I hereby declare that I do NOT believe in war as a means to solve any problems or conflicts. I declare my status as a ‘conscientious objector’, this ninth (9th) day of September in the year 2008. To whom it may concern, I do not support violence of any means to reach any outcome. Methods of peace, discussion and agreement of those methods amongst all parties involved, and positive encouragement of positive actions that will bring a Win/Win solution to said conflict or situation, for all parties or countries involved, should always be the used to accomplish a mutually agreeable outcome without the use of violence, torture or any general method that inflicts pain or anguish mentally or physically.

“Love thy neighbor as thyself”,
Jesus Christ

“We must attack evil where it is strongest, and it is strongest in the power of Hitler… We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace.”
Excerpt from a leaflet by Hans and Sophie Scholl, devout young German Christians executed by the Nazi party in 1943.

“At the center of nonviolence stands the principal of love.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“God and our love are the condition for the unity of Christians. They are the condition for peace in the world.”
Benedict XVI

“The God of Peace is never glorified by human violence.”
Thomas Merton

“During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade under the guise of patriotism.”
Howard Thurman
Spritual advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Aquire the spirit of peace and thousands of souls around you will be saved.”
St. Seraphim of Sarov

“Pray for them, and resist them.”
Fr. Dan Berrigan, S.J.
Referring to the responsibility of Christians to government leaders

“For certainly it is a greater work and much more marvelous to change the minds of opponents and to bring about a change of soul than to kill them…”
St. John Chrysostom
Doctor of the Church

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Chapter Eight
The Political Community

III. Political Authority
c. The right to conscientious objection

399. Citizens are not obligated in conscience to follow the prescriptions of civil authorities if their precepts are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or to the teachings of the Gospel. [820] Unjust laws pose dramatic problems of conscience for morally upright people: when they are called to cooperate in morally evil acts they must refuse.[821] Besides being a moral duty, such a refusal is also a basic human right which, precisely as such, civil law itself is obliged to recognize and protect. “Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane”.[822]

It is a grave duty of conscience not to cooperate, not even formally, in practices which, although permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to the Law of God. Such cooperation in fact can never be justified, not by invoking respect for the freedom of others nor by appealing to the fact that it is foreseen and required by civil law. No one can escape the moral responsibility for actions taken, and all will be judged by God himself based on this responsibility (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12).


“To fail to speak to the utter moral corruption of the mass destruction of civilians was to fail as a Christian and as a priest. Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened in and to a world and a Christian Church that had asked for it – that had had prepared the moral consciousness of humanity to do and to justify the unthinkable… One would have thought that I, as a priest, would have spoken out against the atomic bombing of nuns. (Three orders of Catholic sisters were destroyed in Nagasaki that day.) One would have thought that I would have suggested that as a minimal standard of Catholic morality, Catholics shouldn’t bomb Catholic children. I didn’t speak out.”
Father George Zabelka
Catholic Chaplain for the 509th Composite Group, the Atomic Bomb Crew

“Do not forget that when sovereigns are at war they can no longer busy themselves with their administration; justice is not distributed; no care is taken of the people; and this alone is their sovereign charge.”
St. Elizabeth of Portugal, July 4th

“You can train all you want and watch training videos, but you can’t possibly know what combat is like until you experience it,” he said. “You can’t burn a little girl’s arm off in training, or have dogs eat human remains, or have soldiers actually shoot and kill real people.”
Sgt. Keven Benderman

“I am a soldier of Christ and it is not permissible for me to fight”
St. Martin of Tours, 315-397

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
St. Francis of Assisi

“On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and to return to the ways of peace.”
Pope John Paul II

“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
Matthew 5:44

“We must now squarely face the fact that war is no longer tolerable for a Christian.”
Bishop Carroll Dozier

“For a man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged.”
Romans 2: 15-16

“Divine Providence urgently demands of us that we free ourselves from the age-old slavery of war.”
Gaudium et spes (1, 79)

“Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.”
St. Athanasius

“Murder, considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse.”
St. Cyprian (200-258)

“Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword die by the sword.”
Matthew 26:52

“If you enroll as one of God’s people, heaven is your country and God your lawgiver.”
St. Clement of Alexandria

“Nonviolence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak… Nonviolence is hard work.”
Cesar Chavez

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.”
General Omar Bradley

“Christ, in disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier.”


Return to Statements of Conscience