Right to Dissent

In light of the growing tendency in America to equate dissent with anti-patriotic or un-American attitude, we find it necessary at this time to reaffirm the right of American citizens peacefully to assemble and demonstrate whether in support or in protest against government policies.

We reiterate our long-held commitment to civil liberties and to the freedom safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States. In our democratic system, it is not the right of government, whether local or federal, to silence dissent, however unpopular or controversial.

Those who are critical of the United States' policies, whether from the pulpit or in the street, must be neither stifled nor intimidated by the threat of investigation. Neither shall their motives nor their loyalties be impugned.

We most vigorously urge our congregations to sponsor those programs, both internal and public, which would fully explore every area of social and religious concern, even those deemed most controversial.