Air Force Academy May Drop 'So Help Me God' From Oath
Matt FernerThe Huffington PostOct 24, 2013
The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. is considering whether or not they should drop the "so help me God" portion from its honor oath after Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a complaint.
"To tie the honor code to a religious test violates the no-establishment clause of the Constitution," said MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein to The Colorado Springs Gazette.
Adopted in 1984 and unchanged since, the Honor Oath reads, via Air Force Academy's cadet handbook:
We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.
Last week, the Colorado Springs Independent published a photograph of a poster which includes the cadet oath and the line "so help me god." The newspaper forwarded that photo to Weinstein who contacted Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson about the poster who responded via email saying that the "Prep School poster has been taken down."
But the "so help me God" portion of the spoken oath remains.
Academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal told the Air Force Times that a committee met to discuss the oath's wording earlier this week, but a decision was not yet made on how or if the wording would be changed.
Executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty Ron Crews told Fox News that, "Removing this voluntary affirmation expresses hostility toward religion." Adding, "Further, it removes the solemnity and gravity of the oath, particularly for the many cadets who come from a faith tradition."
Weinstein got into a heated exchange with Megyn Kelly on her Fox News show "The Kelly File" Wednesday evening explaining why the "so help me God" phrase's appearance in the oath is unconstitutional.
"Mikey, chill, chill," Kelly said and then let Weinstein continue. Watch the interview between Kelly and Weinstein above.
A decision is expected about the oath wording in the coming days.