“Refuse to kill. Refuse the order to go to war … We know your resistance to war will be difficult and require great courage.”

By Jonah House and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. September 28, 2007

Brothers and sisters in the military: “Refuse to fight! Refuse to kill!”

You are being ordered to war in the footsteps of veterans, who, more than 10 years ago, were sent to fight the first Gulf War. Many of those vets returned with severe and unacknowledged illnesses. Many gave birth to severely deformed children. All were abandoned by the Veterans Administration.

You are being ordered to war by the most powerful nation on earth. You are being ordered to war by a nation with the most destructive weapons ever conceived, developed, deployed or used.

You are being ordered to war by a nation whose self-acknowledged posture is that of world domination, mastery, control. This nation can have no moral justification for war.

We, the undersigned, are convinced that war is the greatest evil on earth. We believe that humankind must end war, or war will end humankind, and, in fact, all of creation.

Our convictions have driven us time and again to the Pentagon, White House and Congress in acts of civil resistance to war.

Now, we bring our plea to you, sisters and brothers, in the armed forces.

  • Refuse to kill.
  • Refuse the order to go to war.
  • Leave the military before it is too late.

We know your resistance to war will be difficult and require great courage.

But please reflect:

  • Is it more difficult than fighting in war?
  • Is it more difficult than being a pawn of corporate greed?
  • Is it more difficult than living with a violated conscience?
  • Is it more difficult than living with the poisons of war in your body and spirit?

Wrong is easy. Right is difficult and long. Do what your heart says is right.

We knowingly and willingly make this plea to you in violation of 18 USC Sec. 1381 and 2387 (see below). We knowingly and willingly embrace some of your risk by urging you to refuse duty in the U.S. military.

We plead with you, as Bishop Oscar Romero pleaded with Salvadoran troops: “When you hear the words of a man telling you to kill, remember instead the words of God: ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God?In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people who have suffered so much and whose laments cry out to heaven, I beseech you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God, stop the repression!'”

If you choose to leave the military, please know that our hearts and homes are open to you.



As of September 28, 2007, Signed by:

