Conscientious Objection


As he grew up, David Burrow became more and more of a pacifist. There were many reasons for this view. One was the growing up during the Vietnam War, hearing the body counts and watching the body bags being loaded into the evacuation helicopters on the TV news each night. Another reason was the constant abuse and ridicule he felt from his fellow students in the Mt. Pleasant schools. This made him turn inside himself and shun violence. There was also the mass media--shows like M*A*S*H, which showed war in all its horror and promoted a more peaceful, tolerant world. Finally there were his parents, who lived a simple Christian lifestyle and taught him the words of Jesus--that we should love our enemies.

In high school, one of his few real friends, a classmate named Ed, solidly declared himself as a conscientious objector. Mr. Burrow really had no clue what that meant, but he did some research and found out that a conscientious objector was someone who was morally opposed to war and therefore refused to fight in the military. He also declared himself a conscientious objector, registering with the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors and the National Interrelgiious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors. He publicized his views widely. In fact he appeared in a brief segment on 30 Minutes, a news program for teenagers that CBS aired in the late '70s, expressing his feelings about conscientious objection. He keeps a videotape of that program to this day.

In college many of Mr. Burrow's friends were involved in the anti-military movement. In fact, one of the people he knew best, Rusty Martin, was a public non-registrant who was billed as Iowa's most famous draft dodger. Rusty got David Burrow involved in campus politics at UNI, and they both went on to high offices in the student association.

While his views have tempered in adulthood, Mr. Burrow is still very much a pacifist. Today he considers himself not so much anti-military as pro-peace. He is strongly opposed to the war-mongering of many in the national government. He finds it very sad and ironic that many Republicans claim to be pro-life while supporting wars that lead to the death of thousands.

Mr. Burrow continues to support charities and organizations that work toward this goal. His constant prayer is that nations throughout the world can learn to live and work together to make the world a better place for everyone.


Mr. Burrow being filmed at his home for his segment on conscientious objection
on the 30 Minutes news program for teenagers on CBS Television -- 1979


World Peace 2000


Hands for Peace


***** Links to other sites on the Web

* NEXT (Off to College)
* Conscientious Objection

* 30 Minutes
* M*A*S*H
* Iowa Senate Democrats Communications Director (Rusty Martin)
* Center on Conscience and War (successor to NISBCO)
* War Resisters' League
* American Friends Service Committee