Peace churches warn of 'back door draft'

Draft official visited Brethren facility
Leaders of a dozen Mennonite, Quaker and Brethren churches that shun military service say they will coordinate their plans for “alternative service” programs for conscientious objectors should a draft be reinstated.

That coalition of historic “peace churches” says they have been told the Pentagon does not plan to reinstate a military draft, but they remain concerned about a “back door draft” targeting the poor and minorities. Church leaders referred to what they called “intensified, high-pressure military recruitments . . . where poverty and racism exclude our brothers and sisters from the opportunities that give life meaning and hope.”

The coalition’s two-day meeting at Elgin, Illinois, in early March was prompted by an unannounced visit in October by a draft official to a Church of the Brethren facility in Maryland. Several churches felt the visit signaled that a draft may be imminent.

 

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