I recently disregarded my draft registration notice because of my religious beliefs. What are draft registration laws?

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I recently disregarded and ignored my draft registration notice based upon my religious beliefs. My dad says I should have just gone ahead and registered with the draft board. Don’t I have the right to honor my religious beliefs in this way?


Religious freedom rights do not extend to refusing to register for the draft. Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 of the U.S. Constitution provides for the establishment of a draft. America’s Selective Service administers all aspects of draft registration. All men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register. (Note: The draft is another name for “conscription” or military service.)

Assuming you are a young man between the ages of 18 and 25, you should seriously consider registering with your draft board to avoid: (1) being disqualified for a variety of federal programs, including student aid and (2) being fined up to $250,000.

It would be wise for you to speak with your minister or pastor about your religious reasons for not wanting to fight in any war. For your religious beliefs to be honored in this area, you might want to establish your identity as a Conscientious Objector. You should be willing to consider other military positions away from the battlefield if called up for duty.

You may also want to speak with a civil rights attorney about how your religious freedom rights are being impacted by the draft.