Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Magistrate's opinion finds in favor of Ft. Rich "conscientious objector"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Magistrate's opinion finds in favor of Ft. Rich "conscientious objector"

The Army should be ordered to grant conscientious objector status to Michael Barnes, a Fort Richardson-based paratrooper who had that request denied by the Army last year, U.S. Magistrate John D. Roberts ruled today. In a 26-page decision, Roberts concluded that the government failed to show any "basis in fact" for denying Barnes' request to be honorably discharged due to his religious beliefs. The government has four days to respond to the decision.
This goes before Judge John Sedwick who will choose whether or not to affirm the Magistrate decision.

Pfc. Michael Barnes has been a radio operator in the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team and is the first "conscientious objector" case in Alaska since the Iraq was invaded.

Pfc. Barnes:
"...had his request for conscientious objector status denied by the U.S. Army while serving in Iraq last year appealed that decision in an Anchorage federal court on Monday."

His written testimony describes his reasons:
"Spending my time on this earth killing or supporting killing others is unacceptable to me," Barnes wrote. "Serving Jesus is doing the opposite of participating in war. It is loving your enemy, avoiding conflict, being humble and living peacefully. I am unable to serve the Lord and support war."

Born and raised in Portland, Ore., Barnes was baptized at New Hope Community Church in Portland in 2001.

Shannyn Moore on KUDO 1080 broke this news before the Anchorage Daily News did and the discussion centered around the fact that this man understands what Jesus actually taught in the Gospels as opposed to what the right-wing twist does to those beliefs.

I also don't want the Courts deciding who is "religious enough" and who isn't. Anyone who goes through the hell of bringing this request to the courts with all the abuse that will eventually entail should be granted the status automatically. Since it's a volunteer Army, why would we want to keep folks there who are no longer effective and may actually be a danger to themselves and everyone else if they are forced to fight?

3 Comments:

Blogger Grimbles said...

No no, that 'love thy neighbour' stuff is just incidental. Jesus' real message was to shoot people until they believe in him. You're a dangerous A-rab lover.

*cough*

It's really amazing that people can miss something so very simple and obvious. Granted, there are some that want to miss it, but there are (relatively) good people, intelligent people, who against all odds seem to cling to the fire and brimstone stuff. That was written... how many centuries later? =(

5/13/2008 11:16 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

From the purely practical standpoint: I just can't imagine what brainiac would think that forcing people to fight who don't want to/aren't going to fight could possibly do anyone any good!

5/14/2008 10:07 AM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

We both live in countries where the governments thought conscription was an awesome idea well into the '70s.

5/14/2008 7:09 PM  

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