It is also noted that in some countries where there is a right to
conscientious objection to military service, some Christians have become
sensitive to the use of their tax money for supporting war, and in some cases
have faced government action against them because of their conscientious
objection to paying for war. This development of conscientious objection
deserves further study and consideration.
The central committee
Calls upon churches to encourage their members to object to military service
in situations when the church considers armed action illegal or immoral.
[And] Encourages churches to study and address the issue of military or war
taxes and of alternatives to military service.
This is not the first time the World Council of Churches has put out a
document supporting war tax resistance. In ,
they issued “a covenant… …supporting the right to conscientious objection to
military service and tax for military purposes, and providing alternative
forms of service for peace, and taxation.”
Aristotle asserts that both varieties of virtue are learned skills. You
aren’t born virtuous, but become that way through instruction (in the case
of conscious, intellectual, deliberate virtues) and training (in the case
of more subconscious, “moral” virtues). As you practice virtue, you become
more virtuous; virtue is a skill that is acquired by instruction and practice.
This links into politics because wise legislation and good states have the
purpose of educating their citizens in good behavior and thereby training
them in the virtues.
After reading this, I spent some time brainstorming on how one becomes more
virtuous. Here’s my own program; we’ll see how well it harmonizes with
Learn to identify virtuous behavior & motives. What sort
of behavior do you admire? If you were looking at your life as though
it were a story, what would you do if you were meant to be the hero?
Value virtuous behavior. Care about it and make it rank highly
in your judgments. Be willing to sacrifice less-important things for
Learn to observe yourself dispassionately and honestly, and to
expect your inner devil to offer you flattering lies to explain away
your vices. Be skeptical of such stories.
Cultivate investigative introspection as a way of weeding out
the roots of your vices and of defending yourself against
Encourage courage and persistence in changing your
bad habits for good ones.