Air Force to Allow Atheist to Omit ‘So Help Me God’ from Oath

Air ForceINDIAN SPRINGS, N.V. — The United States Air Force has decided to allow an atheist airman to omit the phrase ‘So help me God’ from the reenlistment oath after a prominent humanist organization threatened to file a lawsuit about the matter.

As previously reported, according to the American Humanist Association (AHA), the unidentified serviceman stationed at Creech Air Force Base recently crossed out the phrase on the Armed Forces reenlistment form, DD 4.

“I, 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,” it reads.

The airman was advised that officials could not accept the document with the statement crossed out, and was told to sign the oath without any adjustment. He refused.

The American Humanist Association then sent a letter to officials at Creech Air Force Base demanding that the airman be permitted to reenlist without including “so help me God” in the oath. It asserted that the requirement violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

AHA also threatened that the “commanding officers may be sued in federal court for injunctive and declaratory relief,” and may be “personally liable for damages along with attorney’s fees.”

While Air Force officials originally stated that the airman had until November to comply, that is, the date when his contract expired, statements have now been released advising that the military will accommodate the serviceman.

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“We take any instance in which airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” Secretary Deborah Lee James wrote this week. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our airmen’s rights are protected.”

AHA said that it is satisfied with the outcome in the matter.

“We are pleased that the US Department of Defense has confirmed our client has a First Amendment right to omit the reference to a supreme being in his reenlistment oath,” remarked attorney Monica Miller. “We hope the Air Force will respect the constitutional rights of atheists in the future.”

In George Washington’s 1796 farewell address, the general and commander-in-chief of the United States military stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness–these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

“The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them,” he continued. “A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”

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  • junior mvp

    really we must review Osteen’s salvation this man is not saved, and he is leading people street to hell.

    • Eric Chanto


      • While I currently agree with junior mvp’s comment, I don’t think it’s quite appropriate to say “amen” about someone leading people to hell…

        • ToriaCove

          I believe Eric Chanto’s use of the term amen means he simply agrees with junior mvp’s statement. Not, that he thinks it’s okay if Joel Osteen leads people to hell.

    • jmichael39

      I don’t think we can go that far about his salvation. But his teachings are more than a little problematic.

    • softengine

      Yep, and he’s leading people straight to hell too.

  • Marie Adigwe

    So what if an atheist doesn’t want to say “So help me God”? The phrase is just a tradition, and saying that would violate his Constitutional rights. He doesn’t believe in God. so just let the man serve his country like he wants to instead of giving him hell about a phrase.

  • Grace Bandecchi

    False teacher:(:(:(

  • Mike Graves

    this is terrible, but I always said, he does not preach because he does not know how, yes sorry to say it, it really is so sad.

  • Neiman

    I dislike being in the position of defending Osteen, especially since he deals in half-truths, IMO he promotes a false prosperity Gospel and both he and his wife seem woefully ignorant of Scripture, nonetheless, please allow me to offer these thoughts for your kind consideration:

    When he says, “‘Moses, you saw Me part the Red Sea, stop the sun for Joshua, keep three
    Hebrew teenagers safe in a fiery furnace, don’t you realize that I can
    bring water without rain?’ There’s no limit to God’s power.” (a) We have no record of God actually speaking these words to Moses and so Osteen should be careful about adding to or detracting from God’s actual words. (b) While he was not alive physically to see these events in real time, Just as Jesus talks about the Patriarchs rejoicing at seeing His day, even though they were all long dead; in spirit, in heaven, they did see Jesus coming into the physical world to bring about Salvation and did rejoice. Thus, in that sense and that sense alone, surely Moses did see all these things, as he was/is surely alive in Heaven and knows what has happened in God’s Word.

    The same with Osteen’s wife, again half-truths to be sure and thus like Joel, misleading and dangerous; yet, as God has no ego to be salved, His not needing our thanksgiving, our worship and praise to make Him feel good about Himself, His being perfect in One Almighty God; again it is surely true that when we thank God for His answers to prayer, when we offer Him praise and worship, it is for our blessing, as we ponder in these things in our hearts, we grow in faith in God and enjoy a more intimate relationship with God. So, praise and worship surely were designed for His children’s blessing. Also, surely God does want to see His children at peace, to be happy and prosper, although just as surely, it is our prospering (growing) in Spirit that is His greatest goal, often through our suffering.

