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Joe Haldeman

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Haldeman, a Hugo and Nebula award winner, writes "I applied to be a conscientious objector during the [Vietnam war era] and was turned down by my draft board because I was an atheist -- not that they had anything against freedom of religious expression, you understand, but you couldn't get a C.O. deferment unless you had a letter from your minister. And atheists don't have ministers. A year later someone smarter challenged the policy in court, and won. All I did was point out that I was willing to spend six years in the Peace Corps, digging ditches in Africa, rather than go kill people." He concludes "I wound up carrying a gun in Vietnam."

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