Tags: air | force | god | oath

'So Help Me God' Now Optional in Air Force Academy Honor Oath

Saturday, 26 Oct 2013 10:46 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Image: 'So Help Me God' Now Optional in Air Force Academy Honor Oath
(Getty Images)
Air Force Academy cadets now have the option whether or not to repeat the phrase "so help me, God" when reciting the school's honor code.

The Academy's Honor Review Committee voted to make the statement optional following a complaint by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, reports Fox News, and says the decision was made to help build a "culture of dignity and respect" for all students.

“Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference — or not,” said Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson in a prepared statement.

Editor's Note: Warren Buffett’s Secret to Wealth — The Bible?

The complaint came after the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper published a photograph of a poster at the academy, which included the oath, and then forwarded the photo to MRFF President Mikey Weinstein, a frequent critic of Christianity in the armed forces.

But Weinstein, while applauding the decision to make the oath optional, questioned how it will be applied, reports The Associated Press.

If the person who leads the oath includes the words, Weinstein said, cadets who don't say the phrase may feel vulnerable.

"What does it mean, 'optional'?" Weinstein said. "The best thing is to eliminate it."
The Academy's Honor Oath was originally created in 1984, reports Fox, and did not at first include the phrase. Instead, the phrase was later added to give the oath more seriousness following an alleged cheating scandal, said retired Brig Gen. Hans Mueh, who had been on the committee making the change.

The oath's current version, which cadets swear to upon finishing basic training, reads “We will not lie, steal or cheat nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and live honorably, so help me, God," but cadets can now leave the last words off, if they choose, said Johnson.

Ron Crews, the executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, commends the Academy for still allowing cadets to choose to say the phrase.

"These young Americans being trained to defend the rights of Americans should be able to exercise their religious convictions by solemnizing their oath with so help me God,” he said.

But even though the religious phrase is now optional, cadets are still required to recite the rest of the Honor Oath.

The West Point and U.S. Naval Academy's honor codes do not include a phrase referring to God, but the academies oaths, like the Air Force's, forbid cadets from lying, cheating or stealing or tolerating fellow cadets who do.

Editor's Note: Warren Buffett’s Secret to Wealth — The Bible?

Related stories:

Atheists: Remove 'So Help Me God' From Inaugural Oath

Boy Scouts Remain Adamant About 'Duty To God'

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Rep. Steve King: House Will Approve Border Funding Bill

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:54 PM

Rep. Steve King said on Thursday that he believed House Republicans would approve legislation to pay for the immigration . . .

Homeland Security Report: Border Children Transmitting Diseases

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:36 PM

An alarming Homeland Security inspector general memo says some of the migrant children who've poured across the southern . . .

Cuomo Retains Defense Counsel as Corruption Probe Widens

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 22:19 PM

A criminal defense attorney says he's been retained by the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a federal prosecutor  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved