This was a question posed at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Participants created red hands with answers – red hands that will be delivered to world leaders to call them to put an end to the practice of using children as soldiers.
Why should children not be soldiers? Answers include:
- Every child needs a toy, not a war.
- Children should play with toys, not guns.
- Jesus said that the little children should come to him; he did not say to give them machine guns.
- Children can't hold a rifle and an instrument at the same time
- It says in the Bible that we should be more like kids; if they are soldiers, what does that make us?
- Every child should have the opportunity to play sports.
- Children are the most vulnerable members of society and need guidance and care, NOT the mandated to kill and participate in the mess of power and war
- We weren't made to kill; we are children of God
- Children are innocent
- Kids should be able to be kids while they are still young
- They need to live the childhood God made for them
- Children are God's precious creation
- Children bear the Spirit of God
- Why put the future at risk of destruction?
- Kids should play in the sun, not fight in the dark
- Violence is not the answer. Fun is.
- Child soldiers lead to a future of war.
- You had a childhood. Why can't they?
- Children won't know what love is.
- Children should love and be loved.
- Love, love, love love
- Children should know the love of Christ not the pain of war
- Your childhood is where you learn a majority of life lessons. Killing people isn't exactly a life lesson.
If you were not at Triennium, you can ask world leaders to have their countries ratify the treaty that bans the use of children under 18 in hostilities or their forced recruitment in armed conflict.
Check out Presbyterians Say No Child Soldiers. Invite five friends to join you.