John Griffith’s draft resistance

I’ve written several things recently related to Quakers and military conscription.   Yesterday I shared the stories of Don Laughlin and Roy Knight, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Friends, who served time in prison for draft resistance.

John Griffith, clerk of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) from 1984 to 1989, wrote in his paper (1996) “War Resistance in World War II”  the following:

An Amendment to the Selective Training and service act of 1940, approved December 20, 1941, required the registration of all male citizens of the USA between the ages of 18 and 65.  Nineteen years old at the time, with a registration date of June 30, 1942, I wrote a registered letter on June 29, 1942, to General H. B.  Springs, head of Selective Service in South Carolina.
In this letter I wrote:
“I take this opportunity to inform you of my position.  I am conscientiously opposed to war, for any cause whatever, and shall refuse to comply with this act, or any act in the future which I feel to be a contradiction of Christian teachings, democratic liberty and individual freedom.”
More of John’s story is included in the book,  A Few Small Candles: War Resisters of World War II Tell Their Stories.

John Griffith

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