Sojo.net: Securing Soldiers’ Rights to Selective Conscientious Objection
by Logan Laituri
Originally published 9/30/2010 at sojo.net
Iraq veteran Logan Laituri, now a student at Duke University Divinity School, offers an explanation of selective conscientious objection as the middle ground between strict pacifism (objection to war in any form) and universal obedience (unqualified, unquestioning compliance with orders). First of a series of articles for the blog God’s Politics, at Sojourners.
Most service members (as well as ordinary citizens) find themselves toward the center of this spectrum. This vast majority finds the debate too nuanced to hang their hat on either objection or obedience. … My bet is that most readers are either contingent pacifists or selective objectors — that you would retain the right to object to, or obey orders within war if you were to serve our nation with the distinction and honor that our service members do every day…
What has been called Selective Conscientious Objection (SCO), reasonable as it may be, has been drowned out by the polarity of extremes. The cacophony … at the margins has been debilitating to the centrist consciences of our young uniformed men and women. … There is no greater way to honor our service members and veterans … than to secure their full rights to obey their God-given consciences rather than humans when necessary.