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Resolved, That the Council deplores the posi-

tions taken by President Bush to concede some The Episcopal Peace Fellowship publisher
West Bank settlements to Israel and negates the of CROSS BEFORE FLAG, is a body of Epis-
right of return of Palestinian refugees, and urges copalians dedicated to discovering and prac-
ticing the biblical concept of peace: shalom/
Cross Before Flag:
the President to support negotiations between
Palestinians and Israelis to achieve a mutually ac-
ceptable resolution of these issues based on rele-
salaam. This includes a commitment to re-
nounce, so far as possible, participation in war
Episcopal Statements
and other forms of violence. The EPF recog-
vant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
National Executive Council, June 2000 nizes that there can be no peace without a on War and Peace The Lambeth Conference
commitment to justice, and no justice with- The Lambeth Conference has met approxi-
out reconciliation. Thus, the Fellowship en- mately every ten years since 1867 at the invita-
deavors to develop within the Church a com- tion of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It brings
munity of Christians pledged to peace, jus- together Anglican bishops from throughout the
tice, reconciliation, and nonviolence. world. The conferences’ resolutions are advisory.
Episcopal Peace Fellowship The opening sentence of the following reso-
Post Office Box 15 lution, first approved by the 1930 Lambeth Con-
Claysburg, PA 16625 ference, has been reaffirmed by succeeding Con-
312-922-8628 ferences. In the United States it was adopted by the General Convention in 1931 and since then Cross Before Flag has been reaffirmed repeatedly by the Episcopal
February 2005 Church.
As Christians and as Americans we know the
CROSS BEFORE FLAG includes resolutions importance of having the right to choose freely.
and other official statements which bear directly War Is Incompatible with the Teaching of
As we grow in our Christian faith, we seek God’s
on war, peace and violence, and the development Our Lord Jesus Christ
guidance in making responsible choices.
of conscience in relation to war and violence. It The Conference affirms that war as a method
This booklet is about choice.
is not meant to be an exhaustive collection of of settling international disputes is incompatible
It is our understanding that we as Christians
resolutions on public issues. with the teaching and example of Our Lord Jesus
are called to serve God in everything that we
First published by the Episcopal Peace Fel- Christ.
do. Everything—with no exceptions, whether
lowship in 1966, it is issued in this revised ver- The Conference believes that peace will never
you are considering military service, working in
sion, Lent 2005. Original resolution language be achieved till international relations are con-
a war-related industry, supporting the military
has been retained. trolled by religious and ethical standards, and
through your federal taxes or simply defining
For a more inclusive summary of actions on that the moral judgment of humanity needs to
your own stand on the issues of war and peace.
public issues by General Convention and the Ex- be enlisted on the side of peace. It therefore ap-
The statements in this pamphlet are the
ecutive Council, the Office of Peace and Justice peals to the religious leaders of all nations to give
Church’s effort to address the concerns of war,
Ministries has published “Policy for Action.” peace and violence in the 20th and 21st centu-
their support to the effort to promote those ide-
Single copies are available free from: als of peace, brotherhood and justice....
ries, to declare God’s Word in a world that still
Public Policy Network Coordinator When nations have solemnly bound them-
sanctions war and killing and violence. As you
Government Relations Office selves by Treaty, Covenant or Pact for the pa-
read these statements, listen for God’s Word to
The Episcopal Church cific settlement of international disputes, the
110 Maryland Avenue NE Conference holds that the Christian Church in
Then the choice is yours.
Washington DC 20002 every nation should refuse to countenance any
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship
1-800-228-0515 or 202-547-7300
war in regard to which the government of its The Right of Conscientious Objection Church Center, and the website, www.episcopal- urges the U.S. government to allow visitations
own country has not declared its willingness to This Conference:, as an important resource to the detainees by neutral parties such as The
submit the matter in dispute to arbitration or (a) reaffirms the words of the Conference of in the continuing study of just war. International Red Cross, and by appropriate re-
conciliation. 1930 that “war as a method of settling interna- General Convention 2003 ligious groups, and be it further
The Conference believes that the existence tional disputes is incompatible with the teaching Resolved, That Council shares the deep con-
of armaments on the present scale amongst the and example of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Warfare: Response to New War Situations cerns of many Americans and others over the
nations of the world endangers the maintenance (b) states emphatically that it condemns the Resolved, That the Theology Committee of spiral of violence in Iraq, the abhorrent torture
of peace, and appeals for a determined effort to use of nuclear and bacteriological weapons. the House of Bishops be urged to prepare a study and abuse of prisoners such as at Abu Graib, the
secure further reduction by international (c) holds that it is the concern of the Church on new warfare situations which may not be flouting of legal rights and the dismissive use of
agreement.... (i) to uphold and extend the right of consci- adequately addressed by the Just War Theory, the Geneva Conventions, and urges the U.S. gov-
Lambeth Conference 1930 entious objection. such as non-declared wars, asymmetric warfare, ernment to conduct itself in all aspects of the
(ii) to oppose persistently the claim that to- pre-emptive strikes, invitations to intervene by le- conflict with the highest standards of human
Abolition of War Itself Should Be the Goal tal war or the use of weapons however ruthless gitimate foreign authorities, international terror- rights and regard for due process which are cher-
The Conference reaffirms that war as a or indiscriminate can be justified by results. ism without boundaries, and other forms of mili- ished values of our nation and when disregarded
method of settling international disputes is in- (d) urges upon Christians the duty to sup- tary intervention not imagined in past centuries. diminish credibility of the U.S. in the world, and
compatible with the teaching and example of our port international action either through the General Convention 2003 be it further
Lord Jesus Christ, and declares that nothing less United Nations or otherwise to settle disputes Resolved, That Council urge that the U.S.
