Air Force Academy Considering Dropping ‘God’ From Oath Following Complaint

Air Force Academy pdCOLORADO SPRINGS — The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado is considering dropping God from its cadet oath after an organization that fights for the separation of church and state lodged a complaint with officials.

The situation began when the academy sent photographs of its new prep school to a local newspaper, which included a snapshot of a poster that contained the honor oath.

“We will not lie, steal nor cheat, nor tolerate anyone among us who does,” the oath states. “Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and live honorably. So help me God.”

A writer at the newspaper sent the photograph of the poster to Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, who in turn filed a complaint with the Air Force Academy.

While the poster was taken down in response, the academy is considering removing God from the oath as well.

“The honor review committee … had an in-depth discussion about the honor code oath,” Major Brus Vidal wrote in a statement. “They considered a range of options, and some of those options will be presented to the academy leaders and, ultimately, the academy superintendent for a decision.”

“We need to be respectful of all people of faith and all people of no faith,” academy spokesman David Cannon added to the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Our goal is to do the right thing for the Air Force Academy.”

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The code was adopted in 1956 and was enforced at the academy in 1984 when nearly 20 seniors were discovered to be cheating on a physics exam.

Weinstein says that mandating the phrase “So help me God” violates the United States Constitution. In a discussion Wednesday evening on FOX’s Kelly File with Megyn Kelly, Weinstein was asked why he would not support allowing an opt-out for some cadets. He asserted that the phrase needed to go altogether because it is unlawful.

“Well, it’s like saying, ‘Why don’t you just opt out of not robbing a bank?’ Because robbing a bank violates the law,” he said. “[H]istorically, going back to 1789 when there was first a military oath, nobody had to have an oath. It didn’t happen until 1862.”

But Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice says that Weinstein is wrong in his assessment.

“Don’t be bullied by my friend Mikey Weinstein,” he told reporters. “The fact of the matter is [that] you cannot say there is a serious Establishment Clause violation by the phrase ‘So help me God,’ or the president of the United States would be violating it when they take the oath of office.”

Reaction to the controversy has been mixed.

“So because you are a cadet in a military school you should be forced to take on oath to God?” one commenter asked. “Religion should be a private issue away from school and work, not part of an oath you are required to take for your education (school) for which you are paid (work).”

“This is utterly disgusting!” another commenter stated. “Go ahead; keep on taking God out of everything and He will stop blessing this country. It is already happening.”

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  • Webb

    Mikey Weinstein thinks he’s a god and is treated as such by the Obama regime. As an Air Force veteran, I can tell you that the flag of this vile country will not be on my casket. America has been ruined by Democrats and liberals (same thing). Shame on the people of America for allowing this to happen.

  • Timothy j Johnson

    These so called atheists are simply trying to creat a state sanctioned religion of atheism by taking all references to God out of our country’s public discourse. Acknowledging God in oaths in no way forces one to believe in God nor does it force a person to worship Him at any time. In fact, 99% of the time, the atheists can do and say as they please without reference to God. The fact that this bothers them so much in the core of their being that they try to keep removing God from our public places proves they are trying very hard to deny what so many know is true. That said, if the Air Force Academy does remove God from the oath as a matter of ‘respect’ for non believers then they should tear down their beautiful chapel as well. After all, that’s just a huge symbol of state sanctioned religion on government soil. Surely it will be the next target for Satan’s atheist army to go after.