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?...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!