WHEREAS freedom of speech and the right to dissent are the inherent rights of free men, recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution of this nation; and
WHEREAS reasoned dissent is essential to the democratic process of all times, and most especially in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS the October 26, 1967 directive of the Selective Service Director Hershey addressed to all draft boards, instructing them to reclassify to I-A all draft registrants charged with violation of certain of the provisions of the Selective Service Act, called for the exercise of a discretion denied to the draft boards by the provisions of the Selective Service Act itself; called for the imposition of penalty without regard to the constitutional guarantee of due process; constituted an attempt to discourage and deter participation by draft eligible men in controversial political speech and conduct; and, in its effect, represented a threat to free speech, the right of assembly, and to academic freedom; and
WHEREAS the American Ethical Union reaffirms its support of the freedom of all men to meet and communicate with their fellowman, and to give expression to those views which are dictated by their consciences and by their moral and ethical commitments;
NOW THEREFORE the American Ethical Union, convened in Annual Assembly at St. Louis, Missouri, April 23-28, 1968 calls upon President Johnson to repudiate the Hershey directive of October 26, 1967 and, in that repudiation, to reaffirm the right of dissent, and to encourage the devotion of our citizens to the principles embodied in our Constitution and to the obligations of democracy.
Source: Where We Stand ... 1969
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