than the abolition of war itself should be the goal justly without recourse to war; to work towards Culture Of Nonviolence move swiftly to transfer authority in Iraq to the
of the nations, their leaders, and all citizens. As the abolition of the competitive supply of arma- Resolved, That The Episcopal Church de- new Iraqi government, and seek alternative mili-
an essential step towards achieving this goal the ments; and to develop adequate machinery for velop specific plans at national, provincial, and tary forces to replace the U.S. military apparatus
Conference calls upon Christians to press the keeping of a just and permanent peace. diocesan levels in the next triennium for the so as to reduce tensions, minimize violence, and
through their governments, as a matter of the Lambeth Conference 1968 church to live into a culture of nonviolence which blunt growing insurgencies, and be it further
utmost urgency, for the abolition by international values love, compassion, and justice, and which Resolved, That Council urges the U.S. to re-
agreement of nuclear bombs and other weapons Violence Has Many Faces rejects violence as a means of solving problems; engage the peace process (in conjunction with
of similar indiscriminate destructive power, the 1. Affirming again the statement of the and be it further the need for full consultation with the Palestin-
use of which is repugnant to the Christian con- Lambeth Conferences of 1930 and 1968 (Reso- Resolved, That curricula in nonviolence ians, Israelis and others), in the Israeli/Palestin-
science. To this end governments should accept lution 8 [a]) that “war as a method of settling awareness and training be promoted for use in ian conflict, recognizing that a just resolution
such limitations of their own sovereignty as ef- international disputes is incompatible with the dioceses and congregations; and be it further of the conflict that assures Israel’s security and
fective control demands. teaching and example of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Resolved, That the results of these plans be Palestinian sovereignty would be the single most
The Conference further urges the govern- the Conference expresses its deep grief at the compiled by the Office of Peace and Justice and significant contribution to improving relations
ments of the leading nations of the world to de- great suffering being endured in many parts of presented to the General Convention 2006. with the peoples of the Arab world and winning
vote their utmost efforts at once to framing a the world because of violence and oppression. General Convention, 2003 the “war on terror”, and be it further
comprehensive international disarmament treaty, We further declare that the use of modern tech- Resolved, That Council implores the U.S. to
which shall also provide for the progressive re- nology of war is the most striking example of Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and The Middle formulate a foreign policy aimed at human de-
duction of armed forces and conventional arma- corporate sin and the prostitution of God’s gifts. East velopment, alleviation of poverty and respect for
ments to the minimum necessary for the main- 2. We recognize that violence has many faces. Resolved, That the Executive Council, meet- cultural and religious differences so that the cur-
tenance of internal security and the fulfillment There are some countries where the prevailing ing in Burlington, VT, June 11-14, 2004, calls rent wave of anti-American sentiment in the
of the obligations of States to maintain peace and social order is so brutal, exploiting the poor for upon the United States government to grant le- Middle East and many parts of the world might
security in accordance with the United Nations the sake of the privileged and trampling on gal rights to all detainees at Guantanamo Bay be lessened and the nation’s commitment to jus-
Charter. people’s human rights, that it must be termed Naval Base in Cuba in accordance with interna- tice and peace restored; and be it further
Lambeth Conference 1958 “violent.” There are others where a social order tional law and the Geneva Conventions; and

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First, whether lethal force may be used is necessary and to avoid disproportionate collat- that appears relatively benevolent nevertheless (c) to engage themselves in non-violent ac-
governed by the following criteria: eral damage to civilian life and property. exacts a high price in human misery from some tion for justice and peace and to support others
♦ Just cause: Force may be used only to ♦ Right intention: Even in the midst of sections of the population. There is the use of so engaged, recognizing that such action will be
correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or conflict, the aim of political and military leaders armed force by governments, employed or held controversial and may be personally very costly;
massive violation of the basic rights of whole must be peace with justice, so that acts of ven- in threat against other nations or even against (d) to commit themselves to informed, dis-
populations. geance and indiscriminate violence, whether by their own citizens. There is the worldwide mis- ciplined prayer not only for all victims of vio-
♦ Comparative justice: While there may be individuals, military units or governments, are direction of scarce resources to armaments rather lence, especially for those who suffer for their
rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to forbidden; and be it further than human need. There is the military action of obedience to the Man of the Cross, but also for
override the presumption against the use of force, Resolved, That when legitimate civilian au- victims of oppression who despair in achieving those who inflict violence on others;
the injustice suffered by one part must signifi- thority determines that war is justified, members justice by any other means. There is the mind- (e) to protest in whatever way possible at the
cantly outweigh that suffered by the other. of the Episcopal Church recall our Lord’s teach- less violence that erupts in some countries with escalation of the sale of armaments of war by
♦ Legitimate authority: Only duly consti- ing to love our enemies, counsel that participa- what seems to be increasing frequency, to say the producing nations to the developing and
tuted public authorities may use deadly force or tion in or refusal to participate in any war is a nothing of organized crime and terrorism, and dependent nations, and to support with every
wage war. discernment process requiring deep reflection the resorting to violence as a form of entertain- effort all international proposals and conferences
♦ Right intention: Force may be used only and prayer with humility, and acknowledge that ment on films and television. designed to place limitations on, or arrange re-
in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose. one participates in war with great reluctance, 3. Jesus, through his death and resurrection, ductions in, the armaments of war on the na-
♦ Probability of success: Arms may not be always seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness; and has already won the victory over all evil. He made tions of the world.
used in a futile cause or in a case where dispro- be it further evident that self-giving love, obedience to the way Lambeth Conference 1978
portionate measures are required to achieve Resolved, That the 74th General Convention, of the Cross, is the way to reconciliation in all The General Convention of the Episcopal
success. recalling the longstanding Episcopal Church relationships and conflicts. Therefore the use of Church adopted “as its own” in 1979 this reso-
♦ Proportionality: The overall destruction view, originally adopted by the 1930 Lambeth violence is ultimately contradictory to the Gos- lution of the Lambeth Conference (see page 14),
expected from the use of force must be out- Conference and by the 1931 General Conven- pel. Yet we acknowledge that Christians in the and reaffirmed that commitment in 1982 (see
weighed by the good to be achieved. tion, that “war as a method of settling interna- past have differed in their understanding of lim- page 15).
♦ Last resort: Force may be used only af- tional disputes is incompatible with the teaching its to the rightful use of force in human affairs,
ter all peaceful alternatives have been seriously and example of our Lord Jesus Christ,” urge dio- and that questions of national relationships and There Is No True Peace without Justice
tried and exhausted. ceses and congregations to study and better un- social justice are often complex ones. But in the This Conference
These criteria taken as a whole must be sat- derstand Just War theory and pacifism as they face of the mounting incidence of violence to- 1. (a) reaffirms the statement of the 1930
isfied in order to override the strong presump- apply to the situation of the United States in res- day and its acceptance as a normal element in Lambeth Conference that war as a method of
tion against the use of force. Second, the just ponding to contemporary international conflicts. human affairs, we condemn the subjection, in- settling international disputes is incompatible
war tradition seeks also to curb the violence of General Convention 2003 timidation and manipulation of people by the with the teaching and example of Our Lord Jesus
war through restraint on armed combat between use of violence and the threat of violence and Christ;
the contending parties by imposing the follow- Warfare: Christian Responses to Warfare call Christian people everywhere: (b) affirms also that there is no true peace
ing moral standards for the conduct of armed Resolved, That the 94th General Convention (a) to re-examine as a matter of urgency their without justice, and that the reformation and
conflict: urge dioceses and congregations to study and own attitude towards, and their complicity with, transformation of unjust systems is an essential
♦ Noncombatant immunity: Civilians may better understand just war theory and pacifism violence in its many forms; element of our biblical hope;
not be the objects of direct attack, and military as they apply to the situation of the United States (b) to take with the utmost seriousness the 2. supports those who choose the way of
personnel must take due care to avoid and mini- in responding to contemporary international questions which the teaching of Jesus places non-violence as being the way of Our Lord, in-
mize indirect harm to civilians. conflicts; and be it further against violence in human relationships and the cluding direct non-violent action, civil disobedi-
♦ Proportionality: In the conduct of hos- Resolved, That we commend “Just Peace use of armed force by those who would follow ence, and conscientious objection, and pays trib-
tilities, efforts must be made to attain military Readings” from the Office of the Bishop him, and the example of redemptive love which ute to those who in recent years have kept be-
objectives with no more force than is militarily Suffragan for Chaplaincies of the Episcopal the Cross holds before all people; fore the world the growing threat of militarism;...

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3. encourages Provinces and Dioceses to seek (g) urges the nations represented by our Support Total Nuclear Disarmament Nonviolence as it comes from the Institute for
out those secular and religious agencies work- Churches and all those on whom we have any Resolved, That the 72nd General Conven- Peace and Justice, St. Louis, Missouri:
ing for justice and reconciliation, and to make influence whatsoever to join us in this endeavor. tion of the Episcopal Church support the goal Making peace must start within ourselves. I
common cause with them, to ensure that the Lambeth Conference, 1998 of total nuclear disarmament; and note with ap- commit myself to become, with God’s help, a
voice of the oppressed is heard and a response is preciation and pleasure the progress that has been nonviolent and peaceable person.
made so that further violence is averted. Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and War made toward this goal; but inasmuch as the pro- To respect myself, to affirm others and to
Lambeth Conference, 1988 This Conference resolves to call upon our duction, testing and deployment of nuclear weap- avoid un-caring criticism, hateful words, physi-
respective governments and through our ons continue, more must be done to achieve that cal attacks and self-destructive behavior.
Affirm UN Universal Declaration of Hu- governments, the United Nations and other nuclear disarmament; and be it further To share my feelings honestly, to look for safe
man Rights instruments: Resolved, That this General Convention urge ways to express my anger and to work at solving
On the fiftieth anniversary of its proclama- (a) to urge all nations to agree by treaty to the Government of the United States to exercise problems peacefully.
tion in December of 1948, this Conference stop the production, testing, stock-piling and leadership among the nations, especially the To listen carefully to one another, especially
(a) resolves that its members urge compli- usage of nuclear weapons; and nuclear weapons states, by immediately initiat- those who disagree with me, and to consider oth-
ance with the United Nations Universal Decla- (b) to press for an international mandate for ing negotiations for an International Treaty on ers’ feelings and needs rather than insisting on
ration of Human Rights by the nations in which all member states to prohibit nuclear warfare. Comprehensive Nuclear Disarmament in all its having my own way.
our various member Churches are located, and Lambeth Conference, 1998 aspects to include a deadline for the completion To apologize and make amends when I have
all others over whom we may exercise any influ- of nuclear disarmament; and be it further hurt another, to forgive others and to keep from
ence; and Ratify Landmines Treaty and Abolish Resolved, That this General Convention sup- holding grudges.
(b) urges extension of the provisions of the Mines port the World Campaign to Abolish Nuclear To treat the environment and all living things,
Declaration to refugees, uprooted and displaced This Conference - attended both by bishops Weapons and encourage Episcopalians to sign including our pets, with respect and care.
persons who may be forced by the circumstances from nations suffering acutely from the presence the Campaign’s Citizens Pledge on Nuclear To select entertainment and toys that sup-
of their lives to live among them. of landmines in their own countries (Mrs. Weapons Abolition; and be it further port healthy values and to avoid entertainment
Lambeth Conference, 1998 Winifred Ochola wife of the Bishop of Kitgum Resolved, That this General Convention call that makes violence look exciting, funny or
in Uganda was killed by a landmine), and by bish- upon the comparable bodies in our sister acceptable.
Faithful Response to Aggression and War ops from countries that have profited from the Churches in the Anglican Communion to speak To challenge violence in all its forms when-
This Conference: manufacture of landmines: out in a similar way to their civil authorities and ever I encounter it, whether at home, at school,
(a) abhors the evil of war; (a) calls upon all signatory Governments to governments so that the world-wide Anglican at work, at church or in the community and to
(b) repudiates and condemns the use of vio- ratify the Ottawa Convention (without excep- Communion works in concert for total nuclear stand with others who are treated unfairly.
lence for settling religious, economic, cultural tions) at the earliest possible date; disarmament This is my pledge. These are my goals. I will
or political disputes; (b) calls upon all non-signatory Governments General Convention, 1997 check myself on what I have pledged once a
(c) encourages the use of peacekeeping forces to sign and ratify the Ottawa Convention at the month for the next twelve months so that I can
to prevent or forestall the escalation of conflicts, earliest possible date; Encourage “A Pledge of Nonviolence” help myself and others become more peaceable
and to assist in their resolution; (c) calls upon all Governments to provide Resolved, That each congregation of the Epis- people.
(d) repudiates and condemns the use of extra funding for mine clearance programmes, copal Church become a model for peacemaking General Convention, 2000
terrorism; and to encourage the development of appropri- in our violent society by encouraging its mem-
(e) decries the production and proliferation ate technology for mine clearance initiatives; and bers to commit themselves to non-violent and Warfare: Just and Unjust Wars
of arms; (d) calls upon international organizations, all peaceable behavior in their relationships with Resolved, That the 74th General Convention
(f) commits its members to prayer, media- governments, community level and local Gov- others at home, at school, at work, at church, in call upon all members of The Episcopal Church,
tion, and any active, non-violent means we can ernment initiatives, NGOs, Churches and other the community, and wherever they find them- in discussions about war and especially the strat-
employ to end current conflicts and wars and to people of good will, to engage in educational selves; and be it further egy of preemptive strikes, to seriously consider
prevent others; and work on this issue, provide practical assistance Resolved, That every congregation also en- and utilize the Just War criteria developed over
courages its members to adopt The Pledge of the centuries and generally expressed as follows:
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projects, and other appropriate efforts, includ- Countries responsible for the production and to alleviate the consequences of the massive level settlement of international disputes; and the em-
ing initiation of discussions on ways to repair dissemination of antipersonnel mines to contrib- of previous landmine deployment, and engage bodiment of these principles in national policies
the human and natural destruction brought about ute to the international fund; and be it further in practical schemes to reintegrate landmine sur- and laws, not merely as an abstract ideal, but as
by war-making; and be it further Resolved, That the General Convention call vivors and their families into their communities. a practical conviction for whose development the
Resolved, That the Episcopal Church join in on the President of the United States to join the Lambeth Conference, 1998 Christian churches have special responsibility.
appropriate ecumenical observances of the end call for such a ban General Convention, 1916
of World War II and the founding of the United General Convention, 1994
Nations, keeping in remembrance both the suf- That War May Be Abolished
fering and the imposition of suffering by all sides Reaffirm Support for Human Rights Resolved, That this Church places itself on
in any war, and asking God’s forgiveness for our Resolved, That this 71st General Convention record as strongly in favor of conference and
complicity as a people; and be it further reaffirm its support for human rights through- arbitration in the settlement of differences and
Resolved, That members of the Episcopal out the world and states its conviction that civil disputes between nations;
Church take special care in the course of 50th rights and political freedom are the universal Resolved, That this Church recognizes in the
anniversary commemorations to work against bedrock of any meaningful scheme of human efforts recently made by this nation through the
any “Japan bashing” or other racist behavior; and rights; and be it further The Episcopal Church Washington Conference of nine sovereign pow-
be it further Resolved, That this 71st General Convention The General Convention (legislative body of ers called to effect plans for world peace and
Resolved, That the Episcopal Church recom- commend ecumenical and interfaith support for the Episcopal Church) meets every three years order, a great forward step to bring nearer the
mit itself to work actively for the complete abo- human rights as a moral imperative for Chris- to make policy and conduct the business of the era of a better world understanding;
lition of nuclear war; and be it further tians, growing out of the biblical understandings Church. Actions in its name are approved by a Resolved, That we solemnly commit our-
Resolved, That the resources of the Episco- that human beings are created in the image and majority in each of its two houses: the House of selves as members of a Christian Church to use
pal Church Center, including the Washington likeness of God, that they are endowed by God Bishops and the House of Deputies (clergy and every consistent means to the end that war may
Office of the Episcopal Church, in cooperation with an inalienable dignity, and that they thereby lay persons elected by their respective dioceses). be abolished, and that the Golden Rule may be-
with other appropriate Church related bodies, possess a value that is prior to and not depen- Sometimes resolutions in the House of Depu- come the universal law of nations and people.
including unofficial organizations, be used to dent upon, the acknowledgment of such rights ties are voted on “by orders,” which means that General Convention, 1922
identify curricula, study guides, worship and li- by a political entity; and be it further clergy and laity vote separately. The vote for each
turgical resources, bulletin inserts, and other re- Resolved, That this 71st General Convention order is then tallied by Diocese. The net effect of War Will Destroy Civilization
sources for use by dioceses and by local congre- encourage the President and Secretary of State this is to require approximately a two thirds Resolved, that this Convention register its con-
gations for study and action on issues of to take the initiative internationally in prompt- majority by both lay and clergy deputies in order viction that unless civilization can destroy war,
nuclearism. ing the cause of human rights and in restoring for a resolution to be approved. war will destroy civilization. We believe that a
General Convention, 1994 the primary focus of human rights effort to the The House of Bishops also meets annually warless world is a possibility; that life based on
civil rights and political freedoms that are the and periodically issues Pastoral Letters and posi- the spirit and principles of the Prince of Peace,
Ban Landmines building blocks of decent and humane societies; tion papers addressed to the faithful. These deal so far from being visionary, contains the only
Resolved, That this 71st General Convention and be it further with challenges facing the Church, the country, practical method of security for the future. We
of the Episcopal Church join in the international Resolved, That this 71st General Convention and the world. regard this work not only as a corporate respon-
sibility of the whole Church, but as the individ-
call for: commend continuing dialogue, both within the
The Brotherhood of Men ... As a Practical ual duty of every Christian citizen....
