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Religion and politics at the border: Canadian church support for American Vietnam War resisters.

In May 1971, in the Admiral's Room of the Detroit airport, 12 miles (20 kilometres) from the U.S.-Canadian border, delegates to a joint conference of the Canadian Council of Churches and the U.S.-based National Council of Churches closed their meeting by speculating whether the groups' cooperation on the handling of draft resisters and military deserters who had left the United States for Canada could act as any sort of model for U.S.-Canadian relations in general. (1) This was a particularly prescient concern about which to speculate. The resister-deserter issue had been a sore point between the two nations for the past several years, particularly the previous two. (2) Several denominations of churches in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere in the world had provided financial support, shelter, and various forms of counsel to American men who had moved to Canada. The U.S. government was not pleased with church help to these men, naturally, and neither was the majority of the Canadian public. How was it, then, that the leadership of so many churches and church organizations in Canada justified providing aid to resisters and deserters? Religious publications on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border and records of the Canadian Council of Churches demonstrate genuine interest in helping them as newcomers to Canada. These men, however, were a unique sort of immigrant to Canada. Sociologist and legal scholar John Hagan posits that they "became unexpected symbols of Canadian sovereignty with the support of such prominent groups as the United Church [of Canada]." (3) This essay will-show further that resisters and evaders were also of value to churches--especially the United Church of Canada--as they attempted to prove their vitality to Canadians and their government.

Young Men Who Left American History

In considering how churches and church groups throughout the world, particularly in Canada, played a part in the emigration of young men from the United States during the Vietnam War era, this study begins to fill a gap noted by historian William Westfall. In 1997, he observed that the U.S.-Canadian border is a site from which American history can be explored or retold, but often is not: [T]he view from the Canadian border reaffirms in a new setting the point that many others have made. Here again we find groups of Americans who must be brought into the history of religion in America. While American religious history has celebrated all those who have come to America seeking freedom, the religious journeys of Americans leaving the United States rarely appear (if at all) in the standard accounts of American religion. American religious history seems to presume that when Americans leave the United States they leave American history altogether, lost forever in the black hole that begins on the other side of the border. (4)

This essay considers young American men who left the United States, not necessarily for religious reasons, but whose immigration was aided by religious groups. These young men were draft resisters (those who left the United States during the Vietnam War to avoid being drafted into military service) and military deserters (those who went absent without leave once they began service in the military). There were other ways of avoiding military service: getting deferments for being married, having children, or being in college or graduate school; becoming a divinity student or a minister; declaring conscientious oblector status. (5) getting or acting hurt in order to try to flunk the United States Selective Service System s physical and psychological examinations to determine fitness for military service; going to jail for up to five years.

For others, perhaps the easiest thing was to do as they were told and to serve in the armed forces when called upon to do so. Some entered military service, later regretted it, and then chose to desert it. Upon going AWOL, these men went into hiding all over the world, including underground in the United States. To avoid risk of arrest or extradition for violation of U.S. Selective Service System or military laws, the exiles had but two places to go: Sweden and Canada. Sweden granted asylum on humanitarian grounds to about 800 men from 1967 to 1973, mostly to military deserters who had been stationed in Europe and Asia. Historian Carl-Gustaf Scott posits that Sweden s harboring of American deserters was intimately tied to the Social Democratic government's vocal criticism of the American war effort in Vietnam." (6)

Because of the geographic and language barriers present in Sweden for most of the men who fled the United States and its military bases, Canada seemed a better option. The Canadian government welcomed draft resisters and military deserters throughout the Vietnam War. From the United States, Canada was not that far away--one could get there quite easily, by plane, car, bus, train, boat, or on foot. Language was not much of a problem as most people in both countries spoKe English. (7)

The number of Americans who went to Canada in protest of the Vietnam War is difficult to pinpoint, as neither the Canadian nor U.S. governments tallied emigres who cited draft resistance or military desertion as the reason for their immigration. In 1976, Renee G. Kasinsky estimated the draft-age men between the ages of 15 to 24 who gamed landed Immigrant status in Canada from 1965 to 1975 numbered 40,350. (8) In 1982, David S. Surrey cited estimates ranging from 15,000 to 100,000. (9) James Dickerson speculated that as many as 500,000 men and women went to Canada during the Vietnam War era. (10) In 2001, Hagan used Canadian census data on American immigration to, emigration from, and length of residency in Canada to determine that 52,669 men and women between the ages of 15 and 29 immigrated between 1965 and 1974. (11) The women were not avoiding military service, of course, but were wives, girlfriends, mothers, and other family members accompanying draft resisters and military deserters, or simply went to Canada on their own, often in opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam and other places in the world. In any case, the Vietnam War years saw one of the largest mass exoduses from the United States since British loyalists quit the thirteen rebel colonies for Canada during and after the War of American Independence.

Pro-Canadianism and Anti-Americanism

Canada seemed like a natural place for American resisters and evaders to go to in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There they found many others who opposed U.S. involvement in Vietnam and who resented cultural and economic imperialism of the United States over Canada. Further, much of English-speaking Canada displayed intensified national pride after celebrating, in 1967, the one-hundredth anniversary of Canadian confederation.

In the early 1970s, many writers took up the topic of Canadian anti-Americanism associated with the Vietnam War. For example, in 1971 historian Ramsay Cook charged that "[n]othing more effectively discredits the United States in the eyes of the world than that dirty little war," adding, "Canada should exert whatever small influence she possesses to encourage the United States to hasten its withdrawal from Viet-Nam." (12) The journalist Robert Fulford felt that artists in Canada rejected American culture, also as a result of the war, suggesting that "in rejecting that war, many Canadians also rejected the society that produced it." (13)

Major religious periodicals in the United States also noted Canadian disapproval of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam. The Christian Century, a liberal-leaning publication, observed in 1967, "By and large Canadian opinion of U.S. policy toward southeast Asia and toward Vietnam specifically is highly critical. Denunciation of U.S. intervention even extends to the highest reaches of church and government in Canada...." Suggesting the Canadian government's reticence to criticize the United States because the Canadian economy was "beholden" to the United States, The Christian Century reported that an official of the United Church of Canada called then-Canadian prime minister Lester Pearson "a puppy dog on L.B.J.'s leash." When rebuked by the United Church of Canada for his statement, the official revised it, calling Pearson a puppy dog on Washington's leash so far as American policy in Vietnam is concerned." (14) The revision was certainly no retraction. And as we shall see, neither was this the last act of defiance by the United Church of Canada concerning U.S. activity in Vietnam.

