Anika Wahid: Conscientious Objector

Updated: 10/10/2021
Anika Wahid: Conscientious Objector

Storyboard Text

  • Sir, after taking the time to reflect, I have decided to become a conscientious objector.
  • Soldier, what did you want to discuss with me?
  • After going through the training, I realized that we are being taught to kill with hatred. The training is cultivating ill will and goes against my beliefs.
  • Where is this coming from? You knew what you were signing up for when you joined the military. You took an oath to serve and protect your country even if you do not like the circumstances.
  • Regardless of our intention, I still believe all wars are ethically wrong and it is my fundamental right to be a conscientious objector. There are better and more efficient ways to resolve conflict.
  • We are trying to turn you into a great soldier so you can protect the freedom and liberty of those in need. Under the requirements of just war, we have the right intention and we are making sure to protect civilians. 
  • The conversation is initiated by the soldier informing her head officer of becoming a conscientious objector.
  • War is not ethically wrong. As St. Augustine said, soldiers are not guilty of murder because they are ordered by legitimate authorities. Jesus was also implicitly okay with war. There are multiple examples of Jesus supporting soldiers in the New Testament. If Jesus approves of soldiers, then he approves of war as well.
  • St. Augustine also said that we love war too much that we do not consider all options of resolving conflict. Also we are using just war to legitimize and rationalize wars instead of using it as a limiting method.
  • The solider is met with hostility from her head officer because when one joins to serve in the military, it is assumed they are okay with war and killing people when needed. However, the soldier is arguing that the system is psychologically turning people to hate others which goes against her beliefs.
  • My belief is that Catholicism is all about peace and love. Jesus talks about loving your enemies and not retaliated on them even when they are attacking you.
  • You are making it appear that we purposely want to cause problems. It is our duty to fight. Not to mention, the Deuteronomy states to kill the enemy and that it is God's will.
  • The head officer is emphasizing that this training is needed to win wars. Additionally, he pulls from just war by stating that the wars are not morally wrong because they are fighting for the right causes. The solider, on the other hand, is stating that she a has right to view all wars as being wrong from a religious standpoint.
  • I know the burden will be on me, but it is my right to advocate for my beliefs before serving the government. 
  • Since you seem to strongly believe in your stance, you can go ahead with the process. However, it will not be easy.
  • Both are using arguments made my St. Augustine to justify their perspective. The head officer discusses how Jesus approves of soldiers, while the soldier emphasizes how humans love war to resolve issues and that just war is not being applied correctly.
  • Both continue to pull from other sources. The Deuteronomy, for example, is a violent passage that supports war. However, sections in Matthew promote pacifisms and love.
  • The conversation is concluded by the head officer stated that it will be hard for the soldier to become a conscientious objector, demonstrated that it is a long process. The solider is okay with this because she was wants to stand up for her beliefs and right to be an objector.