An international ban on the use, production, churches and between other faith communities
We reaffirm the conviction stated by the Gen-
stockpiling, and sale, transfer, or export of anti- and their governments, on issues of human rights, Conviction eral Convention of 1922 that the nations of the
personnel mines; especially those issues relevant to their own ju- Present conditions call for clear recognition world must adopt a peace system. It is funda-
The establishment of an international fund, risdictions. of the Christian principles of the brotherhood mental to such a system that it be built on the
administered by the United Nations, to promote General Convention, 1994 of men; the practice of righteousness and good- conviction that war is unchristian in principle
and finance landmine awareness, clearance, and will between nations as between individuals; the and suicidal in practice.
eradication programs worldwide: and substitution of judicial processes for war in the
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We assert our solemn judgment that aggressive the International Court of Justice and League of available appropriate curricula in conflict man- Resolved, That the Congress of the United
warfare is a crime on the part of a nation and so Nations and heartily sympathize with the efforts agement and resolution for use by dioceses and States be urged to enact legislation which pro-
to be held by followers of Christ, who has com- looking to disarmament and security treaties. We congregations. hibits such sale and export; and be it further
manded that we make disciples, not enemies, of commend with unqualified approval the effort 5. Encourages all members of the Episcopal Resolved, That the United Nations be urged
the peoples of the world. We thank God and take of our own Government to achieve the outlawry Church to make use of enlightened methods of to adopt regulations prohibiting international
courage as we see the nations through their au- of war and, noting the epoch-making significance negotiation and mediation as they work to re- arms sales by its members
thorized representatives in conventions, assem- of the proposals now awaiting ratification, pray solve conflicts between the Episcopal Church and General Convention, 1994
blies and conferences, agree on plans for disarma- God for its success. We believe these treaties to other Christian communions; and be it further
ment, for guarantees of security and for creation be steps in the realization of the hopes of the Resolved, That the Episcopal Church call Support Comprehensive Test Ban
of the machinery of courts by which arbitration nations for a permanent peace and pledge our upon the Government of the United States: Resolved, That the 71st General Convention
shall take the place of force. We believe these of the Episcopal Church, in accordance with our
best endeavors and constant prayers to this end. 1. To resolve disputes affecting it and other
are steps in the realization of the hopes of the faith in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, urge
General Convention, 1928 nations by negotiation, mediation, non-binding
people of the nations for a permanent peace, and
arbitration, binding arbitration, and adjudication. the President of the United States, and the U.S.
pledge our best endeavors and constant prayers
If You Wish Peace, Prepare for Peace 2. To recognize and respect the jurisdiction negotiators at Geneva, to take immediate inter-
that God may touch the hearts of mankind with
the spirit and understanding of brotherhood.... “The Kingdom of God is peace.” As stated and judgments of the International Court of national leadership in signing and implementing
General Convention, 1925 by the last Lambeth Conference: “War, as a Justice. a comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in the coming
method of settling international disputes, is in- 3. To provide sufficient funding for the In- year, and to pursue diplomatic initiatives, for the
Warfare as an Instrument of National compatible with the teaching and example of Our stitute for Peace in order to train individuals in complete elimination of nuclear weapons design,
Policy Is a Crime Lord Jesus Christ.” We believe that as the Chris- the peaceful management and resolution of in- testing, and manufacture anywhere in the world.
Resolved, The General Convention, con- tian conscience has condemned infanticide and ternational conflicts; and be it further General Convention, 1994
scious of the heavy responsibility which rests slavery and torture, it is now called to condemn Resolved, That the Episcopal Church call
war as an outrage on the Fatherhood of God and upon all nations: Commemorate End of World War II and
upon the followers of Christ in furthering the
cause of peace, and a law-governed world, reaf- the brotherhood of all mankind. 1. To utilize the United Nations and to re- Commit to the Abolition of Nuclear
firms the substance of the resolutions adopted ... Pacts and pledges, however, are not spect the authority of the Secretary General in Weapons and of War
by the General Convention of 1925. enough. If we are to combat the war-spirit, we the resolution of international conflicts. Resolved, That the 71st General Convention
With that Convention, we reaffirm the con- must try to attack it at its source. The real causes 2. To strengthen the role and authority of of the Episcopal Church notes that Sunday, Au-
viction that the world must adopt a peace sys- of any war lie further back than the particular the Secretary General in the resolution of inter- gust 6, 1995, which is the Feast of the Trans-
tem. We assert our solemn judgment that war- dispute or incident that sets a spark to the in- national conflicts. figuration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, coincides
fare as an instrument of national policy or as a flammable material that has often been accumu- 3. To adhere to the rule of the law in dealing with the 50th anniversary of the nuclear bomb-
means of settling disputes between nations lating for years. Among these causes the follow- with their own citizens and those of other ing of the city of Hiroshima, Japan by the United
should be renounced. Such warfare, undertaken ing seem to us of special importance. countries. States; and be it further
to further national policy and without recourse The first of these is a narrow and aggressive 4. To utilize regional and private organiza- Resolved, That the Episcopal Church in the
to judicial arbitration or other means of peace- Nationalism which ignores the rights of other tions in conflict resolution. United States seek ways with appropriate litur-
ful settlement, is a crime on the part of a nation, nations in the determination to assert its own. General Convention, 1991 gical commemorations, to observe jointly this
and so to be held by followers of Christ, who Nations exist by the Will of God, not for self- anniversary with the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, and with
has commanded us to make disciples, not en- aggrandizement, but for service, and their true Deplore Sale and Export of Arms human rights and peace organizations of both
emies, of the peoples of the world. honor lies not in the extent to which they can Resolved, That the 1994 General Conven- the United States and Japan, and that those dio-
We thank God and take courage at the steady impose their yoke on other nations, but on the tion of the Episcopal Church goes on record as ceses and parishes in partner relationships with
increase of effort to find and make universal value of their contribution to the moral and spiri- deploring the sale and export of conventional dioceses and parishes in Japan be especially en-
peaceful methods dealing with international dif- tual ideals of the world. arms of war; and be it further couraged to observe the anniversary jointly by
ferences; we rejoice in the growing influence of The second - and perhaps the most potent - exchange visits, conferences, pilgrimages,
cause of war is the fear that is the outcome of
6 19
working directly with the countries affected by nium without the expenditure of any funds other distrust. We must convince the peoples of the Love of country must be qualified by love of all
acts of terror. than those allocated for the normal work of that world that the risk involved in trusting one an- mankind; patriotism is subordinate to religion.
