Right of Dissent
1968 General Resolution
BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1968 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
- Reaffirms its call for the abolition of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and all similar inquisitorial committees;
- Calls upon Congress to resist legislation which could repress the moral and constitutional rights of citizens to petition;
- Calls upon the Congress and administration to refrain from equating dissent to war with the lack of patriotism;
- Encourages its members to act according to their conscience with respect to
the draft. We recognize and respect the religious conviction that impels all
forms of nonviolent resistance whether by destruction or return of draft cards,
or refusal of induction, or other acts of nonviolent resistance to the machinery
of war. Inasmuch as some of our churches have recently acted in support of young
men of conviction and the UUA Board of Trustees has offered help to Michael
Ferber, Unitarian Universalist and member of the Resistance, we, therefore, urge
all our congregations to assist in the following ways:
- by offering symbolic sanctuary at time of arrest;
- by offering church facilities for services of resistance in the tradition of the one held at Arlington Street Church on October 16, 1967;
- by establishing a ministry to resisters by men trained in draft and prison counseling;
- by assisting in the provision of legal aid to men who in conscience resist the draft;
- by encouraging the conducting of local efforts in schools, churches, and other community organizations to inform young men who have attained, or who will be attaining, draft age of their rights under the provisions of the Selective Service Act, consequences for disobedience, and procedures for foreign residence;
- Canadian congregations to offer all possible assistance to programs for members of the Resistance seeking draft evasion in Canada.
- Recognizes that conscience is the essential ground of dissent and therefore acknowledges that the draft itself is a violation of the conscience of many who find that for them it constitutes involuntary servitude in violation of the Bill of Rights, discriminates against the poor and the black, or otherwise conflicts with the claim of conscience and consequently calls upon Congress to reform the Selective Service System in accordance with the resolution of the 1967 General Assembly.
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