When Rory Fanning made known to his Ranger superiors that he had become a conscientious objector, officers went out of their way to disgrace and humiliate him. Regulations require that a soldier who claims conscientious objector status must be given noncombatant assignments until the claim is decided. In Fanning’s case, he was sent to the Afghan mountains with his unit. He spent his days chopping firewood. No one spoke to him. No place to sleep was provided him and he had to bed down “outside, often in the snow and the mud, by myself with a single blanket.”

Nonviolence is recognizing one’s vulnerability and, donning that vulnerability, confronting the world exposed and unarmed.