Draft Reform and Conscientious Objection
1967 General Resolution
NOTING: That present administration of the Selective Service System has resulted in many inequities and uncertainties for the young men facing service; and
NOTING ALSO: That the right of conscientious objection to military service has long been recognized as lawful if based upon religious belief and that the Supreme Court has affirmed that an ethical and moral philosophy is parallel to belief in a Supreme Being and thus qualifies under the definition of religious belief;
THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDS: That Congress, in considering renewal of the Selective Service Act, affirm, as nearly as possible, the principle of equality of sacrifice and should:
- Reduce the discretionary powers of local draft boards by establishing uniform regulations regarding deferments;
- Provide that those granted educational deferments, upon termination of those deferments, be subject to the same chance of induction as all others eligible, without regard to age, marriage, or offspring;
- Provide for educational deferment for part-time students upon their demonstrating that they must work to finance their education;
- Prohibit use of the draft to punish for unlawful acts punishable by civil authority;
- Require the selection of draftees by lot among those presently eligible for military service;
- Broaden the concept of conscientious objection in the law to include all those opposed to military service on ethical and moral grounds;
- Require that local draft boards be representative of the ethnic, social, and economic composition of the community;
- Recognize that objection to participation in a particular war can be central to the belief of an individual, and therefore constitute valid grounds for conscientious objection, as does opposition to all war.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the 1967 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
- Calls upon the Department of Social Responsibility to cooperate with the LRY and SRL in providing all possible information, encouragement, and assistance to our ministers, churches, and fellowships to insure effective counseling of draft eligible youth and youth approaching draft age;
- Recognizes the responsibility of Unitarian Universalists to youth who have secured conscientious objector classification and who prefer to fulfill their alternative service requirements under the sponsorship of the Unitarian Universalist Association or its affiliated organizations;
- Calls upon the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee to increase immediately its alternative service programs in order to help a significant number of applicants;
- Encourages youth who are conscientious objectors to war to apply for conscientious objector status under the provision of the Selective Service Act;
- Extends our support to those persons who in the exercise of their moral choice and through the demands of their individual consciences refuse to register for Selective Service or refuse classifications which are contrary to their consciences.
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