Conscientious Objection

Conscientious Objection to War

Conscientious objection to war [C.O.] can be defined as a personal conviction not to participate in any war, in any form. This conviction is developed over time through a process of reflection and discernment, and stems from deeply-held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs.

Conscientious Objection to Military Service

The United States government currently recognizes the right of young men to refuse participation in military service. [Presumably this would also apply to young women, should they ever be subject to a military Draft.] A Conscientious Objector [C.O.] must demonstrate to a Draft Board that his claim meets the following three conditions:

1) His objection must be based on “moral, ethical, or religious belief.”

2) He must be “opposed to participation in war in any form.”
Opposition must be against any and all war.

3) His claim must be “deeply held.” In general, documentation that supports your conviction must be available for examination by a Draft Board.

The Gwynedd Meeting community helps its young members in discerning their own beliefs and leadings regarding war and other violent conflict, and holds them in the Light throughout their personal journeys toward clearness in this regard. The adult members and attenders are prepared to assist and support any young man or woman who wishes to document a claim of Conscientious Objection.

The following links provide access to detailed information and counseling about Conscientious Objection:
(Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s working group on Conscience)Militarism, and War Tax Concerns
(The Center on Conscience and War)

Conscientious Objection to Military Taxation

Some taxpayers withhold payment some or all of their Federal Taxes because those taxes make possible the preparation for, and waging of, war— although this is not a legally-recognized form of conscientious objection, and therefore constitutes civil disobedience. Although there presently exists no legal accommodation for them, principled war tax resisters meet the same conditions that the government requires for draft C.O.’s, that is, their convictions are based on “moral, ethical, or religious belief,” their opposition is to “participation in war in any form,” and their beliefs are “deeply held.”

The Gwynedd community assists members and attenders considering war tax resistance with their process of discernment, and supports those who feel led to practice this form of conscientious witness.

The following links provide access to information and counseling regarding war tax resistance and proposed legal accommodation:
(Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s working group on Conscience, Militarism, and War Tax Concern)
(The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund

Arthur D'Adamo, 12/24/2020