In honor of TR’s birthday.

For many human beings, there are boundaries of behavior, thought and speech not usually crossed. We may perceive them as sheer underwater cliffs where dangers lurk, or simply as self-drawn chalk lines on the infield of life. We may draw those lines in response to instruction from respected sources or perhaps some reasoned/seasoned or intuitive understanding. We may draw them based on painful experience. We draw them in society and fill prisons with those who feel it is necessary or worthwhile to violate the contract. Our helplessness as infants and caution as elders draw them for us. Birth and Death paint red boundaries which we have crossed or do cross at our peril. They’re not visible from the field. They’re in the access tunnels, just out of the light.
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Could you qualify as a “Conscientious Objector”?

The following is a submission from Ron Madson, written on February 23, 2011, the fourth anniversary of his father’s passing as a tribute to his legacy.

My father was a WWII veteran that served in Patton’s infantry in the European theatre. It wasn’t until he was 91 years old before he told me the details of his war experiences—and I am not aware if he told anyone else. My father was the most Christ-like person I have ever known. In the fall of 2002 I sat with my father listening to the war rhetoric seeking to justify our nation’s invasion of Iraq. This man, who rarely showed emotion and spoke seldom, emotionally told me that he did not believe that there was any scripture or Christian principle that would allow us to attack another country as we did in Afghanistan and were about to do in Iraq. He was certain that in our anger, fear and pride we, like the Nephites of old, were abandoning our covenant with the Lord by being the aggressor. He was hopeful that as a people we would surely denounce these wars. Knowing his character I am certain that if he were magically young again, he would have applied for conscientious objector status as to our current wars— as he would have in Viet Nam. [Read more…]