A Christian friend of the writer relates how he went to military training camp after being drafted in 1917 or 1918 with the intention of accepting some form of noncombatant service. As a Christian he had always been taught, however, that warfare and killing were wrong. During the first week of his camp life and before he came to the point of putting on a uniform and engaging in drill, he had the opportunity to make some observations and to compare the teaching of his Christian parents, and his own innermost convictions, with what he was seeing. One day while sauntering about the camp grounds he happened upon a group of soldiers in the midst of a spirited bayonet drill. It so happened that one man in the group wielded his bayonet rather timidly as he brought it in line for a thrust into the abdomen of his dummy victim. Upon seeing this manifestation of soft-heartedness the military officer in charge swore at the timid private and commanded him to step to the front and “ cut out his guts,” reminding him that it was a war, and not a Sunday-school picnic, that he was engaged in. My friend made up his mind, that if that is what the army means, he can have nothing to do with an organization which specializes in disemboweling his fellow men, because it was impossible to conceive that Jesus would have anything to do with such an organization.
War, Peace, and Nonresistance
Guy Franklin Hershberger