    Are Osteen and his wife false prophets? Or, are they just seriously in error? As long as they preach the Gospel, that is, our salvation being by Grace alone, through Faith alone and that in Christ alone, then while we can oppose things they teach that are false, they are not our servants and so we are obligated to pray for them, to pray they will come to the complete knowledge of the Truth and pray that all those sincere believers in their company might be protected from harm by what they teach that is false.

    • ToriaCove

      Definitely one of the best posts I’ve read. Yes, we definitely need to pray for them instead of spending time bashing them for their obvious ignorance.

      • indonev123 .

        Exactly, as I wrote above.

    • Tom Moran

      Truth. Moses was front row at the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:3.

      • Michael Hallmark

        and for the premier of Cats in London.

    • Joe Dokes

      The Bible contains no example of mercy or consideration of mitigating factors extended to false prophets or false teachers. They are invariably to be tested against Scripture (which, sadly, only a discerning few have done), then marked and rebuked in the hope they repent. If they do not, they will be rewarded according to their works. Everyone else is warned to avoid them.

      • Neiman

        When others were preaching the Gospel and casting out demons, when His disciples wanted to take action against them calling down God’s Judgment, Jesus said to leave them alone, if they were not against Him; that is, not opposing the Gospel, they were for Him and He would deal with them.

        When Paul was confronted by false teachers, as long as the Gospel was preached truthfully, he counseled leaving them alone and to God. Even though, admitteduly, he said some of them were doing so for profit.

        What they teach that is false, as in the case of the Osteen’s half-truths, we should oppose that which is false. If we have contact with them, by the Holy Spirit we should reprove them, exposing their errors. We certainly should pray they will be broght to the truth, but if they preach salvation by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, let us rejoice that souls are finding Christ, also praying those souls will gain discernment, when error is taught.

        • Joe Dokes

          Is there any evidence that Osteen does, in fact, preach the blood and the cross – the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for the sin of all? I’ve read that he does not but rather preaches (if he preaches Christ at all) the friendly God of positive Christian thinking who has a wonderful plan for your life, and really doesn’t talk much about icky sin and the judgment to come, but I’ll let others tell me if he does so.

          • Neiman

            I don’t know that much about him, if he denies salvation by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone and does not oppose sin, he is of anti-Christ.

        • christina


        • Amy

          Neiman, I appreciate your comments more than I can express. Your view is the most balanced, refreshing, wise thing I’ve read on here. You do not seem puffed up or casting phariseeical stones, you are simply rightly dividing the word. God bless you! 🙂

          • BKSecrest

            Osteen has said on larry king live that Jesus is not the only way to heaven…so no he does not preach through Christ alone or faith alone. He preaches heresy.

  • texascitizen

    This man does a good job for a secular motivational speaker. And a terrible job as a Bible teacher. If your ears are tickled by this man, better run and run fast.

  • Todd Hutchcroft

    When he gets his dumb ass shot down and is prepped to have his f’n head cut off, maybe he’ll realize he should have thought about God. Pray then fucker! – US NAVY Combat VET!

  • Mary B Byrd

    It’s surprising how many preachers on t.v. misquote and err about the bible. I never cared about Osteen because he is a motivational teacher and not a good pastor. I did, however, like Creflo Dollar until he did a sermon how Job brought his suffering on himself because he was afraid of losing his wealth. That is so wrong. That is not in the bible. I never watched him again. It’s really sad that many people rely on these creatures (rhymes with preachers) for the truth. God will judge these false teachers.

    • Susan Moore

      We really have to beware of false prophets.

    • Geeky Grandma

      Was he referring to what Job said, that what he feared most had come upon him? He lost his wealth AND his children.

  • MEP1101


  • Doug Thompson

    Lets be a little objective here. Where are the sources for this article? There are no links attached. Also, I don’t see the quote on Joels’ facebook page that he was accused of making.

  • JefferyHunt

    Doug Thompson, guess it has been removed. I saw it on Facebook with my own eyes. Par for the course over there.

