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concientious objectors

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It is the year of the veteran, and we gather around to commemorate the heroes who have risked their lives for our freedom, and to them we bow our heads. The poppy we wear on our shirts each year on that day represents the idea of freedom and fighting for our country, but think about it, what about the people who didn't go out to fight for the sake of our country or for the honor and dignity of their family, not because they didn't want to but because they couldn't? Many of the conscientious objectors that we are going to speak of didn't go out to fight due to religious reasons, while others protested for moral reasons. There were sectarian pacifist groups that lived in Canada who followed a religion that preached to them that it was immoral to kill and were guaranteed exemption from military combat when they immigrated to Canada. ...read more.


Did God not place under his ten commandments the law that it is a sin to kill? These may have been the thoughts of those who protested and argued that they did not want any part with the war. Although at the time the notion of going to war was a romantic one it soon turned out not to be, there were plentiful blood shed and the death tolls were by the hundreds each day. Such conditions are not ones that you'd want to take part in. Conscientious objectors were often prosecuted if found that they did not fall under any of the agreements laid down by the government in the Military Service Act. To prove that there was a reason from abstaining from the war conscientious objectors had to stand before a court and be judged. Paperwork stating religious excuses was also needed in order to prevent prosecution. Now you may be wondering what the difference between a conscientious objector and a pacifist is. ...read more.


The '18 hundreds held double standards against men and women. During the time of the war men who refused to bare arms and fight for the empire were considered cowardly, weak and unworthy. Women on the other hand we known for protesting against allowing their husbands to participate. For women it was considered instinct to disallow their husbands to partake in the war because of the possibility of losing their husbands to the violence. The community and the leaders of the war felt that conscientious objectors should be forced into the front line to fight the war. Another document which was a letter sent from one officer to other suggesting conscientious objectors and pacifists should not be sent to such a "respectable jail" further demeaning the existence of those who opposed the war. The government implemented conscription later on in the war when they saw the number of Canadian soldiers fall by the hundreds and thousands each day and week. Conscription forced many to learn weaponry, strategy and join the war. The government felt that if it was for the empire everything was necessary! ...read more.

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