The Objector Registry

A declaration of conscience hosted by the Objector Church, an interfaith peace and justice community rooted in religious humanism.

Why register today as an objector to war?

  • To assert your moral opposition to war, regardless of your age, gender, or religious affiliation.
  • To create a record of beliefs and actions in case of forced conscription, especially if you’ve been–or will be–forced to register for the draft with the US Selective Service.

The Selective Service, draft registration & conscription

Every young man living in the US, age 18 through 25, is required by law to register for a future draft. This requirement may also include women in the near future. The US Selective Service, which oversees draft / conscription registration, provides absolutely no way for an individual to register their objection to war. In case of future conscription, draft boards will evaluate exemption claims of objectors. An important part of preparing for this possibility is documenting your history of beliefs and actions, such as registering with the Objector Church.

The definition of conscientious objection

In the event of a future draft, current military policy is the best guide as to how conscientious objection will be defined. In short, you must have: “A firm, fixed, and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and/or belief.” (DOD 1300.6)

This definition has been further clarified by both military policy and the legal system. According to the GI Rights Hotline, here’s what the key words in that definition really mean…

“Religious”

The term “religious” also includes moral and ethical beliefs that have the same force in a person’s life as traditional religious beliefs.
The term “religious” does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views.

“Training and/or Belief”

“Training and/or belief” refers to the source of conviction or, more simply, the experiences and values you hold that do not allow you to participate in military service or the bearing of arms. This may come, for example, from a lifetime of involvement in an organized religion that teaches active love for the enemy (i.e. not killing) or from books, movies, or TV shows. It could also arise from experiences serving in the military or from other life experiences.

“Participation”

This term highlights the personal nature of the claim. Thus a CO claim cannot be an abstract critique of war. It indicates that your set of personal values is the reason you are requesting discharge or reassignment, not that you think war is illogical or bad policy, for example.

“In War”

The term “In War” does not mean that a CO has to object to the use of violence by a police force or for self-defense, although many COs do hold nonviolent convictions. Additionally, it is important to note the difference between force and violence. Punching someone is an example of violent force, while pulling a child away from a moving car is an example of nonviolent force.

“In Any Form”

This means that you must be opposed to all real war at this point in time. Those who object to a particular war would be called “selective conscientious objectors” and they do not qualify as conscientious objectors under current US law. If you believe in “Just War Theory”, held by many religious traditions, then to be a conscientious objector under the current legal definition you would have to apply the theory and conclude that there is no just war.

Frequently Asked Questions

Selective Service: What if I just don't register?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Women: Forced draft registration coming soon?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Medical professionals: At greater risk of being drafted?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Computer programmers: At greater risk for being drafted?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Objector Registry: What if I change my mind later?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).