At the other end of the political spectrum, the conservative-leaning Christianity Today complained in 1972 about a statement made by another representative of the United Church of Canada blaming "the American political and national ego" for "the deaths of thousands of human beings and the wasting of an entire subcontinent." Christianity Today's questioning of "the propriety and usefulness of a Canadian churchman's indulging in self-righteous denunciation of American policies" makes obvious that some Canadian opinion on U.S. involvement in Vietnam was strong enough to merit comment by a religious magazine south of the border. (15)

U.S. cultural and economic imperialism over Canada also drew anti-American comments in Canada. English professor and Canadian nationalist Robin Mathews resented the influx of U.S. draft resisters to Canada "because of the immense effect of U.S. imperialism in Canada, because of his own conditioning before he comes here, and because of the attitude of resident U.S. citizens in Canada.'" (16) For example, the left-wing Canadian Dimension contained two articles on the topic in 1969 and 1970. In one, political scientist James Laxer complained that "American professors in many instances outnumber the Canadians" teaching in some Canadian universities and that they had "little concern for the maintenance of the cultural integrity of Canada," adding, "Canada has been reduced to playing the dual role of consumer market and resource base in an emerging liberal empire whose centre is the United States." (17) Historian J. L. Granatstein noted the complaints of J. R. Hord, a United Church of Canada official, in 1967: "We, of course, have to see the Vietnam conflict ... within the overall picture of American economic investment in and military domination of South East Asia. Americans have always claimed that they were innocent of old-style geographic imperialism.... But actually they have developed a stranglehold on the nations of the world through economic expansion." (18)

Likewise, in the United States, the journalists John Cooney and Dana Spitzer observed in 1969 that "[t]here is in both Canada and Sweden a strong anti-Americanism that makes it easier for the war resisters to cope once they arrive. Generally, those Canadians who resent the economic and cultural domination of their country by the United States are the ones most friendly to American exiles, often giving moral support and financial assistance." (19) Indeed, Roger Williams, an American exile living in Montreal, observed, in a 1970 piece in the U.S. weekly magazine The New Republic that "[t]he draft dodger question and now the deserter issue seem to be ready-made pegs on which Canadians can hang their anti-Americanism." Williams added, "Conservatives and liberals use the deserter-resister issue to assert Canadian independence. They smile and point out that nothing in Canadian law prevents their nation from accepting servicemen still in the active service of their respective countries." (20)

Sentiments such as those described by Mathews, Laxer, Hord, Cooney and Spitzer, and Williams caused the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme, an aid group for draft resisters and military deserters, to address the topic of anti-Americanism in the agency's Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada. In an effort to educate would-be immigrants from the United States about Canadian self-image, the Manual cited U.S. dominance of Canadian economy, mass media, trade unions, education, and professional sport, warning, "When you consider the considerable degree to which Canada's character has become somebody else's, then-you can appreciate the crisis which this creates in the thinking of Canadians. And when you consider the role of America in this process, it is understandable that Canadian nationalists should single out America for their hostility." (21) Canadians expressed discontent with U.S. dominance in one way by expressing opposition to the Vietnam War. Whether this opposition spelled support or animosity for Americans in Canada, even those rejecting the call of their government to serve in Vietnam, is not explicit in the Manual.

Another potential contributing factor to Canadian interest in assisting resisters and deserters from the United States was a rise in national pride felt by many Canadians in the late 1960s. In February 1965, the now-familiar maple leaf flag was inaugurated as the official flag of Canada. (22) The centennial of Canada's confederation sparked a celebration throughout 1967, which, along with the Expo67 world's fair in Montreal and the Pan American Games in Winnipeg in 1967, gave Canadians multiple opportunities to celebrate their Canadianness. (23) Indeed, the official guide to Expo67 promised that "Visitors to any part of Canada in 1967 will find some manifestation of the Centennial." The celebration included a 15-car train and eight 76-foot-long tractor trailers carrying "the story of Canada's development from earliest man to the present," a traveling military tattoo, naval assemblies, a 3,500-mile canoe race, arts performances, memorial buildings, exhibits, bonfires, and special stamps, coins, films, and radio and television programs. (24)

In 1967, his history of Canada's centennial year, historian Pierre Berton linked the pro-Canadianness of the national celebration with anti-Americanness: "Months of enthusiastic flag waving had helped turn the eyes of the nation inward. After a long dry period of war, depression, and reconstruction, the new nationalism was making itself felt, and the old queries were being asked again: How cozy should we get with the Americans? Are we selling our souls for a mess of pottage? How much of the country's resources can we afford to peddle to foreigners? How can we accept Yankee dollars and Yankee institutions and still retain a measure of independence?" (25) Similarly, Canadian journalist Oliver Clausen, writing in The New York Times Magazine, observed that "Canada is celebrating its centennial of nationhood on a nationalist binge ...," with Canadian political parties benefiting by "turning nationalism against the United States 'capitalist domination.'" Clausen felt that such attitudes helped draft resisters and military deserters: "[I]n many ways they are immigrants of the kind that Canada wants. This is one reason why the Government has made it plain that it will take no action against the draft dodgers...." (26)

"Getting into Canada is relatively easy and there are many groups which will help"

Fueled by anti-American and pro-Canadian sentiments, leaders in the Canadian government and Canadian churches found a way to exert some independence from the United States in American draft resisters and military deserters: opening doors to exiled American sons and daughters. Throughout the Vietnam War, American men could go to Canada largely without fear of extradition to the United States Because Canada had no draft at the time, it did not extradite men who violated draft laws of other countries. During the late 1960s, Canada went from passive to conscious acceptance of these immigrants. In October 1967, the Immigration Branch of the Canadian government instituted a new system for evaluating potential immigrants to Canada. The new system was sympathetic to younger people, to those with more education, to those who could speak English, and to those who had the potential for holding down a job--all likely attributes of draft-age American men. (27)

A second major change came nineteen months later. After several months of parliamentary-debate, Canadian Minister of Manpower and Immigration Allan J. MacEachen issued a memorandum on 22 May 1969, declaring:

membership in the armed service of another country--or desertion if you like, potential or actual--will not be a factor in determining the eligibility of persons applying for landed immigrant status in Canada.... If a serviceman from another country meets our immigration criteria, he will not be turned down because he is still in the active service of his country.... Our basic position is that the question of an individual's membership or potential membership in the armed services of his own country is a matter to be settled between the individual and his government, and is not a matter in which we should become involved. (28)

Ostensibly, this could have applied to deserters from any army in the world, but in reality it served as a green light over the U.S.-Canadian border.

While the door to the north was open, potential emigres still had to find out about the invitation. A number of popular magazines in the United States during the Vietnam War era published articles about beating the draft. From 1968 to 1970, U.S. News and World Report, Time, and Newsweek, the three most widely circulated news magazines in the United States at the time, each carried at least one such article, as did magazines for more specialized audiences, such as Senior Scholastic, The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Saturday Evening Post. Only a handful of those articles mentioned the possibility of going to Canada. (29)

Surprisingly, the most direct information in popular magazines about alternatives to the draft came in a November 1970 article called "How to Help Your Son Face the Draft" in Better Homes and Gardens, a magazine targeted toward middle-class homemakers and handymen. AllotTing that "there is no central source of information and advice on all the military options," the article listed nine possibilities "if your son's choice is to serve." These included several paths that could lead to military service, but also mentioned conscientious objector status. The article listed five further possibilities "if your son does not wish to serve," including getting deferments and refusing to register for the draft or to serve if called up. "This," the author warned, "... likely will result in a legal hassle which may adversely affect his future" and could also mean a prison sentence averaging three years. The article suggested the possibility of the son being out of the country when he turned eighteen and not returning until after he turned twenty-six. Of the most interest here was the suggestion "Go to Canada. Getting into Canada is relatively easy and there are many groups which will help." This advice carried the caveat, however, that the young man could be forced into "permanent exile" because returning to the United States carried the risk of arrest. (30) Better Homes and Gardens may seem an odd venue in which to find an article on evading military service, but in 1969 the publication had the sixth-highest circulation among magazines in the United States--higher than that of U.S. News and World Report, Time, or Newsweek. (31)

