimensions of military enlistment and war. Every young person should be asked to consider whether they could take the life of another person. Perhaps one of the most helpful things you can accomplishis to help a young person understand the reality and the depth of what they are committing themselves to if they sign an enlistment agreement. It’s about much more than the immediate personal incentives present in military advertisements. It’s a much larger commitment than training in a particular job skill or the personal esteem that might come from a signing bonus. The decision to enlist or not to enlist involves one’s deepest values and identity. It’s a decision to embrace the moral dilemmas of killing. And even enlistees from church traditions which view military enlistment as part of one’s service to country blessed by God will not escape them.

 


 

‘I Ain’t Marching Anymore’ chronicles 260 years of war resistance and conscientious objection

December 19, 2020 / Frida Berrigan / Waging Nonviolence -  ‘I Ain’t Marching Anymore’ chronicles 260 years of war resistance and conscientious objection.

Everywhere I look, violence is the answer. Geopolitics and foreign policy, criminal justice and incarceration, education and housing policy, entertainment — especially entertainment. The guns are so seductive. The violence is so addictive, at least when it is in high-definition and packaged as entertainment. It goes down as easy as salty chips.

AAfter reading Chris Lombardi’s epic new book “I Ain’t Marching Anymore: Dissenters, Deserters and Objectors to America’s Wars,” I felt compelled to count the deaths I witnessed on a nightly basis. My husband and I recently got stuck in “Altered Carbon” — a confusing but watchable future dystopian who-dunnit — and in one 40-minute episode, we saw more than 100 people die. Until I counted, I hadn’t really been conscious of the ways I had been enjoying the carnage. Then I felt sick and manipulated and pressed the pause button.

(This book is a selection on NNOMY's Curricula/Classroom Resources Page)

 


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