Abbot Bishop John-Anthony, O.S.C., Benedictine, Victoria, B.C. * Briana Adato * David Agee * Gwendolyn Albert * Jackie Allen * Jeanne Allen * Dorothy N. Anderson, Tucson, AZ * Frances Annemarie Ostensen * Amy Antonucci * Mary Beth Appel * David Arthur * Gary Ashbeck, Jonah House * Alice Bach * Mary Ann Bacon * Elizabeth Bain, S.S.N.D. * Katherine & Clinton Bamberger * Sara Bania-Dobyns * Sr. Diane Bardol, G.N.S.H. * Ellen Barfield, Veterans for Peace * Steve Barrett * Dotti Freed Baumgarten * Harvey Baylis * Mike Beckman * Suzanne Belote * Karin Bennett * Barbara Benton * Daniel Berrigan, S.J. * Frida Berrigan * Johanna Berrigan, House of Grace * Kate Berrigan, Oberlin College * Dr. Rosalie Bertell, G.N.S.H. * Jacqueline Berry * Sharon Browning, Philadelphia PA * Lauren Biehl * Pat Birnie * Mary Ellen Blackwell, S.F.C.C. * Gregory Boertje-Obed * Kathy Boylan, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker * Tim Boylan * Bob Bossie, S.C.J. * Roy Bourgeois, M.M. * Rev. Bill Brisotti * Joan Brown, O.S.F. * Rev. David & Marion Atwood Brown * Bunny Bryant, West Chester, PA * Danny Burns * David Busch * Bernard J. Bush, S.J. * Catherine Bush * Fran Cahill * Lauren C. Cannon, Voices in the Wilderness * Jesse Carr, Oberlin College * Joan Cavanagh * Edith T. Cheney * Carolyn Chernoff, Philadelphia, PA * Jen Clapham * Thomas Cleary * Ronald F. Coburn, MD, Prof of Physiology and Medicine at University of Pennsylvania * Andy Collins * Frank Corcoran, Veterans for Peace * Tom Cordaro * Corienne Carey * Oscar Castro, AFSC, National Youth and Military Program * Chloe Cola * Marlene Colbeck, NJ * Mark & Luz Colville, Amistad Catholic Worker * Catia Confotini * Fr. Frank Cordaro, Des Moines Catholic Worker * Susan Crane, Jonah House * Gary & Jennifer Culp * Rob Currie, S.J. Nicaragua * Amy Dalton * Murphy Davis, Open Door, Atlanta, GA * John Dear, S.J. * Stephen Dear * Joseph G. DeBenedictis, B.F.C.C. * D.C. Anti-war Network Gwendolyn Debrow * Michelina & Vinton Deming, Philadelphia, PA * Peter DeMott * Marie DeMott Grady * Des Moines Catholic Workers * Mary Pat Dewey, O.P. * Susan Chase Dietrich * Gretchen Ditschle * Keith Dodge * Rev. William Dohman, J.C.L. * Sean Donahue * Mary & Mike Donnelly, ME * Sean Donovan, Catholic father * Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, DC * Chris Doucot * Jackie Downing * Terrence Doyle * Gwen Dubois, MD * Edward Dyer * Bob Earnest * Ruth Gagnon Eastbrook * Alice Edgerton * Stephen Edgerton * Susan C. Edwards, Delaware County Wage Peace and Justice * Ann Ehrich * Vincent Scotti Eirene * Barbara & Richard Epstein * Leonor Esguerra * Marjorie Eulmer, Brandywine Peace Community * Every Church a Peace Church * Anne C. Ewing * Sr. Jacinda Fernandes, OSB * Joe Ferrara, Chicago IL * Renaye Fewless * David Fife, Tucson, AZ * Lloyd Fillion * Michael Fitzpatrick * Ana Grady Flores * Elizabeth Flower, Quaker, Philadelphia, PA * Rev. Frank Fortkamp * Constance M. Fox * Paul Frazier * Magdalene Carole Francis-Lohmar, Sanctuary of Hope Solitude * Jason Fults * Marcia Gagliardi * Stephanie Gail * Finnian Gallagher, Belfast, No. Ireland * Tory Gates * Dr. Peter Gathje * Carol Gilbert, O.P. * Jack Gilroy * Ted Glick * Neil Golder * Stella Marie Goodpasture, O.P. * Thomas Gordon * Ellen Grady * Oona Grady DeFlaun * Grand Rapids Chapter of Don’t Waste Michigan * Fr. John Grathwohl * Vince Green * Bruce Grimes, Sumneytown, PA * Lisa Guido * Stephen M. Gulick, Philadelphia, PA * Bishop Tom Gumbleton * Jean & Joe Gump * Evelyn Haas * Bill Hagel * Robert Hain * Mary Ann Hain * Mary Hankins * Clare Hanrahan * John Harris, Hartford Catholic Worker * Judith A. Heffernan, M.Div * John Heid * Jane Heil * Cassie Heino * Libby Heino * Gwen L. Hennessey, O.S.F * Robert Herbstritt * Mary Hess, WILPF, Hartford, CT * Cynthia Hirni * Barbara Hirshkowitz * Mary Sean Hodges, O.P. * Lee Hoefer * House of Grace Catholic Worker * Jane Hosking * Donna Howard * Barbara Huber, S.C. * Reggie Hutchins * Ralph Hutchinson * Ithaca Catholic Worker Community * Iraq Pledge of Resistance, Tucson,AZ * Allan Irving, Prof Social Work, Widener University * Joe Izzo, Quaker * Tom Jackson * Lana & Steve Jacobs * Ron Jacobs, Vermont * Melissa Jameson, War Resisters League * Christopher Jones * Edythe M. Jones, Esq. * Chuck Johnson * Jonah House, Baltimore MD * Mary Juette, Woodbury, MN * Jackie Hudson, O.P * Brian Karabinos. * Barb Kass * Barb Katt * Chuck Kausman * George & Maureen Kehoe-Ostensen * Joergen Kehoe-Ostensen * Carol Marie Kelly, O.S.F. * Stephen Kelly, S.J. * Kathleen R. Kennedy * Megan Kennedy * Scott Kennedy, Resource Center for Nonviolence * Betty Kenny, O.S.F., Rochester, MN * Robert G. Ketron, Baltimore, MD * Ken & Mary Kiernan, Rockaway Beach, NY * Harry C. Kiely * Joel Kilgour, Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker * Ed Kinane * Richard John Kinane * Betty King, Catholic mother * Rev. Steven M. King * Margaret Knapke * Stephen Kobasa * Bob & Tess Koenig * Gary G. Kohls * Harris Kornstein * Samuel Krakow, Drexel Hill, PA * Robert Krall * Shawn Kraemer * Katherine Krolczyk * Rev. George J. Kuhn * Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker * John LaForge * George Lakey * Maura Leahy, Pendle Hill, PA * Jonathan Leavitt * Rev. Dexter Lanctot, * Kathleen Lanctot, Epiphany House, * Pat Landsel * Eric LeCompte, Pax Christi USA * Karen B. Lenz, Philadelphia, Catholic Worker * Bronwyn Lepore * Thomas Lewis, Emma House Catholic Worker * Ed Loring, Open Door, Atlanta, GA * Robert Ludwig * Eileen T. Lundy * Elizabeth Marx, Temple Univerity * Margaret McKenna, M.M.S. * Lissa McLeod * Elmer Maas * Joan MacIntyre, CA * Kitty Madden, Casa Materna de Matagalpa * Andy Mager * Paul Magno, Peter Maurin Center, DC * Rev. Susan Manning, Pebble Hill Church * Linda Manzo, Brandywine Peace Community * Kristan Markey * Dolly J. Marshall * Reba & Scott Mathern-Jacobson * Monica McAghon * Elizabeth McAlister, Jonah House * Colleen McCarthy * Kathryn E. McClanen * Maureen McDonnell, O.P. * Rick McDowell * James F. McGovern, Jr. * Laura McIlvain, PA * Joyce McLean, Los Gatos, CA * Skip Mendler, North Branch Friends Meeting * Dave McReynolds * Hannah Mermelstein * Karol & Glen Miller, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action * Will Mische * Emma Miles * Mike Miles * Ollie Miles * Philip Miles * Susan Miller * Esther Mohler-Ho * Dr. Pamela Monaco * Jeff Monjack * Anne Montgomery R.S.C.J. * Ceylon Mooney * Maureen Morello, NJ * ichael Morrill, PA * Patricia Morrison, Tucson, AZ * Joe Morton * John Mote * Rev. Sebastian Muccilli * Tom Mullian, Brandywine Peace Community * Luci Murphy * Retta Murphy * Margaret M. Murtha * Tom & Carole Murtha, Haddon Heights, NJ * Ched Myers * David Naar * Michele Naar-Obed * Hattie Nestle * Bob Neveln, Assoc. Prof of Computer Science and Math * Ruth O’Neil * Martha Ni h’Uailaighe * Kathleen & Michael Niece, Coastside Catholic Worker, CA * Sara Nissley * Anthony Nicotera, IL, SOA Watch/Chicago Peace Response * Karl & Trisha Novak * Max Obuszewski * Dick Ochs * Stephen Oldham * Gil Ott * Paula & Frank Panzarella * Jonathan Parfrey * Jerry Park * Lavender Parke * Carol Parker * David Partridge, Co-chair, Clergy Against Nuclear Attack (CANA) * Andy Peifer * Melanie Persche, O.L.V.M., Huntington, IN * Walter Pietsch, ARISE, NY * Ardeth Platte, O.P. * Russ Plywaczynski, Loyola Univ. Chicago * Bill & Gaile Pohlhaus, Wayne, PA * Laurie Pollack, PA * Beth