The single most helpful printed source of information for draft resisters and military deserters was the aforementioned Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, published in six editions between 1968 and 1971. Originally written by American draft resister Mark Satin, the Manual was revised, published, and distributed by the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme. (32) The programme's records indicate that between 1970 and early 1972, copies of the Manual were sent in bulk to individuals, bookstores, universities, public libraries, student groups, draft counseling centers, draft resistance centers, and law firms in He United States, as well as to the American Friends Service Committee and other Friends groups throughout the United States, the National Council of Churches, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and to immigrant aid groups throughout Canada. (33) The sixth edition listed fifteen aid centers in Canada that provided "housing, immigration counseling, orientation counseling, and draft information as well as "youth drop-in centres, medical and drug clinics and coffeehouses that coordinate activities to help meet the needs of American exiles in Canada." (34)

Canadian Churches to the Rescue

What neither American popular magazines nor the Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada indicated, however, was the great extent to which religious groups in Canada funded and supported immigrant aid groups. Records of the Accountability Committee of the Canadian Council of Churches show that the committee helped to fund the work of immigrant aid groups from coast to coast in Canada in myriad ways. For example, a September 1971 letter from the Vancouver Committee to Aid American War Objectors to the Canadian Council of Churches asked for a continuation of its monthly grant, noting that during the summer months it received 35 to 40 new military objectors a month, three-fourths of whom were supposed to be at Fort Lewis, Washington, 135 miles (220 kilometres) away. (35) A letter from the Regina Committee to Aid Immigrants likewise, asked for a continuation of funding, saying that "with the resumption of draft-calls and no immediate end to the war in sight there-should still be a number of people who will need the facilities of our aid centres." (36)

Refugee aid groups provided basic humanitarian aid to emigre draft resisters and military deserters. Nearly all groups provided counseling on immigration, the draft, employment, and legal matters. Many provided food and shelter in hostels, private homes, and in churches themselves. Several groups mentioned the need for clothing. Men who fled to Canada during the warmth of summer often needed winter coats and thermal underwear in order to endure Canada's colder winters. (37) The Alexander Ross Society in Edmonton helped with creature comforts like bus fares, phone calls, laundromat charges, and cigarettes. (38) The American Refugee Service in Montreal offered French classes to ameliorate language difficulties for English-speaking Americans in French-speaking areas of Canada. (39) Aid groups did not confine their activities to male emigres. They also helped women who came to Canada, men who were "unlandable" (i.e., those who would not be admitted as potential immigrants by the Canadian government and would have to leave Canada), and refugees from Vietnam. (40)

Sometimes local religious groups provided assistance to immigrant aid centers. For example, the Victoria Committee to Aid War Resisters received aid from Catholics and Unitarians in that city--a two-and-a-half-hour ferry boat ride from Seattle. (41) Likewise, the Vancouver Committee to Aid American War Objectors noted that the United Church of Canada in that city had given money directly to individual emigres. (42) The Winnipeg Committee to Assist War Objectors indicated that while over 40 percent of its income in the summer of 1971 came from the Canadian Council of Churches, it also received financial assistance from the local Unitarian and United churches, as well as the Canadian Jewish Congress. (43) The Nova Scotia Committee to Aid American War Objectors received support from the Halifax Society of Friends. (44)

In turn, the Canadian Council of Churches' Ministry for Draft-Age Americans in Canada received money from church organizations around the world. The organization's records note funds received from the United Church Board for World Ministries, the Church of the Brethren, the First Methodist Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Presbyterian Church, the Disciples of Christ U.S.A., the Protestant Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the National Council of Churches, and Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam (CALCAV) in the United States. The Canadian Council of Churches also received money from Danchurchaid in Denmark, Cimade in France, Brot fur die Welt, Diakonisches Werk, and Lutherischen Weltbund in Germany, and Mennonites and Stichting in the Netherlands. From within Canada, the ministry received funds from the United Church of Canada, the Lutheran Church of America--Canada Section, the Mennonite Central Committee, the United Presbyterian Church, and the Anglican Church of Canada. (45) The monetary support of church groups large and small and from Europe, Canada, and the United States was evidence of the concern of religious groups around the world about the plight of young men who felt-compelled to leave the United States rather than participate in a war in which they did not want to fight.

Why were Canadian church groups so keen on helping fugitives from the United States settle in Canada? There are two interrelated explanations: humanitarianism on one hand and a combination of Canadian nationalism and anti-Americanism on the other. Religious periodicals of the era suggest that the aid was given, to a certain extent, out of humanitarianism. For example, a column in the United Church Observer, the official organ of the United Church of Canada, indicated that aid was given because "once they are here it is irrevocable. They can't go home. They are homeless, jobless, and in some cases, in deep mental distress." (46) In August 1970, The Christian Century reported on the appeal of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for funds to support the "program of pastoral care" for draft resisters and military deserters started by the Canadian Council of Churches. The magazine quoted Alan Brash, the head of the WCC's service division, who stressed the group's humanitarian orientation: "These men are refugees and we do not make any judgment on the rightness or wrongness of their decision. We help them as human beings whom the churches in Canada are trying to assist." (47) A few months later, in a similar vein, The Christian Century described the work of the Canadian Council of Churches on refugees' behalf as "ministry to people in need, not support for draft evasion," adding, "we long for the day when the transcendent fact of human identity will be honored by national governments above the peculiarities of legal identity." (48) The debate about the status of these men as refugees was taken a notch higher in an article on a meeting of the central-committee of the WCC the next year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the article, The Christian Century described draft resisters and military deserters as political refugees--in the same category as the countless refugees of Africa, Asia and Europe," and linked them with Jews prevented from emigrating from the Soviet Union to Israel as "particular cases of human misery" of the early 1970s. (49)

Beneath the surface, more political motivations for aid to draft resisters and military deserters began to appear. We have already seen some evidence of Canadian nationalism manifesting itself as anti-Americanism in the 1960s and 1970s. When the Canadian Council of Churches' Ministry for Draft-Age Americans in Canada formed in February 1970, one of the five tasks it set out to accomplish was to "encourage the American religious community to discover together what it can learn from the experiences of the deserters and resisters" to "assure that the motivations of these young men will be reported and the life they face in Canada will be described to the American public." (50) The Canadian Council of Churches and the U.S.-based National Council of Churches wanted to be sure that the world heard the stories of resisters and deserters in order to publicize that their choice to live in Canada was an alternative to--and improvement over--the life they might have in the United States. The groups were not questioning why men immigrated to Canada, rather they were questioning the United States as a society for pressuring these men to be in its military service. The United States, Canada, and the rest of the world would know that Canada was the better nation for having admitted those Americans into the country.