  • Stuart

    He most likely makes errors in his preaching because he does not prepare his own sermons anymore. This is what can happen when you step out to create a mega Church. You end up allowing the mega side of it to take control. Too many people are then also relied on to maintain integrity and consistency in Good’s message and this is obviously where things will fall apart. Once a mega Church starts to roll it becomes its own animal, needing to be constantly fed, therefore often requiring compromise……so many can then lose their way, many who are not true believers are attracted to the glitz and glamour and success and Satan only needs a little…just a little gap, in order to get in and start his mischief. Prayer is needed here for both him and his wife as well as all the congregants. No judgement, ever….we are commanded to not stand in judgement and will be known by our fruit….Blessings to all.

    • Imelda Donaldson

      1 Corinthians 5:12-13New International Version (NIV)
      12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[a]

      We are commaned here to judge those ‘inside’ the church.

  • Wazette Arvizu

    we need to pray for him false teaching is a big don’t

  • William Fuzi

    Revelations 21:18,19 Need I say more?

  • Kenny Inboden

    Here’s a BIBLE teaching for you who like to criticize. Judge not, lest the be judge. Or he/she WITHOUT SIN OR FAULT OR MISTAKES OR MISINTERPETATIONS:CAST THE FIRST STONE. GO AHEAD IM WAITING. OOOPS DIDN’T THINK I WOULD SEE EVEN PEBBLES FLY.They are solid folks. Maybe because God is prospering them ,some are jealous. Newsflash ,for those who are faithful God also wants you to not only be happy but prosper as well. I know is fixing to pour out a blessing on me my familyand business. Because if you heard my story, you would know 1. I’m not fake. 2, a 6’3″ two hundred and plenty pound trophey of God’s wonderful and amazing Grace. And 3.God has taught me sooooo much. However, the one thing the spirit has definitely won out over my flesh, is PATIENCE AND THE MUSTARD SEED FAITH. 1st Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5 . those two I use as my daily guide. THEREFORE IT IS WITH LOVE WHICH GOD HAS STORED IN ME TO BLESS OTHERS, that I ask, in fact beg of those who attack the annojnted Mr and Mrs Joel Osteen. Be careful. GOD IS WATCHING. Jesus came and died for our sins, WHY? Obedience is better than savifuce. Hope this helps the ones who truly wish to walk with God and his Bride. In Jesus’s Name. Ken please pray for me my family and Business. Under attack as of late. So I must be stepping on Satan’s head. Lol

    • Darian Eagan

      We are biblically mandated to judge with righteous judgment.

      Lev 19:17- thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and
      not suffer sin upon him.

      Matthew 18:15 And if
      your brother with you is at fault, go rebuke him, between you and him alone. If
      he listens to you, you have won your brother 16 But if he does not hear, take
      one or two more with you, “so that on the mouth of two or three witnesses
      every word may be established.” (Deut. 19:15) 17 But if he fails to hear
      them, tell it to the congregation. And if he also fails to hear the
      congregation, let him be to you as a tax collector and a heathen.(HRB)

      1 Timothy 5:19-20 (NKJV) Do not receive an accusation
      against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning
      rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

      ” REBUKE in the presence of ALL that the rest may fear.

      6 NT examples:

      1) Demas is publicly rebuked – 2 Timothy 4:10

      2) Diotrephes is publicly rebuked – 3 John 9

      3) Hymenaeus and Philetus are publicly rebuked – 2 Tim

      4) Hymenaeus and Alexander are publicly rebuked -1 Timothy

      5) Alexander is publicly rebuked -2 Timothy 4:14-15

      6) The Apostle Peter is publicly rebuked – Gal. 2:11, 14.

      The principle as found in the verses cited above is that a
      man may be publicly rebuked without following step 1 of Matthew 18 if his
      public actions threaten the reputation of others or the welfare of the body. A
      pastor, elder, rabbi or others should be held accountable for their actions or
      words because they speak and write publicly. Again, consider how the Paul skips
      step 1 of Matthew 18 in a situation involving Peter. “But when I saw that
      they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas
      in the presence of all … ” (Gal 2:11-14).

