A Conscience Movement

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom..." --Article 18: Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Conscience

Conscience is an inward knowledge of right and wrong, with a compulsion to do what’s right. It requires judgment and action. Conscience is expressed in how we treat other people and the earth, so conscience is a community matter. Sometimes conscience appears in an instant of clarity, but typically it grows as one pays attention to it. A movement of conscience requires people recognize the central role of conscience in life at home, work, community and society, listen to consciences, share and test it with others, act in accord with it and publish the results.

Conscientious objectors to war believe war does not engender healthy societies or increase security, but rather perpetuates multigenerational violence, prejudice, trauma and revenge. Peace is a prerequisite for education, health, business and community. Every person who pays taxes, invests funds or purchases products, should ask, “Am I a conscientious objector to war?” Conscientious objection to war does not legally abdicate a person's right to self-defense in the face of immediate physical threat to self, family or community. As a conscientious objector: Create a file by writing a statement of conscience (see guidelines and seek a counselor to help); requesting three to five letters of recommendation from community members, even ones who may hold opposing beliefs, testifying to the sincerity of your belief; not whether or not it’s correct, but if it’s sincere held; and copying relevant documents, such as: church membership, training certificates, publications, and other evidence of how this belief affects your life.

Share your statement with the local newspaper, county legislature, review board, Congressional representatives and senators, and the Internal Revenue Service. When three to five people have completed files, go together to deliver the files personally to your representatives and senators. Consider withholding a nominal amount, the military portion, or all of one’s income taxes and paying that amount to worthy causes or to an escrow account and support the Peace Tax Fund.

Publicly discuss and explore what type of service and witness in the world builds peace and security and how. Engage in that service and witness in some way yourself or support someone who does. Develop opportunities for people-to-people visitation especially with peoples in regions of armed conflict, post-conflict or potential conflict.

Write your own Statement of Conscience!