Another politically-related aspect of Canadian support for draft resisters and military deserters was the Canadian government's funding of the Canadian Council of Churches. Christianity Today reported in 1972 that the Canadian International Development Agency gave $12 million to the Canadian Council of Churches. Ironically, the U.S. government also indirectly funded American emigres. Christianity Today also reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development, a U.S. government agency, gave $11.2 million to the National Council of Churches. Since the latter also sponsored the Ministry for Draft-Age Immigrants in Canada, one can argue that many U.S. draft resisters and military deserters received aid funded, in part, by the U.S. government once they became emigres in Canada. (51)

The naming of Robert Gardner as the head of the Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants in Canada by the Canadian Council of Churches further indicated the political nature of Canadian church aid to American emigres. The 49-year-old American, a former chaplain at Michigan State University, was a World War II veteran, but was morality opposed to U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (52) Early in his tenure, Gardner wrote a strongly-worded position paper encouraging repatriation--letting American men return to the United States "without any recrimination for breach of Selective Service or military law." The paper was printed in Amex-Canada, a magazine for Vietnam War resisters in Canada, while a toned-down version appeared in The New Republic. (53) Gardner allowed that his statement "represents policy of neither the World Council of Churches nor the Canadian Council of Churches and certainly not that of the National Council of Churches in the U.S.A. It is an expression solely of the rising furious indignation of this one sole cat--me--the Irreverend Robert Gardner." (54)

On the United States presence in Vietnam, Gardner inveighed, The American dream has been punctured. The nation has lost its innocence. The greatest military power in history has been ground to a stalemate by revolutionary insurgents. The crew-cut, clean-limbed American boy next door is a rapist and a murderer. A generation of presidents and national leaders have been proven liars and inept fools. The economy doesn't work. The cities are unliveable.... The land of the free and the home of the brave has killed, crippled, jailed and exiled thousands of its young. (55)

Gardner presaged "Vietnam syndrome" and the era of multinational corporations by writing:

It is difficult to imagine the U.S.A. losing empire with grace. The psychological convulsions the U.S.A. will go through during the remainder of the century will be frightening to behold. It will withdraw to itself. It will sling its economic power about ruthlessly. It will exercise its infinite capacity for repression. It will harden itself in every reactionary manner against the reality of its new destiny. It could be that the U.S.A. may begin to be a sane place in which to live sometime early in the next century when it has settled back into to being a second-rate power once again. (56)

Gardner went beyond anti-U.S. statements to make some pro-Canadian ones as well. "Canada is beginning to wake up. It is trying to put some distance between itself and the U.S.A. It is seeking a multiplicity of international ties lest it be irretrievably bound to a debilitating continentalism (otherwise known as Uncle Sam's rip-off). Hopefully, Canada could be North America's second chance and model of social democracy." (57) While Gardner's statement was not official policy, there could be no mistaking that the man leading the Ministry for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada had profoundly anti-American attitudes.

The United Church of Canada Takes Up the Debate on Draft Resisters

How did this mix of humanitarianism and political motivation manifest itself in the activities of the United Church of Canada? In the late 1960s, the United Church of Canada was the largest Protestant denomination in Canada with about 3.7 million adherents in a country of 20 million people. (58)

The United Church of Canada deserves more study than it has previously received. Historian Phyllis Airhart observed in 1997 that, "Judging solely from historical studies of religion in Canada, one would never guess that the United Church has been since its founding in 1925 the largest Protestant denomination; for scholarly purposes, it has been a virtually invisible religion." Airhart went on to suggest reasons for studying the United Church of Canada, reasons that seem particularly relevant to church activism of the late 1960s and early 1970s: "Key leaders of the United Church have been so involved in movements of social reform that its national agenda is sometimes assumed to be coterminous with the Social Gospel critique of existing social arrangements." (59) Airhart quoted the journalist Run Graham who thus described the United Church: the most Canadian of churches, and like Canada, its strengths may be the same as its weaknesses: diversity, tolerance, compromise, humility, practicality, and nice-ness.... Some jocularly call it the 'Church of Christ Sociologist.'" (60)

By examining publications of the United Church of Canada during the Vietnam War era, we can see social reform aims that the church attempted to affect. The 1965 self study, Why the Sea Is Boiling Hot: A Symposium on the Church and the World, took up a challenge posed by newspaper columnists for the United Church tope involved "in the vital issues of the day." (61) The study repeatedly described the world as a revolutionary place and called for the United Church to experiment and to "take the Gospel as it is to the people where they are, and speak in contemporary terms to contemporary needs." (62) It suggested work in slums, with poverty, and with "the trouble-makers, the snarling switchblade flashers, the drunks, the prostitutes, the pimps, the money-grabbers, the marriage wreckers...." (63)

Other United Church publications put forth similar challenges. In 1969, the United Church Observer wrote admiringly of progressive church programs of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Toronto: "[It] bursts with life and activity--a noon-time restaurant, a professional theatre, a teens drop-in centre, a 24-hour telephone Distress Centre, an AA group, art therapy classes, a seminar on urban problems, numerous discussion groups 'religious' and otherwise, a psycho-drama group, poetry readings, ... [and] a haven for draft dodgers." A member of the Holy Trinity congregation stressed the contemporariness of the church s activities, much in the way advocated by Why the Sea Is Boiling Hot. "We are like first century Christians seeking to find the meaning of the Church for us, in our time...." (64) An article in a later issue of the United Church Observer described the thousands of dollars being spent by churches on community programs in Vancouver: legal advice For the poor, a mobile drop-in center for teenagers, and English classes for Italian immigrants, in addition to money for draft resisters. (65)

The pages of the United Church Observer also reveal some of the United Church of Canada's debate about draft resisters in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As early as 1967, the Observer admitted in an editorial that "the United Church has a serious problem here." (66) The church's Board of Evangelism and Social Service (E & SS) urged Canadians, much in the way Why the Sea Is Boiling Hot suggested, to be progressive by welcoming American exiles and to offer them shelter, employment, and financial help. The Observer noted that in response to me E & SS, the executive committee of the church's general council felt compelled to issue a statement confirming that the United Church was "willing to minister to human need, of draft dodger as of any other person, wherever need exists," yet added, "The United Church does not consider it the province of Canadian citizens to proffer incitement or encouragement for young Americans to break the laws of their own country." The Observer saw that the "ultra-conservative" church hierarchy and the "left-winging" E & SS largely agreed that war resisters were in need of assistance, but disagreed on the role of the church in providing it. In an editorial that pointed to the dissonance within the church and that supported the call for more radical work, the Observer wrote that "[the church] wants to have prophets who are far-seeing, bold, and right, who are alert to the great issues in the modern world, and speak up so the world listens, and the people follow. But many of the most effective prophets aren't like that. They are often shrill, irritating, unpopular, sometimes even wrong--but they do shout loudly on the great moral issues of our time." (67) A United Church minister wryly commented on the church's in-fighting in a letter to the editor of the Observer: "The executive [committee] said in effect we are willing to minister to young war resisters, excerpt where their need exists.... The executive seems to have presumed it was speaking for all in the United Church--and here it showed how wrong it can be." (68)

South of the border, the Christian Century reported the disappointment of Rev. J. R. Hord, secretary of the E & SS, in the failure of the church to take liberal action: "When we need men of action like Luther, our church is casting her leaders in the mold of Erasmus, who said: 'I should not have the courage to risk my life for the truth. I follow the just decrees of popes and emperors because it is safe.'" (69)

The cover story of the 1 September 1968, United Church Observer, "Draft Dodgers: What Makes Them Run?," by Robert Marjoribanks, let American draft resisters and military deserters explain why they left the United States. Their stories echoed the anti-American sentiments of Ramsey Cook, James Laxer, Robin Mathews, and other Canadians, citing the immorality and unjustness of the Vietnam War, opposition to U.S. foreign policy and imperialism, and disgust with American political and social conditions. In making such connections between anti-American attitudes and being in Canada, the article suggested irreversibility both in political thinking and of immigration. Draft resisters and military deserters shared the views of many others in Canada and could not go back to the United States without the risk of being arrested for violation of selective service or military laws. As Marjoribanks observed, "By the time he gets to Canada if he decides to come to Canada--he ought to know what he s doing. There's no going back." (70)

