Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Work without pay

In this letter Dad mentions some men who join the army in order to get a pay check. In the book "Peace was in Their Hearts" by Richard C. Anderson on p. 29 I found the following words " In short, the churches provided a home for the men so they would be available to work without pay on government projects." The churches here are the historic peace churches The Brethren, the Mennonites, and the Religious Society of Friends(Quakers). It was a strange arrangement but an improvement over the CO (conscientious objector) arrangement of WWI, which basically required all men to be drafted and allowed for CO's to do noncombatant work, which was not always carried out. Some CO's refused to wear uniforms or participate in the military and were put into prisons or the stockade, many were mistreated and some died. The "Peace" churches wishing to avoid this situation offered to help run the camps and agreed to the "work of national importance" which was difficult to define. Another point of progress was the The selective training and service act of 1940 section 5g, now allowed as CO's anyone who "by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form" . This was an expansion to people beyond the three Churches named in WWI. The CO had the choice of noncombatant service or work in the CPS camps.

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