Chalcedon: Its Time for the Christian Right to Oppose the Draft

U.S. Army recruits are sworn in to service during the ceremony at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Longmont. (David R. Jennings, Daily Camera)
U.S. Army recruits are sworn in to service during the ceremony at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Longmont. (David R. Jennings, Daily Camera)

Conscription is not a patriotic necessity. It has no clear Biblical support and is dangerous to our liberties.

Timothy D. Terrell

Growing up with Christian Right influences all around me, I became quite familiar with the view that Christian patriotism included supporting the U.S. government’s foreign military adventures. If the government needed troops for a war, it was the duty of every male American of military age to consent to the draft. To most of those around me, the draft-card burners of the Vietnam War, and those who fled to Canada to evade the draft, were just contemptible pinko liberal pacifists with no defensible grounds to object to military service.

Over time, my own position changed. As I became a non-interventionist, I recognized that Biblical patriotism does not imply giving the government ownership over our lives and property. I considered that a time of national emergency was a time to guard against further government encroachment on personal freedoms; it was then that the state could most easily seize powers that it might not relinquish after the crisis ended.

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