32 CFR § 1636.6 - Analysis of belief.

§ 1636.6 Analysis of belief.

(a) A registrant claiming conscientious objection is not required to be a member of a peace church or any other church, religious organization, or religious sect to qualify for a 1-A-0 or 1-0 classification; nor is it necessary that he be affiliated with any particular group opposed to participation in war in any form.

(b) The registrant who identifies his beliefs with those of a traditional church or religious organization must show that he basically adheres to beliefs of that church or religious organization whether or not he is actually affiliated with the institution whose teachings he claims as the basis of his conscientious objection. He need not adhere to all beliefs of that church or religious organization.

(c) A registrant whose beliefs are not religious in the traditional sense, but are based primarily on moral or ethical principle should hold such beliefs with the same strength or conviction as the belief in a Supreme Being is held by a person who is religious in the traditional sense. Beliefs may be mixed; they may be a combination of traditional religious beliefs and nontraditional religious, moral or ethical beliefs. The registrant's beliefs must play a significant role in his life but should be evaluated only insofar as they pertain to his stated objection to his participation in war.

(d) Where the registrant is or has been a member of a church, religious organization, or religious sect, and where his claim of a conscientious objection is related to such membership, the board may properly inquire as to the registrant's membership, the religious teachings of the church, religious organization, or religious sect, and the registrant's religious activity, insofar as each relates to his objection to participation in war. The fact that the registrant may disagree with or not subscribe to some of the tenets of his church or religious sect does not necessarily discredit his claim.


(1) The history of the process by which the registrant acquired his beliefs, whether founded on religious, moral, or ethical principle is relevant to the determination whether his stated opposition to participation in war in any form is sincere.

(2) The registrant must demonstrate that his religious, ethical, or moral convictions were acquired through training, study, contemplation, or other activity comparable to the processes by which traditional religious convictions are formulated. He must show that these religious, moral, or ethical convictions, once acquired, have directed his life in the way traditional religious convictions of equal strength, depth, and duration have directed the lives of those whose beliefs are clearly founded in traditional religious conviction.

(f) The registrant need not use formal or traditional language in describing the religious, moral, or ethical nature of his beliefs. Board members are not free to reject beliefs because they find them incomprehensible or inconsistent with their own beliefs.

(g) Conscientious objection to participation in war in any form, if based on moral, ethical, or religious beliefs, may not be deemed disqualifying simply because those beliefs may influence the registrant concerning the Nation's domestic or foreign policy.

[47 FR 4655, Feb. 1, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 24457, July 1, 1987]

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