1972 Church of the Brethren Resolution

The bombs still fall! The destruction of human life and the exploitation of the good earth continues in Indochina. How long will we continue to aggravate this wound in the body of humankind?

Our understanding of the life and teachings of Christ as revealed in the New Testament has led the Church of the Brethren throughout its history to affirm and reaffirm its conviction that all war is sin. We have said we cannot encourage, engage in or willingly profit from armed conflict at home or abroad. We have regarded with sorrow and deep concern our nation’s increasing movement toward a permanently militaristic outlook. Since 1961, in eight separate statements and resolutions by our General Board and Annual Conference, we have voiced to government our concern opposing the war and U. S. policy in Vietnam and have rededicated ourselves to the principles of love, peace and humaneness as exemplified in New Testament teachings.

As public opposition to the war reached ever greater proportions and as government officials spoke of “light at the end of the tunnel” and of “plans and commitments” to bring our involvement in the war to a conclusion, our hopes increased for a swift end to the killing, the deliberate destruction of villages and cities, fertile farm lands and verdant woodlands. Years of concern, action and frustrated hopefulness have now brought us to the verge of despair, questioning whether this nation will soon recognize the sheer folly of attempting to stop the killing by more killing and whether political leaders in our system have grown insensitive to the will of the people.

Believing that morality is not simply a matter of honoring one’s commitments and that the church has proficiency and responsibility to speak out regarding corporate as well as individual morality, we raise our voice again asserting that there is no justification for a continuation of this war and that as a nation we stand morally condemned

  • to withdraw all U. S. military forces from Indochina, and
  • to aggressively pursue a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Indochina.

We urge the Congress of the United States

  • to terminate funds for the support of military operations in Indochina,
  • to take steps now to deal with the problems of conversion to peace time production, and
  • to project programs which will give evidence of our desire as a nation to pay reparations for the damage and suffering inflicted on the people of Indochina.

We urge the responsible leadership of all nations supplying encouragement, war material and political support for continuation of the war to bring about prompt cessation of the war and to bring healing to a wounded land and people.

Believing that peace is the will of God we rededicate ourselves again to the principles of love, peace and humaneness as exemplified by Christ and pledge ourselves to a growing peace witness in a world where violence and injustice persist.

Action of the 1972 Annual Conference: The above resolution was presented by the General Board through the Standing Committee. The recommendation to adopt the resolution was presented by Kirby Lauderdale. The resolution was adopted.