From trials to toleration

I read with great interest about Duane Stoltzfus’ talk on the trials of pacifists seeking citizenship (March 3). Just several weeks prior to reading Tricia Bell’s report, I went through my own U.S. citizenship interview, in an area of the country where there are few Anabaptists. In the application process leading up to the interview, I had provided evidence of studies at Mennonite institutions and over two decades of service with Mennonite organizations, as well as a copy of Article 22, “Peace, Justice and Nonresistance,” from the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. I wanted to have evidence in case I was challenged for being a conscientious objector. I am happy to report that when I responded negatively to questions of whether I was willing to bear arms or perform noncombatant service and stated that I was a conscientious objector because of my faith, the interviewer simply said, “Sure, that’s fine.” Quite a different response than COs were given 80 to 100 years ago! I am grateful for all the efforts made by Mennonites and other COs in the past to smooth the way to citizenship for COs today. Thank you for reporting on the previous challenges of COs. 

Margaret De Jong, Fort Kent, Maine

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

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