      There is much confusion surrounding the term
      “slander”. According to some, slander is to say anything negative
      about someone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If we allow the bible
      to define terms, the words slander in itself is an accusation based on false
      information, in other words, it is to bear a false witness.

      Some also believe that only those in Church authority that
      are allowed to judge. This is simply untrue. We are mandated to judge our
      brother in righteous judgement, but not hypocritically or not to sentence them
      to death.

      Christ and his apostles never spoke once spoke out against
      judging in itself, the issue in the 1st century was hypocritical judging. The
      following passages give more evidence to that fact:

      John 7:24 “Stop judging by mere appearances, but
      instead judge correctly.”

      2 Corinthians 10:7 “You are judging by appearances. If
      anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that
      we belong to Christ just as much as they do.”

      This was also an issue in the OT : Leviticus 19:15 “‘Do
      not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the
      great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”

      Context is important.

      • oregon_man

        Wasn’t it Leviticus who declared, ‘if your fingers touch the skin of a pig you shall be stoned to death’?

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Are you high?

  • Tom Moran

    The problem is not with Joel, but with Christians who profess to have the faith that scripture commands and Joel teaches yet they doubt the essence of that faith. Of course Moses saw all those events, oh ye of little faith, just as surely as he saw Jesus, Elijah and a few disciples in Matthew 17:3.

    • There is nothing in scripture to back up your claim. NOTHING. Just because Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus doesn’t mean Moses saw anything else after his death. You are distorting scriptures to protect Joel Osteen.

      • Tom Moran

        When me, Moses and Joel are in heaven we will pray for you bro

  • Susan Moore

    Pray for all the so-called atheists as Lucifer/Satan/Devil/Diablo was all afraid of God and Jesus for putting Satan in his place by dying on the cross. Jesus will win in the end and God loves us so much he is willing to take people from the Tribulation when they pray and ask forgiveness.

  • I do not believe in the Bible based on the fact that if I said something to you now,chances are you will not remember it verbatim… in just a few moments after I said them. So why should we remember stories and quotes from hundreds and thousands of years ago? Who wrote these passeges down… there were no typewriters,recording divices,etc. Also, I do not believe in heaven,hell or prayer. Why is it these preachers have such expensive church buildings while so many humans are dying of of hunger and thirst. You do not have to be religious to be a good person, or be in church for God,(if there is such a thing). I am sure there are people who will be mad that I say these things… No one taught me what to believe or not believe… common sense does not have to be brain washed into someone to make up their mind. A dead person brought back to life? Virgin birth? Walking on water? Parting the red sea or humans not dying when tossed into a fiery furnace? If prayer was the answer,there would be no problems in the world. Why then do people condem someone who thinks or believe differently then you… there would not be wars or disease. If you believe in these things,do so without trying to make others to believe in your ways… just lead by example. Stop the fear about the after life, and seek and give aid to those that need it or seek it, in no one elses name other then your own.

    • Alien & Stranger

      Ho-hum… Same old self-justification act.

    • Al Pi

      The Bible was stored by the jews through thousands of checks and balances not some stupid telephone game.

      • oregon_man

        Can you show the source of this? I understood much of thee Bible was not written down at all, rather passed generation to generation by oral stories.

  • David Wilkerson

    I appreciate ministers like Jimmy Swaggart and David Wilkerson. Who spent time in prayer and on their knees to learn the world of God. Jimmy Swaggart had no education but knows the word of God like a scholar. So did David Wilkerson R.I.P. my brother and my name sake.

  • DuneDude

    There are also religious groups that do not allow taking an oath on the Bible or to God for state purposes. What do we do with those with these religiously held beliefs? Like the good Christians found in the Air Farce, we just probably send them to prison or just kill them on the spot. While I believe in God and can easily take the oath, I believe it should not be required as it, like putting “In God we Trust” on everything that is state sponsored is Satan’s meddling. To believe that we should trust God so we can kill people is, at best, odious, except to Republicans.

  • Jonathan Rudd

    There is nothing biblical about this man.

  • Geeky Grandma

    Do good for your own self? How about do good because you love God first in your life?

  • Geeky Grandma

    If the focus is on self and not on Yahshua, then who are they worshipping???

