Is Civil Disobedience Justified? October 28, 1968

Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., October 28, 1968

“Everyman has the responsibility to obey the law but there are times when some men have the duty to break the law. If we do not concern ourselves with what is moral, when we have abdicate our moral responsibility. And if the people of this country abdicated our moral responsibility, we will have moral oblivion, and God save this nation form moral oblivion.”

“If the question of whether the executive branch has usurped he power of the legislative branch on declaring a war and if the question of the legality of the war in not decided by the courts, then it will be decided by a power play and that is no way to settle such an issue.”

“Whether or not my actions and those of other antidraft demonstrators are right perhaps will not be decided for 50 or 100 years. But Jefferson, Washington, Sam Adams, and other American revolutionaries were traitors until they were successful. And Thoreau, who was never read and through of as a criminal, is now, beard and all, on the face of a stamp.”

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