My personal story as a Catholic conscientious objector

by Tony Magliano

As I was trying to discern what God wanted me to write about, I walked into my 16-year-old son’s bedroom to discover a military calendar hanging on the wall. It highlighted young men and women in combat fatigues, fighter jets, an aircraft carrier battle group and plenty of American flags.

I knew from personal experience and deep soul-searching that hidden behind this calendar of military glitter was centuries of death and destruction. And as I removed this calendar, I knew exactly what God wanted me to write on.

Many years ago as young man in my 20’s I found myself in the midst of U.S. military basic combat training at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

While firing my M-16 weapon at life-like pop-up targets, it occurred to me the army was not training me to hit pop-up targets, but was training me to kill some poor guy like me in a far off country who got caught up in the propaganda of his own country’s war machine.

I came to realize this was all wrong. And I knew that in my desire to imitate the nonviolent Jesus, I could kill no one. …

Read the rest of this column online here.

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