For discussion: 'Let nobody judge them'

Questions for reflecting on and discussing the feature article, 'Let nobody judge them' (Oct. 28, 2013 issue)

October 23, 2013 | Feature | Number 21
By Barb Draper |

1. During the Second World War, what happened when young men in your family or community were called up for military service? What are the stories of your congregation dealing with conscientious objectors? Has the Mennonite church been disrespectful to those who participated in military service?

2. Do you think a commitment to peace means not serving in the medical corps and not participating in the manufacture of war supplies? What does a military uniform symbolize? Why did Sam Martin resist the uniform so vehemently? Under what conditions can a pacifist wear a uniform?

3. How do historians portray stories of the Mennonite self-defence units in revolutionary Russia (Selbstschutz)? Were Mennonites hypocritical in their disapproval of those who enlisted in Canada? Do you think Mennonite churches were too harsh when those who had enlisted returned from the war? How should the church have responded?

4. If Mennonites were faced with compulsory military service today, how would the church respond? Would the response of young people be the same or different from what happened in the 1940s?

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