I know there are times when you might feel there’s no good news — especially when it comes to contending with groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) or the oxymoronic Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). It does seem as though the secular humanists are winning, but sometimes there is hope.
Today I get to share with you some good tidings. As reported by Military.com, “An airman’s career will be coming to an end unless he recognizes “God” in his oath of reenlistment. Months after the Air Force last year said “So help me God” was an optional line when taking the oath of enlistment or reenlistment, it reversed itself. The decision will require atheists to infer a belief in a supreme being if they want to remain in the military. At Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, the airman was told on August 25, 2014, that he would not be allowed to continue unless he recited the oath that references God. Monica Miller, an attorney for Appignani Humanist Legal Center in Washington said, “The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being. Numerous cases affirm that atheists have the right to omit theistic language from enlistment or reenlistment contracts.”
Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t we swear court witnesses to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God”?
The United States of America is based on a Judeo-Christian faith heritage and those beliefs form the fundamental moral and legal core of our country. Remember the face that looks over the Speaker’s rostrum in the House of Representatives? It is that of Moses, the great lawgiver, who received the Ten Commandments from the Judeo-Christian God. I suppose Ms. Miller has an issue with that. Service in the United States military is voluntary and its members take an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution. That being the case, to whom should an oath or a pledge be rendered? That would be my question.
I am sure in the history of our American military there have been those who did not believe in God but still took their oath of enlistment or reenlistment.
“Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement under Title 10 U.S.C. §502,” Rose Richeson told Military.com on Thursday. Air Force Instruction on the oath is consistent with the language mandated in the law, she said.
“Airmen are no longer authorized to omit the words ‘So help me God’,” Richeson said.
Miller called the Air Force’s decision “unbelievable.” She had given the Air Force two weeks to permit the Creech airman to re-enlist with an alternative oath or face further legal action.
The article went on to say,”She told Military.com that the airman’s current enlistment has not yet expired and he remains “in uniform” at Creech. Ms. Miller told the Air Force in a Sept 2 letter that commanders “may be sued in their individual capacities and be personally liable for damages along with attorney’s fees” for violating the law.
The Air Force said “So help me God” was optional last June after a similar flap arose at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Months later the Air Force Academy followed suit and made “So help me God” optional in the Cadet Oath.
Removal of the Cadet Oath was the result of the ongoing assault by Mikey Weinstein, head of MRFF, an Air Force Academy graduate, who made it a personal crusade to have the phrase removed. Weinstein was also behind demanding the United States Navy remove Bibles from their guest lodging facilities. The Navy at first acquiesced, then reversed its decision. Perhaps we’re starting to see Commanders take a stand and not allowing themselves to be pushed around by these special interest groups.
For reference, here is the oath of enlistment and reenlistment:
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
A local commander could possibly waive the final phrase, but it is law. The last thing we need at this time are secular humanist lawyers tying up the United States Military with frivolous lawsuits. Worse than that, I can imagine President Barack Hussein Obama taking out his pen or phone and decisively making a determination — one he’d find easier than attacking ISIS.
I proudly and honorably took the oath of office as a commissioned officer several times and also as a Member of Congress. That’s what Americans do.