In early 1970, the United Church Observer printed an article written by the conscientious objector (CO) John C. Lott. Despite declaring CO status, Lott was forced to go though six weeks of basic training and ten weeks of medical support training and believed that he still faced a ninety percent chance of going to Vietnam. Lott ultimately realized that "being a conscientious objector in the military is the ultimate hypocrisy. A CO simply cannot be a soldier. The fact that he doesn't carry a weapon is irrelevant. He is still a soldier, and as such, he assumes just as significant a role in the war machine as do infantrymen and bomber pilots." Unable to bring himself to serve in the military any longer, Lott thought he would turn himself in to face a court martial and a prison term. He learned, however, about the option of going to Canada (from television news in the United States) and realized his options were "Viet Nam ... jail ... or Canada. So Canada seemed to be the obvious choice." Lott went to Canada with his wife, writing "Perhaps someday I will feel that I could have better witnessed for my Christian convictions by going to jail. But we had to risk.... " In going to Canada, Lott felt he had followed the example of Jesus, whom he called "perhaps the greatest radical in history." Lott dared readers to take similar action, saying "as followers of Christ, I believe we too must be radical." (71)

Lott met some of the challenges posed by the United Church in that he promoted not just progressivism, but went beyond it to advocate radicalism. As with the Marjoribanks article, we see an American man complaining about the United States for a Canadian church audience. Lott portrayed immigration to Canada not just as an irreversible move, but more constructively as a place to go for redemption from participation in the militarism, of the United States and as a better place to fulfill one's Christian convictions.

Another article about a conscientious objector appeared in the United Church Observer later in 1970. In it, a mother described as "providential" the opportunity she and her husband had to support their son financially and morally when he decided to immigrate to Canada. Like Lott, she complained about the U.S. treatment of conscientious objectors, but refrained from further anti-Americanism. Instead, she had a more pacifistic message, hoping "all countries will weigh more seriously the decision to become involved in a war, just as young people of all countries are questioning the rightness of automatically accepting a call to fight and kill others." (72)

Scum and Cowards

For all of the positive coverage the United Church Observer gave to American draft resisters and military deserters, the magazine also reflected the negative attitudes of some Canadians toward American emigres. As Robert Marjoribanks's September 1968 cover story on draft resisters observed, "Some Canadians who have never met them call them 'scum,' 'cowards.' Other Canadians admire them, helped them to come to Canada and find jobs and a place to live." He finally conceded, Most Canadians are mixed up and uncomfortable about these latest immigrants." (73)

Another 1968 United Church Observer article began bluntly: "United Church lay people who answered an opinion poll on Viet Nam disapprove, some of them violently, of help for draft dodgers. Ministers approve." The article referred to a poll published in the Observer to which 134 clergy and 2,201 lay readers returned responses. Its results suggest the devisiveness of the United Church over draft resisters and military deserters. Sixty-three percent of clergy agreed with the statement "Canadian churchmen are justified in extending support to refugees from the U.S. Selective Service." In contrast, only 45 percent of laity agreed with the statement. Some respondents claimed they had stopped giving money to the United Church because of its activism with resisters and deserters. Others expressed their sentiments more bluntly. A woman from Saskatchewan wrote that draft resisters and the churchmen who helped them "should be loaded on a cattle boat and shipped to Russia, or better, sunk on the way," while a woman from Winnipeg suggested "[t]hey should get what they would get in North Viet Nam--the firing squad." (74)

The United Church Observer was not the only religious periodical to report criticism of Canadian aid to draft resisters and military deserters. South of the U.S.-Canadian border, The Christian Century reported in 1969 the results of another, broader survey with similar results: 74 percent of clergy were in favor of aiding U.S. draft resisters, while only 48 percent of Canadian church members were. (75)

A couple of years later, The Christian Century's Canadian correspondent obliquely questioned Canadian church aid, observing that if American war resisters were considered refugees, then "the problem of whether U.S. refugees ought to have priority over refugees from the Third World will have to be faced soon." (76) The magazine's liberal nature, the reference to the "Third World," and the word "refugees" in quotation marks in the article's title point to the irony some felt about assisting young men from a "first world" country at the expense of disadvantage people of a "Third World" country.

By early 1973, even the more conservative Christianity Today felt compelled to ask, "Is anybody listening?" to the Canadian Council of Churches, suggesting that the mid-1960s call for the United Church of Canada to be more progressive was not heard by many people in the Canadian populace. The article observed that "[r]epresentatives of government, business, labor, minority groups, and even member churches have been paying little or no attention to the council's calls for response and involvement" and added that "[i]n the last three years, the council has achieved little more than token involvement in relief projects following the wars in Nigeria and Pakistan and in providing funds and advice to American draft-dodgers." (77)


A June 1969 editorial in the United Church Observer pointed to the ambivalence of the United Church toward U.S. expatriate draft resisters and military deserters, noting "Some Canadians believe they should be kept out. They may be right, although the Church ... [has] pointed out that Canada has a long tradition of asylum for men from many lands escaping the forced service in foreign wars. But the point is that public law must not be negated by bureaucratic regulations even for desirable purposes. If we believe deserters don't make good Canadians, our law should say so." (78) U.S.-Canadian extradition agreements did not specifically mention men violating draft laws. Canadian government officials and the leadership of some churches in Canada had indeed used the openness of Canadian law and changes in it in the late 1960s as rationale for allowing American expatriates in Canada. Admitting American men to Canada, especially potential soldiers, was one way for the Canadian government and church leaders to express criticism of the involvement of the United States in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world and to wage an emotional battle against it. It may have seemed that Canada opened its arms wide to accept draft resisters and military deserters. That was not entirely the case.

A slim majority of people--55 percent in a poll by the United Church of Canada, 52 percent in a survey reported in Christian Century--were opposed to admitting these men, but church and government leaders exploited Canadian law to admit them anyway. This essay has shown that such leaders were motivated by a sense of anti-Americanism, owing to public opinion about the Vietnam War and to perceived American economic and cultural imperialism over Canada.

A genuine sense of humanitarianism motivated churchmen. They truly wanted to minister to those who were exiles from another country. They eared not from where draft resisters and military deserters came. Churchmen of the United Church of Canada were also motivated by a sense of wanting to be more radical, wanting to appear to be more vital and relevant in a world in which religion, especially organized religion, seemed to be less relevant. American draft resisters anti military-deserters were an unusual class of needy. Literate, educated, employable North American men in the prime of their lives were not likely to be much of a burden on social service agencies. They held more potential value for Canada than did some of the usual recipients of church aid: the poor, prostitutes, thieves, and exiles from non-English-speaking countries. As an administrator for the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme observed, "They will add to Canada's stock of creative, interesting people. They fit right in, require no retraining, no special orientation. We're getting a lot of high-status people and we're not spending much money to attract them." (79)

John Hagan's thesis that "the grievances of American military resisters ... were framed as symbolic of Canadian sovereignty" accords well with data found in religious publications on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, as well as to records of the Canadian Council of Churches. (80) What Hagan fails to develop fully, however, is the extent to which Canadian churches did more than simply support sovereignty. They also advanced their own causes. By providing aid to expatriate Americans, they hoped to increase church membership rolls by demonstrating greater relevance and perhaps more important, enhance their position in the eyes of the liberal government of Canada, a government eager to distinguish Canada from its neighbor to the south. Unable to stop U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the Canadian government found a uniquely Canadian way to oppose that involvement, a way that strongly capitalized on the porous membrane that constitutes the 5,500-mile-long (8,900-kilometer-long) border between the United States and Canada. Canada demonstrated its might in the world by accepting potential soldiers and other citizens of the United States. By opening its borders to immigrants, yet closing them to extradition, Canada showed the strength of its position concerning the war in Vietnam and its version of North American nationhood, while pointing to the weaknesses of the same in the United States.

