Reverse the “burden of proof” for joining military vs. applying for Conscientious Objector status

For many decades it has been easy to join the military:  Just sign up and go through the process.

But if you are a Conscientious Objector, it has been VERY HARD to get the federal government to recognize your human right — whether you are facing the military draft or whether you had previously enlisted in the military and now discover that you are a Conscientious Objector.

We should REVERSE THE “BURDEN OF PROOF.”

Our nation should recognize:  Of course a mentally healthy and morally healthy person would not want to kill other people.  This should be the default assumption.

Currently anybody applying for Conscientious Objector status must thoroughly examine his or her soul, conscience, religious beliefs, etc., and carefully explain in writing why their beliefs prohibit them from participating in war.  A federal government body (draft board and/or military chain of command and other military officials) carefully review that written document and decide whether the person meets the legal criteria for being a Conscientious Objector and has convinced the government that he or she is sincere.

We should REVERSE THE “BURDEN OF PROOF.”  We should prevent anyone from joining the military unless he or she does the amount of soul-searching that a Conscientious Objector does before taking the C.O. position.  We should require that anyone who wants to join the military document and prove in writing that their religious beliefs and/or deepest conscientious values would ALLOW them to kill other people in war. Only after a board (similar to a draft board) has reviewed and approved a person’s application should he or she be allowed to enlist in the military.

About GlenAnderson 1498 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org