christian, author, veteran
Clay Huston is a U.S. Army Blackhawk pilot turned Conscientious Objector (1-0).
He served more than ten years in the U.S. military and deployed once to the Middle East. It was during his deployment he decided to act on his beliefs, which stem from his faith, and seek separation from the armed forces.
Since his separation, Clay has worked to become a voice for antiwar Christians. His current projects include antiwar activism and authoring Code of Words: War Through the Eyes of Warriors, a collection of harrowing excerpts from war memoirs from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as My Objection, an explanation to his family and others as to why he abandoned a career as an Army officer and pilot.
Why I'm a Conscientious Objector
conscientious objector: Noun
A conscientious objector is a person who refuses to bear arms or serve in the military based on a matter of conscience; rather, on moral, ethical, or religious grounds.
The history of conscientious objectors (COs) is long and painful. During the Civil War, conscientious objector status could be gained by paying a heavy fee or hiring someone to fight in your stead. Many of those who could not afford the fee or to hire a replacement, but still refused to fight, were tortured, imprisoned, or executed.
Mistreatment of COs continued into World War I and II. Robert Simmons, an African American man from Georgia, found himself sentenced to Alcatraz after refusing to fight in WWI. There, he was kept in a pitch-black cell for 14 days at a time and confined to an iron cage without the ability to sit or even turn around for 8 hours a day. Simmons was imprisoned at Alcatraz for more than a year after WWI ended.
Those who escaped imprisonment and torture did not get off scot-free. Their communities shunned them as cowards and dismissed their beliefs as an excuse to avoid fighting.
Throughout American history, refusal to serve in the military has predominately, though not entirely, stemmed from religious beliefs. Peace churches such as Mennonites, Quakers, the Church of Brethren, and other Anabaptist groups have long refused to fight in any war. Their pacifist beliefs prohibit them from participating in violent endeavors such as war, even those perceived as justified from grounds of self-defense. To them, the teachings of Jesus Christ make it clear; Christians are to abstain from violence.
While not a pacifist, I share a similar conviction with anabaptist groups to abstain from participating in war of all forms. I don't believe war can be justified, even when in self-defense. This belief is derived from my reading of Biblical teachings, and from this belief, I've developed an antiwar political position. I consider myself an antiwar-Christian, and It's my hope to convince other Christians to believe the same.
Convince people we should all be antiwar simply because of how agonizing it is for those who live through it.
Convince people they should at the very least reconsider voting for any politician who advocates military action as a solution to our problems.
Make war a social taboo. We should instinctively be repulsed by the idea of going to war in the same way we're repulsed by racism, public nudity, or smoking while pregnant.