(1.) "Canadian Council of Churches--National Council of Churches-U.S.A., Finance and Interpretation Committee on American Refugees in Canada, Meeting of 10 May 1971, Admiral's Club, Metropolitan Airport, Detroit Michigan," folder 13, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971," box 21, Jack Pocock Memorial Collection, Ms. Coll. 331, Thomas Fisher Bare Book Library, University of Toronto.

(2.) For brief discussions of U.S.-Canadian tensions over draft resisters and military deserters, see Edelgard E. Mahant and Graeme S. Mount, An Introduction to Canadian-American Relations (Toronto: Methuen, 1984), 216-17; "US Deserters in Canada," in Canadian Annual Review for 1969, ed. John Saywell (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970), 211-12; and "Questions and Answers following Prime Minister Trudeau's Address to the National Press Club, March 25, 1969," in Canadian-American Summit Diplomacy 1923-1973: Selected Speeches and Documents, ed. Roger Frank Swanson (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1975), 281-82.

(3.) John Hagan, Northern Passage: American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 187. Words in brackets added for clarity. Hagan was a draft resister who went to Canada in 1969.

(4.) William Westfall, "Voices from the Attic: The Canadian Border and the Writing of American Religious History," in Retelling U.S. Religious History, ed. Thomas A. Tweed (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1997), 197. Emphasis in the original.

(5.) Joseph E. Capizzi defined conscientious objection as "the unwillingness of some individuals, based on decisions stemming from a perceived unjustness of a particular war, to serve in that war." During the Vietnam War, U.S. courts upheld that the U.S. government alone should decide the justness of a war, not religious denominations, and not individuals. See Joseph E. Capizzi, "Selective Conscientious Objection in the United States," Journal of Church and State 38 (Spring 1996): 339-63, quote 339. See also John M. Swomley Jr., "Conscience and the Draft," Christian Century 84 (28 June 1967): 833-35; and James H. Smylie, "American Religious Bodies, Just War, and Vietnam," Journal of Church and State 11 (Autumn 1969): 383-408.

(6.) See Carl-Gustaf Scott, "Swedish Sanctuary of American Deserters during the Vietnam War: A Facet of Social Democratic Domestic Politics," Scandinavian Journal of History 26 (2001): 123-42, quote 123. For more on Sweden, see also John Cooney and Dana Spitzer, "'Hell, No, We Won't Go!,'" Trans-action 6 (September 1969): 55; and "Deserters in Sweden: Fourteen Black Ex-GIs Find Refuge from Vietnam War," Ebony 23 (August 1968): 120-22.

(7.) French was--and is--the dominant language in the province of Quebec and other pockets within Canada. The Toronto Anti-Draft Programme, an aid group for draft resisters and military deserters, advised non-French-speaking U.S. immigrants not to move to Quebec, due to activities of the Quebecois separatist movement there. See Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada. 6th ed. (Toronto: Toronto Anti-Draft Programme, 1971). 45. The separatist movement, adherents of which hoped to separate the province of Quebec from Canada and into a sovereign nation, escalated throughout the 1960s. In October 1970, the extremist group FLQ (Front de liberation du Quebec, or Quebec Liberation Front) kidnapped, and then murdered, two government officials. During that crisis, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, which put Canada under martial law and suspended civil liberties for six months. See Renee G. Kasinsky, Refugees from Militarism: Draft-Age Americans in Canada (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 1976), 135-37. For background on the shift in the national mood of Canada in the late 1960s, see Pierre Berton, 1967: The Last Good Year (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1997); and Gary R. Miedema, For Canada's Sake: Public Religion, Centennial Celebrations, and the Re-making of Canada in the 1960s (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005). For book-length accounts of the crisis of October 1970, see Gerard Pelletier, The October Crisis (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971); Fernand Dumont, La vigile du Quebec (The vigil of Quebec) (1971; Saint-Laurent, Quebec: Bibliotheque quebecoise, 2001); and John Saywell, Quebec 70: A Documentary Narrative (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971). Hagan notes that this militarism in Canada was a deterrent to those who hoped to go there and a shock to those who had already immigrated there in opposition to the militarism of the United States in Vietnam. See Hagan, Northern Passage, 147.

(8.) Landed immigrants were those allowed to stay in Canada indefinitely if they possessed the right combination of age, job and language skills, education, and personal qualities. While Kasinsky defined draft age as 15-24, young men were not required to register for the draft until age 18. See Kasinsky, Refugees from Militarism, 294.

(9.) David S. Surrey, Choice of Conscience: Vietnam Era Military and Draft Resisters in Canada (New York: Praeger, 1982), 5.

(10.) James Dickerson, North to Canada: Men and Women against the Vietnam War (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1999), xiii.

(11.) John Hagan, "Cause and Country: The Politics of Ambivalence and the American Vietnam War Resistance in Canada," Social Problems 48 (May 2001): 173; Hagan, Northern Passage, 186, 241.

(12.) Ramsay Cook, The Maple Leaf Forever: Essays on Nationalism and Politics in Canada (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1971), 184.

(13.) Robert Fulford, "General Perspectives on Canadian Culture," American Review of Canadian Studies 3 (Spring 1973), 119. See also A. W. Purdy, ed., The New Romans: Candid American Opinions of the U.S. (Edmonton: M. G. Hurtig, 1968); John Manning, "Why Anti-Americanism Haunts the Forty-Ninth Parallel," Texas Quarterly 15 (Autumn 1972): 98; and William M. Baker, "The Anti-American Ingredient in Canadian History," Dalhousie Review 53 (Spring 1973): 71-72.

(14.) "Dissent in Canada," Christian Century 82 (14 June 1967): 772-73.

(15.) "A Harvest of Hatred," Christianity Today 16 (28 April 1972): 25. For a discussion and comparison of the two main nondenominational religious periodicals in the United States during this era, see David E. Settje, "'Sinister' Communists and Vietnam Quarrels: The Christian Century and Christianity Today Respond to the Cold and Vietnam Wars," Fides et Historia 32 (Winter-Spring 2000): 81-97.

(16.) Robin Mathews, "Opinion: On Draft Dodging and U.S. Imperialism in Canada," Canadian Dimension 6 (February-March 1970): 10.

(17.) James Laxer, "The Student Movement and Canadian Independence," Canadian Dimension 6 (August-September 1969): 27. For more on the influx of U.S. academics to Canada, see, for example, Michael Butler and David Shugarman, "Canadian Nationalism, Americanization, and Scholarly Values," Journal of Canadian Studies 5 (August 1970): 12-28; Manning, "Why Anti-Americanism Haunts the Forty-Ninth Parallel," 98; and Baker, "The Anti-American Ingredient in Canadian History," 72. For more on cultural and economic influence of the United States on Canada, see Chong-Soo Tai, Erick J. Peterson, and Ted Robert Gurr, "Internal versus External Sources of Anti-Americanism, Two Comparative Studies," Journal of Conflict Resolution 17 (September 1973): 456, 470-71, 477. For a more recent and more scholarly study of anti-Americanism, see David Stewart Churchill, "When Home Became Away: American Expatriates and New Social Movements in Toronto, 1965-1977" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 2001), 223-81.