General Convention, 1988 commission. other is far less grave than the inevitable conse- The Cross is above the flag. In any issue between
General Convention, 1991 quences of mutual distrust.... country and God, the clear duty of the Christian
Nuclear Free Pacific Movement A third possible cause of war lies in economic is to put obedience to God above every other
Resolved, That this 69th General Conven- Urge Economic Conversion competition and especially in the competition loyalty.
tion of the Episcopal Church, concerned with Resolved, That the 1991 General Conven- for control of the raw materials of industry. Com- House of Bishops, 1933
our sisters and brothers of the Anglican Com- tion of the Episcopal Church strongly endorse merce ought to be and often is a bond of union
munion throughout the Pacific Basin, commend the development of federal policies to shift eco- between nations, but unrestricted competition Non-Combatant Service
to the attention of the members of this Church nomic resources from military to civilian uses and excessive trade barriers may be causes of war. Whereas, The House of Bishops in its Pasto-
for their review and study the news from the and urge the parishes and dioceses of our Church The chief corrective of this danger lies in the rec- ral Letter issued from Davenport stated that it is
Nuclear Free Pacific Movement. to study and to discuss the application of eco- ognition of the economic interdependence of the duty of Christians to put the Cross above
General Convention, 1988 nomic conversion principles and to prepare for nations in the modern world. the flag, and in any conflict of loyalties
their implementation; and be it further A fourth cause, or at least occasion, of war is unhesitatingly to follow the Christ; and
Control of Arms Sales and Distribution Resolved, That this Convention urges the to be found in excessive armaments, which Whereas, We desire that all Christian people
Resolved, That the 70th General Convention parishes and dioceses to respond to the immedi- arouse fears and suspicions and can never insure who, though willing to risk their lives in non-
of the Episcopal Church deplores the reintro- ate pastoral and economic problems generated safety.... Surely it is high time we tried some other combatant service are unwilling for conscience
duction of weapons of all kinds into the Middle by the recently announced closing of numerous way. Instead of proceeding on the illogical maxim sake to take human life in war, and shall have
East by any nation; and be it further military installations throughout the United “In time of peace prepare for war” we might signified their intention by placing themselves
Resolved, That the Episcopal Church call States during Fiscal Year 92 and following. better follow the principle... “If you wish peace, on record at the national headquarters of their
upon the Government of the United States to General Convention, 1991 prepare for peace.” Peace will never come with- respective churches, be accorded by the United
take all appropriate action to develop means to out preparation, effort, risk and sacrifice. States Government the status in fact accorded
restrict and control all international arms sales Resolving Disputes Peacefully Pastoral Letter, House of Bishops, 1931 members of the Society of Friends as respects
and distribution. Resolved, That the Episcopal Church encour- Adopted as a statement of both military service;
General Convention, 1991 ages the settlement of disputes within the church Houses of General Convention Be it Resolved, That a commission of six Bish-
by peaceful dispute resolution processes, and in ops, six Presbyters and six Laymen be appointed
Spread of Arms and Armaments furtherance thereof: The Cross Is Above the Flag by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the
Resolved, That the 70th General Convention 1. Calls upon all dioceses and other admin- Signs on the horizon give evidence of a grow- House of Deputies to discharge the following
of the Episcopal Church express its deep con- istrative units of the Church to develop and ing suspicion among nations. Beneath the sur- duties:
cern over the actions of the United States and employ consensus building methods in the con- face the world seethes with unrest.... It is our 1. To petition the Congress of the United
other arms-producing nations that have contrib- duct of their decision making business and to duty as disciples of the Prince of Peace to insist States for such legislation as may be necessary to
uted to the sale and spread of arms and arma- initiate, continue and strengthen their training upon policies that are consistent with the main- secure the status in fact accorded members of
ments to other nations throughout the world; of persons in conflict management and resolu- tenance of equity, fair dealing and the sanctity the Society of Friends for all Christian men who,
and be it further tion and to promote the use of such personnel of pacts and agreements among races and though prepared to risk their lives in non-com-
Resolved, That this General Convention di- in the Church. peoples. We are bound by every solemn obliga- batant service, are prevented by their conscience
rect the Standing Commission on Peace with 2. Urges seminaries and other schools for mi- tion to wage unremitting war against war. An from serving in the combatant forces of the
Justice to study this issue of the sale of all types nistry to include training in conflict management excess of nationalism or an attitude of detached United States;
of armaments and report its findings to the 71st and resolution for all candidates for ordination. unconcern for the ills of other nations, together 2. In the event of such legislation, to make
General Convention; and be it further 3. Encourages all congregations to offer with the building up of an armed force beyond provision for an accurate register to be kept at
Resolved, That the study by the Standing training in conflict management and resolution. reasonable national needs, deprives us of any op- the offices of the National Council of such mem-
Commission on Peace with Justice be conducted 4. Commits itself through the appropriate portunity to be a conserver of the world’s peace. bers of the Protestant Episcopal Church as are
as a part of its routine work in the coming trien- agencies of the National Church staff to make
18 7
conscientiously unable to serve in the combat- than mankind has yet witnessed and bring upon assurance. From this resource of conquering love production of materials and services needed to
ant forces of the United States. the innocent and unoffending dire suffering and the ministry of peacemaking takes its rise, its enhance life.
General Convention, 1934 destruction. The skill and cunning of the inven- courage, its dauntless hope, even though we can- General Convention, 1985
In February 1940 a resolution of the National tor has made modern war diabolical and robbed not know the future.
(now Executive) Council of the Episcopal Church it of the last vestiges of pity for the weak and the House of Bishops, 1982 Oppose the Production of Chemical
established a Register of Conscientious Objectors defenseless. Today war stands before the bar of Weapons
at the national church office. The Executive Sec- world opinion undefended, save by those whose Opposition to Strategic Defense Initiative Resolved, That this 68th General Conven-
retary of the Department of Christian Social Re- malevolence and lust for power make them in- R esolved , That this 68th General tion of the Episcopal Church oppose any resump-
lations was appointed Registrar. The current Reg- sensitive to suffering in its more barbarous and Convention: tion of the production of chemical (“nerve gas”)
istrar is in the Office of Youth and Young Adult violent forms. (1) Express its opposition to President weapons, and urge the Government of the United
Ministries. Information about the Register can The Christian Church stands unalterably Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative known States to take a position of moral leadership, as
be requested from: Registrar for Conscientious committed to the ideals of the Prince of Peace. popularly as “Star Wars;” and it has done since 1969, in trying to decrease the
Objectors, Episcopal Church Center, 815 Sec- Its unarmed but potential forces must be chal- (2) Request members of Congress to with- manufacture of chemical (“nerve gas”) weapons
ond Avenue, New York, NY 10017, phone 1- hold funds for study of the feasibility of this pro-
lenged to action, as it sees the imminence of a throughout the world
conflict between the Man on the Cross and the posed “umbrella” that some contend could be General Convention, 1985
man on horseback. Passive unconcern at such a built to remove the threat of nuclear war.
Withholding Sales of Munitions
time may prove fatal to the cause to which the General Convention, 1985 Conscientious Objection Is a Faithful
Resolved, That the General Convention urges
consideration by the Government of the United Church is irrevocably committed. The persua- Response
sive voice of an awakened and alarmed Church For a Verifiable Bilateral Nuclear Freeze Resolved, That this 69th General Conven-
States of the adoption of the policy of withhold-
must be heard and all its powers invoked, to stay Resolved, That the 68th General Convention tion of the Episcopal Church declare its belief
ing sales of munitions and loans of money to
the militaristic spirit that threatens the Christian request the National Church and individual Epis- that non-violent refusal to participate in or pre-
any belligerent government which has not ex-
ideals of our civilization. copalians to: pare for war is a faithful response of a member
hausted all possibilities of peaceful settlement
There can be no security and no enduring (a) support and work for a verifiable bilat- of this Church and that a decision to participate
before having recourse to arms; with an excep-
peace where racial hatreds and national ambi- eral nuclear freeze and the continuation of the in or prepare for war should be made only after
tion in favor of any nation which is resisting a
tions are unchecked, nor can there be where trea- SALT II accord; careful and prayerful consideration; and, be it
sudden invasion of its territory.
ties ... are violated with impunity. What part (b) review and revise budgetary plans to re- further
General Convention, 1934
America may play as a pacific and moral influ- flect peace and justice priorities; Resolved, That a person making such a con-
ence has yet to be disclosed. It may be that, as (c) designate the first Wednesday of each scientious decision either not to participate or
The Man on the Cross and the Man on
one of the greatest of world powers, her voice month as a day of action and reflection on peace- to participate has the respect, the support and
may prove potent and persuasive in determin- making; the ministry of this Church.
