Objection to the Conscientious Objector Series

February 25, 1943

A Citizen With Sons in the Service Takes The Herald To Task For Publishing C. O. Articles

EDITOR, SYKESVILLE HERALD–Sir:

When a country is at war it is the duty of the government to suspend certain rights for which the pick of our manhood are dying hourly. This paradoxical situation is due to the necessity of suppressing views and information which would be subversive to our war effort by disrupting the morale of our troops; our workers and the public in general. This includes any subject which would breed dissention amonst our various political groups of the nations or amonst the nations united with us to exterminate oppression.

Having most kindly allowed the spokesman of a certain group to solicit public approval of their stand in regards to exercising the privilege of bearing arms in the defense of the country in its hour of need, you have been guilty, if not in allowing your paper to be the means of disseminating subversive ideals, of plowing and fertilizing the ground in order that they may more readily take root and prosper. Therefore, it is only proper you should grant the writer this opportunity to make a rebuttal.

As you well know this writer has always advocated toleration for all groups, especially the group in question so this is only in defense of the true duties of citizenship and not an attack on the persons in question or of their ideals. Poor martyrs! Heaven knows the hardships they have to undergo are indeed extreme enough without one straw being added to their burden. These pathetic Latter Day Saints are already in the arena waiting to be torn limb from limb by the lions of public opinion. A cruel and unappreciative government, despite their noble services and sacrifices, barely allows them subsistence.

It is to be wondered if any torpedoed seaman, adrift on the cold waters of the North Atlantic or the shark infested Pacific; any wounded American soldier lying on the hot sands of North Africa, tongue black with thirst, wounds festering and unattended; or any internee in a Japanese prison camp, have had to suffer the pains and tortures of these persecuted saints in our midst.

In expressing himself this spokesman wisely sought to evade controversy, thereby seeking to evade even a battle of the pen. But there is far too much subversive propaganda in our midst to allow this to go unchallenged. Having granted them you valuable space for three weeks it is only fair you grant indulgence for one week to this rebuttal.

The Christ in whom these men profess to believe has been torn from His throne; pagan deities, fruits of the Nazi’s perverted culture, has usurped Him wherever they go. Their church, the Brides of Christ, have been robbed and raped by these same hordes. Even if Christ said: “Put up thy sword,” He did so in order that a prophecy may be… (next part missing)

Comment

It had been the hope of the editor and of Dr. Kenneth Jones and other officials at Springfield Hospital that the explanatory series of articles on the Conscientious Objector would not result in a prolonged controversy or debate. The whole undertaking was in the interest of tolerance in a community which, on this issue in several instances, had displayed gross intolerance. Those preparing the articles were instructed to bend over backwards to hold the series to an unbiased presentation of the C. O’s organization and principles, free from any partisan flavor, either in their own behalf or against their critics. We believe they carried out their assignment well and in accordance with instructions.

The Herald publishes Mr. Kee’s letter not alone because it represents a line of reasoning which is entitled to expression, but because it represents the opinion of a number of others in the community. Mr. Kee has merely had the courage to write in forceful fashion what other citizens have been thinking and have told us by word of mouth. Some, indeed, have overcast reflections on our good faith and patriotism.

The Herald stated its position when the first of the three C. O. articles appeared on February 4. We respected the beliefs of the C. O.’s and asked for tolerance and understanding in their regard, but we did not agree with them. The gang of Axis outlaws menacing the world today know only one law–the law of force, and this… (next part missing)

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