Draft Laws: The Atheist as Objector

To be classified as a conscientious objector, a man need not be a Quaker, a Mennonite, or a member of some other sect that opposes war as a matter of religious conviction. Instead, a federal law exempts from active military duty anyone who cannot serve because of "religious training and belief." In amending the law last year, Congress struck out the requirement that such a belief be "in a relation to a Supreme Being." In view of this, could an atheist—a person who expressly disavows faith in God —be excused as an objector?...

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