Recent events have made evident the insta-
ing the course of world events. Certainly she (d) continue an active program of education General Convention, 1988
bility and insecurity of World Peace. International
holds a place of incomparable advantage and if and dialogue about peace and justice issues both
comity and the principles of the good neighbor
her designs are pure and selfless she may under within the Anglican communion and with other Condemnation of Acts of Terrorism
policy have suffered grave impairment. Injustice,
God be a mighty factor in promoting World groups; Resolved, That this 69th General Conven-
hatred, race discrimination and poverty continu-
Peace. Isolation is both immoral and impossible. (e) influence government leaders and the tion of the Episcopal Church reaffirm its con-
ously keep the nations precariously near armed
Nations as well as individuals must be united in producers of military technology and hardware demnation of acts of terrorism everywhere they
conflict. We see the peoples of the world, in-
a law-governed society. There can be no endur- to examine their moral and social responsibil- occur; and be it further
cluding ourselves, engaged in a mad race for su-
ing peace except that which is grounded on the ity; and Resolved, That this Convention urge the
premacy in armament, a competition that must
eternal justice of God. (f) advocate economic conversion of our Executive Council to determine and devise ways
inevitably issue in a conflict more terrible than
We deplore the persistent persecution of national resources, especially our labor, to the to provide needed assistance to those agencies
the world has ever known. Such a conflict would
unleash forces more devastating and destructive helpless peoples, either because of race or reli-

8 17
gaged, recognizing that such action will be con- the calculated killing of millions of human be- gion, as contrary to the Christian doctrine that about its task with the best means it has; and we
troversial and may be personally very costly;” ings who themselves are not on trial? We hold God hath made of one blood all nations of men pray God’s blessing on those means, imperfect
and be it further such an intention to be evil. to dwell on the face of the whole earth.... as they are. It is right that nations seek stronger
Resolved, That this General Convention, in Second, the undiminished production and House of Bishops, 1940 and more enduring unity, and find the way to
obedience to this call, urges all members of this deployment of nuclear weapons... consume eco- put behind them old and now meaningless na-
Church to support by prayer and by such other nomic, technical and natural resources of astro- Members of Our Church Who Are tionalisms. For all the blessings which national
means as they deem appropriate, those who en- nomically rising proportions. The squandering Conscientious Objectors life has brought us, the conception of absolute
gaged in such non-violent action, and particu- of such resources constitutes an act of aggres- Resolved, That a Joint Commission be set up sovereignty is an anachronism. In the words of a
larly those who suffer for conscience’ sake as a sion against the thirty children who die every composed of six persons - two Bishops, to be resolution of this Convention, “The only pos-
result; and be it further sixty seconds of starvation in the world. It is a appointed by the Presiding Bishop; two Presby- sible pathway to world peace lies through col-
Resolved, That this General Convention calls callous act of indifference to the 500 million ters; and two Laymen, to be appointed by the lective security.” Indeed, with all thoughtful citi-
upon all members of this Church seriously to people of the world who are underfed. We de- President of the House of Deputies, whose du- zens, we pledge our support to the United Na-
consider the implications for their own lives of clare this to be immoral and unjust. ties shall be tions organization, and hope for its future de-
this call to resist war and work for peace for their Third, American fever to match the Soviet (a) to assure the members of this Church who velopment into a world federation open to all
own lives. Union weapon for weapon appears to be damag- “by reason of religious training and belief are peoples, and capable of maintaining the peace.
General Convention, 1982 ing the personality structure of a whole genera- conscientiously opposed to participation in war” House of Bishops, 1952
tion. Current studies show that our children are of the continuing fellowship of the Church with
No First Use of Nuclear Weapons growing up with a pervasive sense of fear, men- them and care for them; Preventive War
Resolved, That this 67th General Conven- ace, cynicism, sadness and helplessness. The ef- (b) To maintain through the Committee on Believers in a God of Justice and Love as re-
tion urges the governments of both the United fect of these eroding inner sensations is to im- Conscientious Objectors under the Department vealed in Christ cannot concede that war is in-
States and the Soviet Union to adopt a policy of pair the ability to form stable values, a sense of of International Justice and Good-will of the evitable; and voices are occasionally raised sug-
no first use of nuclear weapons; and directs the continuity and purpose, and a readiness for res- Federal Council of Churches an official relation- gesting that a preventive war would afford a
Secretary of this Convention to communicate this ponsibility.... The decadence that marks our cul- ship under the provisions set up by the Selective short-cut through our present dilemma; and if
to the President of the United States, members ture may be of our own making. We believe it Service Act; this advice were accepted, the United States
of Congress, and to the President of the USSR. can only worsen without a tide of peacemaking (c) To inform the Church from time to time would be placed in an indefensible moral posi-
General Convention, 1982 witness, especially the steady protest of Chris- of the situation in its several aspects and to re- tion before the world, as well as violate the fun-
tian people who claim their first allegiance, de- ceive and raise such funds on a purely voluntary damental teachings of Christ. Therefore ... we
Identity, Pilgrimage and Peace clare their true identity and recover the bravery basis as are needed for the support of active unalterably oppose the idea of so-called “pre-
... We are pilgrims with first fealty to the cru- of pilgrim people. members of our Church who are conscientious ventive war.”
cified and risen Christ. Holding that identity We believe it to be the responsibility of the objectors and whose personal funds are inad- General Convention, 1952
clearly and firmly, Christians may still disagree United States to take the bold initiative in nuclear equate; in such manner and in such sums as the
on the means of peace. We need not disagree, disarmament, and to keep on taking it.... [Executive] Council [of the Episcopal Church] Christians Are Called to Be Peace-Makers
however on our need for a dedicated military.... We, your bishops, pledge ourselves and bid may approve - the necessary expenses of the Because of the nature of the Christian faith,
Still we assert that a morally serious people must our people to the ministry of peacemaking. We Commission being met out of other funds. Christians have an imperative obligation to pray
consider three aspects of American foreign policy. pledge ourselves again to weekly fasting and daily General Convention, 1943 and work for peace among men and nations.
First, it is our understanding that the United prayer for peace. We pledge action in the peace Questions of war and peace are not remote and
States has never disavowed a policy of deterrence movements that press the world’s leaders for Absolute National Sovereignty Is an peripheral concerns for the committed Christian;
that intends the use of nuclear weapons in a swift nuclear disarmament. Anachronism they grow out of basic understandings of man
massive first-strike against whole cities and land We undertake this ministry not because dis- What are the signs of the times which God and his destiny which are inherent in the Chris-
areas should it serve the national interest.... We armament will save the world. We do it because expects us to discern? One is surely the unprec- tian revelation.
ask, how can this policy be squared with a free the world’s salvation has already been secured edented search for unity, both in the divided The Church through its official bodies must
nation’s commitment to justice when it intends in Christ, and we dare not neglect so great an world and in the divided Church. The world sets seek to define the obligations of the Christian as
16 9
peace-maker for every age, and to fit them to nize the validity of the calling of the conscientious In September 1985 the 68th General Conven- to non-violence. We call upon our people to join
the situation of man at every juncture of history. objector and the pacifist and the duty of the tion adopted as “an official statement on the is- us in that prayer....
