The Seed and the Tree

About the Author:

Daniel A. Seeger became a conscientious objector to military service during the Korean War after reading Gandhi in a required "Contemporary Civilization" course in college. He first encountered Friends after graduation, when the government sought to draft him, and an acquaintance suggested that Quakers might be able to help him. After consulting the telephone directory, Daniel Seeger became a draft counseling client in the New York Office of the American Friends Service Committee, where he now serves as Regional Executive Secretary.

The encounter between Daniel Seeger and the Selective Service System resulted in the well-known court case of The United States of America versus Daniel A. Seeger. After strenuous efforts by the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors and by Kenneth Greenawalt, the well-known attorney, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided the case in Daniel Seeger's favor, thereby greatly broadening the basis for religious conscientious objection to military service.

Daniel Seeger joined the Religious Society of Friends in 1967. The present essay was stimulated by his staff service in the American Friends Service Committee. His work on behalf of AFSC in the broader peace and social change movement has led to frequent encounters with those whose faith in nonviolence has eroded, and with members of the Christian community who, out of sympathy for the oppressed, tend to replace the Church's traditional rationalization for "just war" with a theory of "just revolution." The temptation to do this has found expression even in the corporate activities and statements of Friends' bodies and agencies. It is this problem which the present essay seeks to address.

Daniel A. Seeger is a member of the 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in New York. He is active in the Friends World Committee for Consultation, for which he serves as clerk of the Interim Committee of its World Office, based in London. He writes frequently on subjects of interest to Friends.

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Copyright m 1986 by Pendle Hill ISBN 0-87574-269-6

Library of Congress catalog card number 86-62180