Peace Witness

Resources on Conscientious Objection to War

Mennonite Central Committee has resources on conscientious objection to war, including, Behind the Camouflage, a guide for youth and youth pastors on military enlistment and issues of conscience, and the Christian Peacemaker Registration Form, a way for youth to record and document their peace convictions. The Winter 2015 issue of Intersections includes numerous articles on conscientious objection to war and war taxes.

Selective Service & a draft

For basic information on registration with Selective Service and how a draft would be implemented, go to the Center on Conscience & War.

Selective Service: This government agency is responsible for registering 18-yr. old males for a potential military draft, and for overseeing regulations and procedures that protect the rights of conscientious objectors to perform alternative service. See also their official information on Conscientious Objection and Alternative Service.

View Resources from the Mennonite Church Peace & Justice Support Network

Visit and scroll down for resources on conscientious objection and the draft, including notes about how to document your convictions as a conscientious objector. This website also includes information on the Student Aid Fund for Nonregistrants, a source for education loans and grants for those whose conscience forbids them to register with the Selective Service System.

Resources on Peace & Militarism

Conscientious Objection to War Taxes

  • 1040forPeaceEncourages taxpayers with a conscience against paying for war to deduct $10.40 from their income tax payments as a witness for peace and against endless war.
  • National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee: A website dedicating to supporting individuals who have a conscience against paying for war, and want to engage in a strategy of nonviolent social change.  Filled with practical suggestions, stories of resistance, and helpful information about the consequences of war tax resistance.
  • The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund:  This campaign advocates for legislation that would enable conscientious objectors to war to have their tax dollars directed to a special fund which would be used for military purposes.
  • What Belongs to God? A reflection on the bombing of Nagasaki and the payment of taxes for war. Includes a moving confession from George Zabelka, chaplain to the crew that bombed the city.

Other resources

Video interviews of U.S. military veterans now committed to nonviolence and peacemaking are available on Mennonite Central Committee pages including: Ben Peters (former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Iraq War), Joshua Casteel (former Arab language interrogator at Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq War) and Logan Mehl-Laituri (U.S. Army Iraq War veteran). 

Curriculum:  A Call of Conscience: a curriculum on conscientious objection produced by the Church of the Brethren. An online resource with a four-session study guide, including biblical study.

WWII Conscientious Objectors:  Civilian Public Service is a website filled with records and primary source documents from WWII conscientious objectors to war. The site also includes a section with interviews and stories of conscientious objectors who performed alternative service in Vietnam during the war.  

WWI Conscientious Objectors: This website, Conscientious Objection and the Great War: 1914-1920, includes photos, descriptions, reactions from religious groups and primary source documents regarding conscientious objectors in WWI. Source: Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

The Priest of Abu Ghraib: The moving story of Iraq War intelligence officer, Joshua Casteel, in the January 2019 issue of the Smithsonian.

Alternatives: Project Yano a Project on Youth and Non-military Opportunities: This site offers good information in English and Spanish about military enlistment, alternatives for education and job training, as well as careers in peacemaking and social change.

Soldier’s Testimonies: Winter Soldier: (Iraq Veterans Against the War):  Eyewitness accounts of U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan from U.S. soldiers, including testimony on the rules of engagement, the dehumanization of the enemy, gender and sexuality, military contractors, the cost of the war at home and more.

Resources on Moral Injury:  The Soul Repair Project provides reflections and video interviews on the moral and spiritual wounds often experienced by combat veterans.

GI Rights Hotline (877) 447-4487: A website and counseling service dedicated to helping military personnel facing difficulties, including assistance with conscientious objection discharges.  Also an excellent place to call when someone has enlisted but not yet gone to basic training, and has changed their mind.  Counselors can help the person withdraw from any further military obligation.