Listen to your conscience
Regarding the adverse responses to a June 24 article about Jim Arneson’s decision to avoid the Vietnam War, sometimes it takes more courage to withstand the tide, as he did, than to simply go along with it. It may be perilous to examine one’s conscience. But once conscience has spoken, the coward’s course is to ignore it.
Conscience speaks when it will, as it has to the Veterans for Peace who have repudiated and discarded medals given for acts that came to trouble their consciences profoundly. Or as it did to Private Bradley Manning and intelligence analyst Snowden and before them to National Security Agency whistleblower Drake.
It may be pleasant to extol every military or governmental act, and such praise is called patriotism. But if those acts contradict the essence of America’s philosophical foundation, patriotism may require a steeper road. That is the road of conscience.