In earlier periods of Christian history, the “just Church fully to minister to him, and its obligation sues of war and peace” the report of the first ... The Christian tradition does not under-
war” doctrine represented such an effort to de- to see that we live in a society in which the dic- Commission, To Make Peace, and voted to in- stand peace in the world to mean the absence of
fine the conditions of Christian support for and tates of his conscience are respected. sert in the Canons a formal provision for a Stand- conflict. It means instead the abandonment of
participation in war. The church calls upon all people, especially ing Commission on Peace (“with Justice” added violence as a way of resolving even the most se-
Since the early decades of this century there the leaders of nations, to exercise the strongest in 1991) with the duty of developing “recom- vere differences....
has been much less clarity about what consti- discipline of conscience to prevent total war. mendations and strategies which will be of con- That our actions may reflect a new resolve
tutes a “Christian” view of war and peace. Some Under modern conditions, such war cannot serve crete assistance to this Church in furthering the of leadership in peace-making, we, your bish-
in the Church have taken a pacifist position, and any moral or even useful purpose. Every pos- work on issues of peace with justice.” ops, have committed ourselves to a weekly act
many of the resolutions of General Convention sible moral force must be summoned to prevent of fasting and prayer for the peace of the world....
Apocalypse and Hope
and other bodies have reflected this position; and its occurrence. It is becoming increasingly evi- We call upon our clergy and people to join us in
Despite the spread of ... strident alarms, we
with the emergence of “total war” concepts and dent that all-out modern war cannot protect the this act of devotion.
witness to our hope. Ours is a resurrection faith.
technologies, there has been greater confusion world’s peoples, that an atomic holocaust can- And we pledge repeated challenge to the
Christians are called in that hope to confront
about the Christian’s approach to the waging of not serve the purpose that war may once have leaders of the United States and other nations of
the problems revealed by the intense light of any
war. The increase of nuclear weapons, missile served as an instrument of political or police the world that they repudiate reliance on mili-
apocalyptic moment. Apocalypse is the term our
systems, and new ideological, military and eco- action to secure justice and peace, that total war tary threats in favor of the more demanding dis-
tradition assigns to eras of special turbulence and
nomic challenges have made the situation at once under modern conditions is self-defeating, and cipline of military restraint and negotiation for
change...when Christians are given things to say
more difficult and more deeply critical for the that it will utterly fail to secure peace with the arms control. We call upon our people to join us
and things to do.
Christian conscience. enemy or even peace within the borders of the in this challenge to world leadership, urging them
First, we are compelled to say that never
The Church corporate, and individual Chris- countries waging it. to press the issue with elected officials at all lev-
before has it been so clear that reason forbids
tians, must meet all the issues of war and peace, Christians are called to be peace-makers. els of government.
the use of violence, or the threat of it, as a means
including the menace of nuclear weapons. At all Such responsibility exists not solely in relation House of Bishops, 1981
of securing one society against another. We know
levels of its life, the Church must charge its to the larger issues of our society. Indeed the
now that massive overkill poised for instant use Call to Resist War and Work for Peace
people with the insistent duty of working with Christian should be distinguished by the irenic
represents deadly insecurity for the superpow- Whereas, The Lambeth Conferences of 1930,
all their strength for the prevention and elimi- quality of life which he brings to family, work
ers, and for the whole world. We know now that 1948, 1958, 1968 and 1978 have affirmed that
nation of war. and community life. The ministry of reconcilia-
the real unit of security in the nuclear age is not “War as a method of settling international dis-
The Church’s ministry cannot dissociate itself tion is not a special calling, but an understand-
the nation, since none can be secure by means of putes is incompatible with the teaching and ex-
from any of its people and in fact should have a ing of the Christian life as one which seeks to
war. The real unit of security is the totality of ample of our Lord Jesus Christ;” and
pastoral longing to share their frustrations. We remove the barriers which separate the children
the human family. The only security available to Whereas, A modern nuclear war would kill
can recognize the work of those of our people of God from each other both at home and among
any nation is the security of all nations together. enormous numbers of people, including children
in military and military-related activities. To the nations.
...With violence so deeply rooted in human and other non-combatants, and is, by its very na-
men in the missile bases, scientific centers, and House of Bishops, 1962
behavior it becomes an agony of growth to shift ture, murder on a colossal scale; therefore, be it
diplomatic posts, as well as to the people as a This statement was used as the foundation of
the call for the establishment of a Joint Commis- to another means of security. It remains far easier Resolved, That this 67th General Conven-
whole united in their determination to remain
sion on Peace by the 1979 General Convention. to rely on instruments of mutually assured de- tion of the Episcopal Church reaffirms the state-
free, we must not hesitate to offer a full ministry,
struction than to negotiate in patient non-vio- ment made by the Anglican Bishops assembled
realizing the political and military complexity of
The Right to Obey God Rather than Man lence for the means of mutually assured survival. at Lambeth in 1978 and adopted by the 66th
our national situation, and the fact that the situa-
Christian teaching holds that civil authority We are therefore prompted as religious lead- General Convention of the Episcopal Church in
tion for all of us, military and civilian alike, is
is given by God to provide order in human soci- ers to impose upon ourselves the obligation for 1979, calling “Christian people everywhere ...
not totally of our own making. With equal - and
ety, and that just human law is a reflection of making this moral shift. We pray the Holy Spirit to engage themselves in non-violent action for
in some cases even greater - poignancy, we recog-
to change our hearts, moving us from violence justice and peace and to support others so en-
10 15
Opposition to Peacetime Conscription The Church corporate, and individual Chris- immutable divine law which man did not devise. conflict of loyalties, he must still be guided by
Whereas, The Lambeth Conference of 1978 has tians, must meet all the issues of war and peace, Under all normal circumstances, therefore, conscience, in obedience to God as revealed in
reaffirmed that “War as a method of settling inter- including the menace of nuclear weapons. At all Christians obey the civil law, seeing in it the will Jesus Christ; and
national disputes is incompatible with the teaching levels of its life, the Church must charge its of God. Yet it must be recognized that laws exist Whereas, This Church by General Conven-
and example of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and people with the insistent duty of working with which deny these eternal and immutable laws. tion Resolution in 1934, petitioned the Congress
Whereas, The system of conscription is used all their strength for the prevention and elimi- In such circumstances, the Church and its mem- of the United States to recognize non-combat-
to raise armies for the waging of war; therefore, nation of war. and bers, faithful to Scripture, reserve the right to ant status for those, who by reason of conscience,
be it Whereas, Little progress has been achieved obey God rather than man. refuse to serve in the military forces of the United
Resolved, That this 66th General Conven- on this “imperative obligation “of Episcopalians Thus, the Church recognizes the right of any States, and in 1940 established for such persons
tion of the Episcopal Church asserts its opposi- to work “with all their strength for the preven- persons to urge the repeal of unjust laws by all a Register of Conscientious Objectors; and
tion to peacetime conscription or any form of tion and elimination of war” since 1962; there- lawful means, including participation in peace- Whereas, A fresh statement of the position
compulsory national service unless a national fore be it ful demonstrations. If and when the means of of this Church with regard to conscientious ob-
emergency is declared by the Congress. Resolved, That this 66th General Conven- legal recourse have been exhausted, or are de- jection against war is now needed to guide our
General Convention, 1979 tion does hereby establish a Joint Commission monstrably inadequate, the Church recognizes clergymen in their counseling task in light of the
on Peace, consisting of 12 members (3 Bishops, the right of all persons, for reasons of informed Selective Service Act of 1967, such statement to
Adoption of Lambeth’s “War and 3 Presbyters or Deacons and 6 Lay persons), the conscience, to disobey such laws, so long as such serve also as a guide for those who must inter-
Violence” Resolution Bishops to be appointed by the Presiding Bishop; persons pret this Church’s position to inter-Church, inter-
Whereas, The current world situation pre- the Presbyters, Deacons and Lay persons to be (a) accept the legal penalty for their actions, faith, and secular committees; therefore, be it
sents the ever increasing possibility of the pro- appointed by the President of the House of Depu- (b) carry out their protest in a non-violent Resolved,
liferation of nuclear and other high technology ties; and be it further manner, and 1. That this Convention hereby recognize the
weapons; be it therefore Resolved, That the Joint Commission on (c) exercise severe restraint in using this privi- propriety both of non-combatant service with
Resolved, That this 66th General Conven- Peace is hereby authorized and mandated to lege of conscience, because of the danger of law- the military and of civilian alternative service as
tion of the Episcopal Church in the United States present a comprehensive program for imple- lessness attendant thereon. legitimate methods for discharging one’s obliga-
of America adopts as its own the following reso- menting the 1962 House of Bishops’ Pastoral Before Christians participate in such actions, tion of service to our country as a conscientious
lution concerning “WAR AND VIOLENCE” letter as it pertains to peace and war to the 67th they should seek the will of God in prayer and objector against war.