(18.) J.R. Hord in J. L. Granatstein, Yankee Go Home? Canadians and Anti-Americanism (Toronto: Harper Collins, 1996), 179.

(19.) Cooney and Spitzer, '"Hell, No, We Won't Go!,'" 55.

(20.) Roger Williams, "Go North Young Man: The New Exodus," New Republic 162 (16 May 1970): 16.

(21.) Ron Lambert, "Concerning Frying Pans and Fires," in Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 33-36, quote 36.

(22.) Canada. Minister of Canadian Heritage, "The National Flag of Canada," available online at: (accessed 24 March 2006).

(23.) The Pan American Games are an Olympics-style multisport competition for countries of the Western Hemisphere. The 1967 Games attracted over 2,300 athletes from 29 countries. See University of Manitoba, "1967 Pan Am Games Archives: News from 1967 Pan Am Games," available online at: (accessed 24 March 2006).

(24.) Expo67 guide officiel \ Expo67 Official Guide (Toronto: Maclean-Hunter, 1967), 308-10, 311, 330-31, 334, 347-49, 322-26, 332-33, 299-302, quote 299.

(25.) Berton, 1967, 62.

(26.) Oliver Clausen, "Boys without a Country," New York Times Magazine (21 May 1967): 106, 104.

(27.) In the new system, a potential immigrant needed to be assessed at least 50 out of 100 possible points by an immigration or visa official in order to be admitted to the country. A draft-age man with a high school diploma and the ability to speak, read, and write English would automatically earn 27 points: 12 for the number of years of education he had completed, 10 for being between 18 and 35 years of age, and 5 for his language skills. He could earn an additional point for each year of postsecondary education, and as many as 30 more points depending on his occupational skills, demand for his occupation in Canada, and any written guarantees for a job upon his arrival in Canada. Officers could also award up to 5 points if the potential immigrant had a relative in Canada, up to 5 points for the ability to speak, read, and write French, and up to 15 points at his or her discretion. See "Schedule A: Norms for Assessment of Independent Applicants, New. P.C. 1967-1616, Aug. 16, 1967," in Office Consolidation of the Immigration Act, R.S.C., 1952, c. 325, as amended by 1966-67, cc. 25, 90, 1967-68, cc. 1, 37; Immigration Regulations, Part I, made by P.C. 1962-86, as amended by P.C. 1966-525, P.C. 1967-1616 ... (Ottawa: Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery, 1968); and Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 56-61.

(28.) See "Statement by the Honourable Allan MacEachen to the House of Commons, Thursday, May 22/69," pp. 3-4, file IM5650-1, part 1, vol. 1208, RG 76, Records of the Immigration Branch, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa. See also Lewis Seale, "Deserters Will Be Eligible for Status As Immigrants," Globe and Mail (Toronto) (23 May 1969): 1; and Jay Walz, "Canada to Admit Any U.S. Deserter," New York Times 118 (23 May 1969): 5.

(29.) See, for example, "The Draft ... or What? Choices for Spring Graduates," U.S. News and World Report 68 (30 March 1970): 80-81; "For Americans: An Easier Life in Canada," ibid., 65 (28 October 1968): 64; "The Draft: How to Beat It without Really Trying," Time 91 (15 March 1968): 15-16; "[R.sub.x] for Draft Dodging," Newsweek 76 (3 August 1970): 42-43; "Beating the Draft, 1970 Style," ibid. (9 November 1970): 27-28; "The Draft: Retain? Reform? Or Abolish?," Senior Scholastic 94 (2 May 1969): 5-6; Noel Perrin, "Our Far-Flung Correspondents: Dartmouth '70 and the War," New Yorker 46 (18 July 1970): 55; Roger Rapoport, "The Magical Mystery Great Lakes Express," Esquire 70 (September 1968): 84; and Bill Davidson, "'Hell, No, We Won't Go,'" Saturday Evening Post 241 (27 January 1968): 26.

(30.) Douglas S. Looney, "How to Help Your Son Face the Draft," Better Homes and Gardens 48 (November 1970): 30.

(31.) Circulation figures come from the Magazine Advertising Bureau of the Magazine Publishers Association. See Luman H. Long, ed., The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1971 ed. (New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1970), 174.

(32.) Both Kenneth Fred Emerick and John Hagan estimate that one-third of the resisters they encountered had access to the Manual. See Kenneth Fred Emerick, War Resisters Canada: The World of the American Military-Political Refugees (Knox: Knox, Pennsylvania Free Press, 1972), 101; and Hagan, Northern Passage, 77-78.

(33.) "Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, bulk sales records," item 7, box 2, "TADP intake records, sales records, stationery, and other materials," Pocock Collection.

(34.) Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 41-46, quotes 41.

(35.) Committee to Aid American War Objectors, Vancouver, to Accountability Committee, Canadian Council of Churches, Toronto, 1 September 1971, folder 2, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," box 21, "Canadian Council of Churches and other anti-war religious groups ...," Pocock Collection. As per the request of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, I have omitted names of people who corresponded with the Canadian Council of Churches. These individuals may not wish to be identified for personal reasons or may still have outstanding issues with the U.S. government.

(36.) Manager, Regina Committee to Aid Immigrants, to Reverend Robert Gardner, Canadian Council of Churches, 9 September 1971, folder 3, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," ibid.

(37.) Toronto Anti-Draft Programme, "Quarterly Report to the Accountability Committee--Canadian Council of Churches," 1 October-4 December 1971, folder 15, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971," ibid.

(38.) Treasurer, Alexander Ross Society, Edmonton, to Canadian Council of Churches, 15 September 1971, folder 3, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," ibid.

(39.) American Refugee Service, Montreal, "Report to the Canadian Council of Churches on the Winter Quarter, 1972," p. 3, 12 March 1972, folder 14, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971," ibid.

(40.) American Refugee Service of Montreal, "Quarterly report, Jan. to March 1973," folder 4, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations;" American Refugee Service, Montreal, "Report to the Canadian Council of Churches on the Winter Quarter, 1972," p. 1, 12 March 1972, folder 14, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971;" and Toronto Anti-Draft Progrmnme, "Quarterly Report to the Accountability Committee--Canadian Council of Churches," Oct. 1-Dec. 4, 1971, folder 15, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971," ibid.

(41.) Victoria Committee to Aid War Resisters, to [Accountability Committee, Canadian Council of Churches], 28 August 1971, folder 3, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," ibid.

(42.) Committee to Aid American War Objectors, Vancouver, to Accountability Committee, Canadian Council of Churches, Toronto, 1 September 1971, folder 2, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," ibid.

(43.) Report from Winnipeg Committee to Assist War Objectors to Accountability Committee, Canadian Council of Churches, Toronto, 1 September 1971, folder 3, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," ibid.

(44.) [Nova Scotia Committee to Aid American War Objectors] to Bob [Robert Gardner, Co-ordinator, Ministry to U.S. Draft Age Immigrants in Canada, Canadian Council of Churches], 20 September 1971, folder 3, "Accountability Committee--Reports from other anti-draft organizations," ibid.