  • dimensio

    Once again our spineless “leaders” kowtow to the PC Police.

    Tell me, where is it written in the Constitution that we cannot put in place a test to at least make sure that those trusted by the public to defend the nation do not meet at least some minimum religious standard?

    Moreover, we ask our service men and women if they are prepared to defend this nation from all enemies, foreign or domestic. If someone refuses to answer that question by swearing before God, and instead just claims that a simple “yes” or “no” will suffice, are we to be expected to trust them?

  • Le Roi Bear

    It is obviously not Joel Osteen who posts his social media posts, it is what is called, a social media manager, who will quote the Pastor’s preaches etc, so obviously this is a mistake, in any event, let the one who has never made a mistake cast the first stone.

    Let’s rather save souls than waste our time judging the saved.

  • Jonathan Fontenot

    Perhaps he would be a better weather man…lol

    • Phillip Stemson

      No…he needs to run a car lot.

  • indonev123 .

    Can’t blame him, blame people. We use the title “Christians” but live a 50/50 life. A good, “loving,” speaker will just fill our ears with happiness. People who actually read their Bibles, pray daily, seeking God in their daily lives don’t care too much about stuff like ths. Instead they’ll just pray for them (preachers, political leaders, etc).

  • Stargate Dan

    A preacher adds his own made up flare to made up stories from a book of mythology to sway his gullible followers who faithfully provide his paycheck because they believe they’re serving an imaginary diety… and this is a surpise why?

  • shayne

    Guest, you are correct.before Christ died and paid for everyone’s sins,anyone who died all went down to Sheol which was made up of 2 compartments the righteous and the unrighteous.Jesus gives this example in Luke 19-31.the Old Testament saints sins had only been covered by the animal sacrifices. Once Jesus died he paid for the old testament saints sins forever as well as ours who were not yet born.Abrahams bosom was a Jewish term for paradise. Jesus took the souls of all those from paradise. Ephesians 4:8-10.He led the captivity captive.Paradise/heaven is now up.while those who die in their sins still go down to the unrighteous part of Sheol.thats why the unrighteous have to be removed from Sheol/Hades with their new bodies because death and Hades/Sheol will be cast into the Lake of Fire.Hades is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Sheol, the same place.

  • Riaan Coetzer

    Sugar coated preaching

  • Prophetess Rita B. Spann

    Am praying for him, that he watch what he is saying now, because people are listen and watching,. that’s why as leader you got to know that you know the word, because if you don’t people will correct you.

  • Camery

    At best Joel’s statement needs additional explanation because when someone dies they are more alive than before. How about “son of God”? There is a lot wrong with that movie yet many accepted it, and the movie “Noah”? It is so far off base the entire script needs to be rewritten, but many people are accepting it. This is the reason why we have so many bibles. Of all the popular bibles the King James is the closest to the truth. The rest aren’t even close. The NIV makes us appear to be victims but the only thing the people can say is the NIV is so easy to read, it is like a breath of fresh air. I can see the hand writing on the wall. When the man of sin becomes known the church will flock to him thinking him to be Christ. We are real close to the great falling away and the church is falling head long into it’s grip. for this reason God will give them strong delusion 2 Thessalonians 2:11

    • KenS


  • Jeffery Kinkead

    Seems like he couldn’t find the courage to quote John 14:6 on CNN, if he even knows the verse, now it seems like he probably doesn’t know the verse. Maybe he needs to read and study the Bible more and stop studying “How to Win Friends and Influence People” less…

  • Jennifer Pruitt

    I don’t trust the Osteens. Larry King asked Joel on his CNN show, “Do you believe Jesus is the only way to God?” Perfectly acceptable question. This fool answers, “That’s up to God”. True, and His Word says Jesus is the only way! His father is doing face palms in heaven watching all this. Joel is more focused on getting seats filled and selling merchandise than telling the truth and bringing souls to Jesus! When this man speaks, run for the hills!

  • #NoOtherGOSPEL

    Galatians 1:6-10 NIV

    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ
    (TYP) Jovan Stone’s *REVELATION* Series pt2: #NoO…:
    (TYP) Jovan Stone’s *REVELATION* Seris pt4: The …:

  • Michael Ellis

    False prophet