The American Ethical Union, convened in Annual Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri, April 23 to 28, 1968 deplores the indictment of Dr. Benjamin Spock, the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Marcus Raskin, Mitchell Goodman and Michael K. Ferber for their non-violent opposition to the draft laws.
We deem it to be the ethical obligation of citizens in a democracy to oppose those acts and laws of their government which they, in principled sincerity, regard as violative of human rights, justice, national morality, or world order.
In our adherence to democracy, as the most equitable political form of government, we oppose repression of discouragement of the exercise of freedom of speech and of the right to dissent.
We believe that advocacy, as an exercise of the freedom of speech, is essential for the protection of individual liberty; for the ascertainment in democracy's market place of ideas, of truth or of error; and, indeed, for the endurance of democracy itself.
We urge the Congress to re-examine the provisions of the Selective Service Act, and to correct, by appropriate legislation, any provisions thereof which are inequitable, or which run counter to, derogate, or vitiate any provision of our national Constitution.
Source: Where We Stand ... 1969
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