(45.) "Canadian Council of Churches--National Council of Churches-U.S.A., Finance and Interpretation Committee on American Refugees in Canada, Meeting of 10 May 1971, Admiral's Club, Metropolitan Airport, Detroit Michigan," folder 13, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971"; "Canadian Council of Churches Statement of Ministry to U.S. Draft Age Immigrants for the Year Ended December 31, 1970;" and "Canadian Council of Churches Ministry to U.S. Draft Age Immigrants in Canada, Sources of Major Financial Contributions--1971," folder 16, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971," ibid. For a book-length treatment of CALCAV, see Mitchell K. Hall, Because of Their Faith: CALCAV and Religious Opposition to the Vietnam War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

(46.) Patricia Clarke, "Robert Gardner: Why a War Veteran Helps War Resisters," United Church Observer 32 (June 1971): 6.

(47.) "World Council Asks Assistance for Draft Exile Work," Christian Century 87 (5 August 1970): 934.

(48.) "Legal Brutality and the Anguish of Separation," ibid. (6 January 1971): 5-6. Emphasis in original.

(49.) J. Robert Nelson, "No Utopia in Ethiopia," ibid., 88 (17 February 1971): 215.

(50.) Richard L. Killmer, Robert S. Lecky, and Debrah S. Wiley, They Can't Go Home Again: The Story of America's Political Refugees (Philadelphia, Pa.: Pilgrim Press, 1971), 36.

(51.) Barrie Doyle, "Federal Aid to Religion?: 'Good Samaritan' State," Christianity Today 17 (10 November 1972): 50.

(52.) Clarke, "Robert Gardner," 6; "Canadian Council Names Director to Aid U.S. Draft Evaders," Christian Century 88 (13 January 1971): 38; "T.O. Has Its Own Dodger Chaplain," Amex: The American Expatriate in Canada 2 (7 November 1970): 8.

(53.) Robert Gardner, "A Canadian Perspective: Amnesty When?," New Republic 165 (25 December 1971): 12. Robert Gardner, "Repatriation: Sell-Out or Social Work," Amex Canada 3 (January-February 1972): 30-31; Gardner, "Canadian Perspective," 12. For an early manuscript of Gardner's position paper, see "Repatriation: Sell-out or Social Work? A Position Paper Prepared by Robert Gardner, Coordinator, Canadian Council of Churches, Ministry to Draft Age Immigrants, 26 October 1971," folder 13, "Ministry to Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada, 1971," box 21, "Canadian Council of Churches and other anti-war religious groups ..., " Pocock Collection.

(54.) Gardner, "Repatriation," 30.

(55.) Ibid.

(56.) Ibid. In the mid-1980s, former U.S. president Richard M. Nixon described the United States as suffering from "Vietnam syndrome," the sense that the country should not get involved in the affairs of other countries and that the United States lacked "confidence in [its] ability to wield power effectively." See Richard Nixon, No More Vietnams (New York: Arbor House, 1985), 22. Word in brackets changed for greater clarity.

(57.) Gardner, "Repatriation," 31.

(58.) Canada Year Book 1973: An Annual Review of Economic, Social, and Political Developments in Canada (Ottawa: Information Canada, 1973), table 5.20, 215-16; The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., s.v. "United Church of Canada." The United Church of Canada was formed in 1925 by the union of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, the Methodist Church of Canada, Newfoundland, and Bermuda, the Congregational Churches of Canada, and the General Union of Local Union Churches. The eastern denominations of the Canada Conference of the United Brethren Church joined in 1968.

(59.) Phyllis D. Airhart, '"As Canadian as Possible under the Circumstances': Reflections on the Study of Protestantism in North America," in New Directions in American Religious History, ed. Harry S. Stout and D. G. Hart (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 127.

(60.) Run Graham, God's Dominion: A Skeptic's Quest (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1990), 222, in Airhart, '"As Canadian as Possible under the Circumstances,'" 127.

(61.) Why the Sea Is Boiling Hot: A Symposium on the Church and the World (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1965), 57.

(62.) Ibid., iv, 54, 53, 54, quote iv.

(63.) Ibid., 54, quote 56-57.

(64.) Jeanne Wayling, "The Swingingest Church in Town," United Church Observer 31 (1 June 1969): 18, 20. Word in brackets added for clarity.

(65.) Frank Chamberlain, "The Surprising New Ways They Spend Church Money," ibid., (15 October 1969): 28-30.

(66.) "D-Dodgers," ibid., 29 (1 November 1967): 40. See also Robert Marjoribanks, "Draft Dodgers: What Makes Them Run?," ibid., 30 (1 September 1968): 15. For coverage of this debate in a religious journal published in the United States, see "Via the Underground to Canada," Christian Century 84 (1 November 1967): 1388-89; and John M. Swomley Jr., "Draft Exiles in Canada," ibid., 85 (30 October 1968): 1372.

(67.) "D-Dodgers," 11, 40. Words in brackets added for clarity.

(68.) Rev. T. R. Haythorne to editor, United Church Observer 29 (15 December 1967): 4. Word in brackets added for clarity.

(69.) "Via the Underground to Canada," Christian Century 84 (1 November 1967): 1388-89.

(70.) Marjoribanks, "Draft Dodgers," 12, 14, quote 15.

(71.) John C. Lott, "'You Cannot Christianize War,'" United Church Observer 32 (15 March 1970): 16-17, 25, 40, quotes 25, 40. Lott's piece was originally a sermon given at the Ottawa Mennonite Church in September 1969. It first appeared in print as John C. Lott, "The Christian, His Country, His Conscience: An Apology for Non-cooperation," Canadian Mennonite 17 (24 October 1969): 6, 8.

(72.) Virginia Cunningham, "Our Son, the Deserter," United Church Observer 33 (November 1970): 29.

(73.) Marjoribanks, "Draft Dodgers," 12.

(74.) "How You Vote on Viet Nam," United Church Observer 30 (15 March 1968): 16, 18, 16.

(75.) James R. Mutchmor, "The World around Us: Ontario," Christian Century 86 (14 May 1969): 692.

(76.) Claude de Mestral, "Canadian Christians Primed for Ministry to U.S. Draft 'Refugees,'" ibid., 88 (20 January 1971): 73.

(77.) Wally Kroeker, "Canadian Council: Is Anybody Listening?," Christianity Today 17 (5 January 1973): 49.

(78.) "Parliament Makes the Laws," United Church Observer 31 (15 June 1969): 10. Word in brackets added for clarity.

(79.) Carmen Guild in Marjoribanks, "Draft Dodgers," 15.

(80.) Hagan, Northern Passage, 65.

* DONALD W. MAXWELL (B.S., Butler University; M.L.S., M.A., Indiana University) is a doctoral candidate in U.S. history and associate instructor, Indiana University. Special interests include expatriation from the United States, especially to Canada, Vietnam War era draft resistance, and sports history. The author wishes to thank Professor Stephen J. Stein and members of the Indiana University Department of Religious Studies R735 seminar who provided helpful commentary on early versions of this essay: Christy Bohl, Donna Drucker, Keith A. Erekson, Tom Haitsma, Shawn Kranse-Loser, Bonnie Laughlin Schultz, Jeremy Rapport, Steve Taysom, and Fred Witzig. Thanks also to Fritz Lieber and Jennifer Toews, who also provided much appreciated assistance. The author presented an earlier version of this essay at a conference of the Organization of the History of Canada on 14 May 2004.
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Author:Maxwell, Donald W.
Publication:Journal of Church and State
Date:Sep 22, 2006
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