Preheim, Marian, SD * Doris Pulone, Mt. Holly, NJ * Bill Quigly, Law Professor, Loyola Univ. New Orleans * Elizabeth Raasch-Gilman * Robert Raines * Susan Ravitz, LEPOCO * Kimberly Redigan, Catholic Mother and Teacher * Barbara Reed * Margaret Mary Reher * Paul Rehm * Ken Reichstein * Jerry Reitman * Mary T. Rice * Richa * Rosalie Riegle * Grace Ritter * Jon Robb * Patricia Rogan, S.B.S. * Gene Roman, N.Y. * Lin Romano * Leo Romo * Kurt Rosenberg, Swarthmore, PA * Ellen Rubin * Elsa Russell-Lichtenberg * Dick & Gladys Rustay, Open Door Community, Atlanta, GA * Francis Maria Salvato, S.R.I., ThD, Minister General Sodales Franciscani Immaculatae * Leo Sandy * Marlene Santoyo, Germantown Monthly Meeting * Rev. Finley Schaef * Claire & Scott Schaeffer-Duffy * Betty Schroeder * Leslie Schultz * Carol Seeley * Lois Seeligsohn * Rev. Robert R. Schulze * Brayton Shanley * Donna Sharer * Marsette Sloan * Robert M. Smith, Brandywine Peace Community * David Smith-Ferri, CA * Anne Somsel * Joseph C. Spina, O.S.F. * Michael Sprong, Marion, SD * St. Francis Catholic Worker * St. Isaac of Nineveh Gift of Tears Catholic Worker * Rev. Amy Stapleton * Lesley Stearns, Philadelphia, PA * Gail Steiner * Audrey Stewart * Jessica Stewart * Tricia Sullivan, Ground Zero Community, Poulsbo, WA * Cy & Lois Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East, PA * Michelle Syverson, Catholic Peace Activist * Mary & Carl Tann * Ann Tiffany * Linda H. Traver-Neeld, West Chester, PA * Brian Terrell, Catholic Peace Ministry, IA * William & Ellen Thomas, Peace Park Anti-nuclear Vigil, DC * Ray Torres, First United Methodist Church of Germantown, PA * Bonnie Urfer * Marge Van Cleef * Claire Vogel * Voices in the Wilderness * Brendan Walsh * Elizabeth Walters, I.H.M. * Jamie Walters * Michael Wehle * Dr. Fred Wilcox * Bonnie Willdorf * Sara Willi * Lillian & George Willoughby * Teresa F. Wilson * Bonnie & Mike Wisniewski, Los Angeles Catholic Worker * William R. Woodward WWII Veterans for Peace * John Wurth * Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann * Fr. Jerry Zawada

Contact Jonah House (410-233-6238) or Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (202-882-9649) for more information.

18 USC (United States Code) Section 1381. Enticing desertion and harboring deserters, Whoever entices or procures, or attempts or endeavors to entice or procure any person in the Armed Forces of the United States, or who has been recruited for service therein, to desert therefrom, or aids any such person in deserting or in attempting to desert from such service; or Whoever harbors, conceals, protects, or assists any such person who may have deserted from such service, knowing him to have deserted therefrom, or refuses to give up and deliver such person on the demand of any officer authorized to receive him – Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Section 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally (a) Whoever, with intent to interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States: (1) advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States; or (2) distributes or attempts to distribute any written or printed matter which advises, counsels, or urges insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States – Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction. (b) For the purposes of this section, the term “military or naval forces of the United States” includes the Army of the United States, the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve of the United States; and, when any merchant vessel is commissioned in the Navy or is in the service of the Army or the Navy, includes the master, officers, and crew of such vessel.