Sunday, November 13, 2011

After the Yellow Ribbon Conference

This weekend I attended the After the Yellow Ribbon conference at the Duke Divinity School. 

Put together by OIF-vet, conscientious objector, and Duke Divinity student Logan Mehl-Laituri and fellow Divinity student Alaina Kleinbeck, it was an interdisciplinary event that included ecclesial, medical (mental health) and military perspectives in conversation devoted to helping veterans make sense of the moral reality of war.

I learned something from everyone there. The speakers who inspired me the most were Dr Warren Kinghorn (from the Veterans Admin and Duke) and Dr David Miller, a fair-minded and well-spoken pacifist.  I was privileged to give the keynote address and later have the opportunity to give my presentaton on "the moral justification for killing in war" to the majority-pacifist audience.

The goal of the event was to come together, talk honestly and listen openly, and find common ground so we all can help heal those vets who experienced moral injury in war. IMHO, it succeeded beautifully.  This conference showed me that just warists and war pacifists can come together productively.