Conscientious Objectors

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Quaker Meeting House in Mount Pleasant.jpg
Exterior view of the Quaker Meeting House in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, October 1974.

Throughout the history of the United States, there have always been residents of the United States who refused to serve in the military during wartime. They are commonly known as conscientious objectors. Many conscientious objectors refuse to serve in the military for religious and moral reasons. They are pacifists who do not believe in war and believe that it is immoral to kill another human being. In Ohio, the Amish and the Mennonites have been conscientious objectors. Many Quakers and Seventh-Day Adventists also oppose war.

In World War I, conscientious objectors who were drafted into the military and refused to serve were often given the option to work in hospitals or in other support efforts instead. Some agreed to this alternative, but others refused to do anything that would contribute to the U.S. war effort. Some conscientious objectors were even sentenced to jail time for their failure to serve if drafted. Conscientious objectors were often harassed by other Ohioans, who viewed them as unpatriotic.

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