Submitted by AEU Board of Directors
WHEREAS the Selective Service law now provides for conscientious objection to military service only if based upon “religious training and belief” and defines religion in terms of belief in a “Supreme Being”, and;
Whereas we believe an official theological definition of religion lies beyond the proper province of secular government and violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; and
Whereas this definition of religion violates the principles of the American Ethical Union which is a religious Movement founded in 1876 and based upon deeply-felt ethical values rather than belief in a Supreme Being; and
Whereas many young men of this and similar religious persuasions are sincere conscientious objectors; and
Whereas other young men who are sincere conscientious objectors do not define their life philosophies in religious terms; and
Whereas the United States Supreme Court has found that conscientious objection is entitled to legal recognition when based upon a belief that “occupies a place in the life of the possessor parallel to that filled by the orthodox belief in God”;
Now Therefore Be It Resolved that the Congress of the United States be petitioned to amend the Selective Service Act by removing the clause restricting the definition of religion to belief in a Supreme Being and making additional provision for conscientious objection based upon philosophical conviction.