passed at the 1978 Lambeth Conference, and General Convention of this Church for consid- the counsel of their fellow Christians. 2. That we urge the Congress to broaden the
commends it to every member of this branch of eration and further action. House of Bishops, 1964 Selective Service law, which presently restricts
the Anglican Communion: General Convention, 1979 Position Paper III on Christian Obedience conscientious objection to those who object for
General Convention, 1979 In September 1982 the 67th General Con- “reasons of religious training and belief,” by ex-
vention accepted the report of the Joint Com- Counsel and Legal Advice to Members tending this status also to those who would take
Establish a Joint Commission on Peace mission on Peace which the 66th General Con- Who Are Conscientious Objectors the stand for other ethical and moral consider-
Whereas, The House of Bishops stated the vention had established. Discharging the first Whereas, The Bishops of the Anglican Com- ations not necessarily associated with traditional
following in 1962: Because of the nature of the Commission from its duties, General Conven- munion affirmed at Lambeth in 1958, echoing religious commitment.
Christian faith, Christians have an imperative tion authorized a second Joint Commission, di- similar words in 1930 and 1948, that “war as a 3. That we urge our Government to continue
obligation to pray and work for peace among men recting it “in collaboration with other Commis- method of settling international disputes is in- a review and revision of the present Selective
and nations. Questions of war and peace are not sions of the Convention and Committees of the compatible with the teaching and example of our Service system, so as to eliminate persisting in-
remote and peripheral concerns for the commit- Executive Council, the Dioceses, and the Semi- Lord Jesus Christ;” and equities, which include, among others, a failure
ted Christian; they grow out of basic understand- naries of the Church, to develop a greater aware- Whereas, The House of Bishops of this by many local draft-boards to reflect in their
ness of the centrality of peacemaking to their sev-
ings of man and his destiny which are inherent Church, while recognizing a Christian’s basic membership the racial and ethnic complexion
eral missions and responsibilities” and to report
in the Christian revelation.... obligation to the State and for obedience to law, of that local community.
to the next General Convention on the Church’s
progress in peacemaking. has affirmed, on several occasions, that, in any

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4. That the special exemption from the draft Executive Council to Support Peace able to the congregations and seminaries of this Whereas, The U.S. having led in the devel-
now accorded seminarians (i.e., IV-D) be Education Church. opment of nuclear power should also lead in its
discontinued. Whereas, The Lambeth Conference of 1958 General Convention, 1976 effective utilization and control; therefore, be it
5. That the several Dioceses and the staff of declared that “nothing less than the abolition of Resolved, That the General Convention of
the Executive Council be urged to provide coun- war itself should be the goal of the nations, their International Arms Trade Threatens World 1976 commend the efforts made at the SALT
sel and legal advice to those members of our leaders, and all citizens,” and Peace talks to limit the number of nuclear weapons and
Church who have problems of conscience with Whereas, The House of Bishops stated, in Whereas, Arms manufacturers in several delivery systems in the arsenals of the major
regard to the prospect of the military draft, co- their paper on War and Peace (1962): countries, including our own, are actively mar- powers; and be it further
operating with, and assisting wherever possible, The Church corporate, and individual Chris- keting military weapons in the international arms Resolved, That the General Convention sup-
other community agencies engaged in this coun- tians, must meet all the issues of war and peace, market, this trade having greatly increased in the port the efforts by the government of the U.S.
seling service. including the menace of nuclear weapons. At all past decade; and and other governments to check the prolifera-
General Convention, 1967 levels of its life, the Church must charge its Whereas, Nations with desperate problems tion of nuclear arms; and be it further
people with the insistent duty of working with of poverty and hunger are spending their mea- Resolved, That the General Convention ex-
The Right of Selective Conscientious all their strength for the prevention and elimi- ger resources for these expensive weapons; and press its hope for a time when we may end our
Objection nation of war; and Whereas, These instruments of modern war- dependence on the use of nuclear weapons as a
Whereas, The Lambeth Conference [1968], Whereas, This Church does not have, either fare are being marketed to nations with repres- deterrent to war and may use nuclear power
by Resolution, held that “it is the concern of the at the diocesan or national level, programs of sive governments; and exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Church to uphold and extend the right of con- peace education; be it Whereas, This arms trade multiplies the num- General Convention, 1976
scientious objection,” and the Lambeth Report Resolved, That this General Convention di- ber of nations with modern weapons, thereby
on the Renewal of the Church in Faith recog- rect the Executive Council to support Peace Edu- increasing the chances for the outbreak of wars; An Ongoing Program of Draft Counseling
nized “anew the vital contribution to the Chris- cation programs initiated by Dioceses of this therefore, be it Resolved, That this 66th General Conven-
tian Church by many of those who in conscience Church; and be it further Resolved, That the 65th General Convention tion encourages young Episcopalians who con-
cannot participate in any war or in particular Resolved, That the Executive Council be affirms its conviction that the international arms sider themselves to be conscientious objectors
conflicts,” and asked to seek ways to fund a program of Peace trade threatens world peace; and be it further to register that belief with the Executive Coun-
Whereas, The General Convention of 1967, Education on both a national and diocesan level. Resolved, That this General Convention calls cil of the Episcopal Church in the Register main-
by Resolution, called upon the Church to “pro- General Convention, 1973 upon the Congress of the United States of tained for this purpose since 1940 and with the
vide counsel ... to those members of our Church America to adopt suitable legislation which will National Interreligious Service Board for Con-
who have problems of conscience with regard Continuing Educational Programs adequately restrict arms sales to other nations scientious Objectors; and be it further
to the prospect of the military draft...;” and Whereas, The teaching of Christian and by U.S. corporations, and instructs the Secretary Resolved, That this 66th General Conven-
Whereas, Other national and international moral positions on the waging of war and on of the General Convention to forward this reso- tion acknowledges this Church’s ministry to pro-
Christian bodies have affirmed the right of selec- church-state relationships has tended to be ne- lution to the President of the United States and vide pastoral counseling for young persons if
tive conscientious objection; now, therefore, be it glected in peacetime and emotionally disputed to the Majority and Minority leaders of both faced with a resumption of the draft or draft reg-
Resolved, That we, as Bishops, recognize the in wartime, and Houses of Congress. istration; and be it further
right of a man to object, on grounds of con- Whereas, In an era of proliferating nuclear General Convention, 1976 Resolved, That this 66th General Conven-
science, provided he has made every effort to armament these topics are critically important tion call upon the Executive Council to provide
know all of the relevant factors involved, to par- to an effective Christian witness; now, therefore, To Check the Proliferation of Nuclear adequate resources to implement and maintain
ticipation in a particular war, even though he be it Arms an ongoing program of draft counseling for
may not embrace a position of pacifism in rela- Resolved, That the Executive Council be Whereas, Today all mankind lies under the young people if faced with a resumption of the
tion to all war, and urges our government to urged to develop continuing educational pro- threat of nuclear destruction; and draft.
enshrine such a right in the laws pertaining to grams on these topics and to make them avail- Whereas, The devastation possible through General Convention, 1979
Selective Service. even limited use of nuclear weapons is incalcu-
House of Bishops, 1968 lable; and
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