How is this even possible? From the Washington Post:
An airman stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev., was denied reenlistment because he omitted the part of a required oath that states “so help me God,” according to a letter from the American Humanist Association. The letter was sent on Tuesday to the Air Force’s Office of the Inspector General on behalf of an unnamed airman.
How can a branch of the government require anyone to say “so help me God” as a condition of employment? How is that not a glaring violation of the Establishment Clause?
inquiries into the oath uncovered a change to Air Force rules last year that previously went unnoticed, as the Air Force Times noted. Until October 2013, Air Force Instruction 36-2606 (which governs the enlistment oath) included a short note: “Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.” That was removed in an amendment to the rule, effective Oct. 30, 2013, according to the Air Force Times.
Removed by whom, under what authority? Did Baby Jesus hack into the Air Force computer system, or what?
Speaking to the Huffington Post, U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Officer Chris Hoyler said that the change now makes “reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths…a statutory requirement.”
According to the Air Force’s statement to the independent Air Force Times, Congress would have to change the statute mandating that part of the oath in order for the Air Force to make it optional again.
Now that it has the attention of the AHA and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the policy change seems bound to become another source of disagreement over the role of religion in the U.S. military.
The Air Force, in particular, has faced intense scrutiny for what some believe is a preferred status for Christians in the service and at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Because that’s what we need in this country – religion enforced by the military. What could possibly go wrong?
And in the same month that the Air Force’s enlistment oath rules changed to make the “so help me God” portion mandatory, the Air Force Academy announced that it would allow its cadets to opt out of the very same phrase in the honor code.
Those changes, however, have angered some conservatives and evangelicals in and out of the Air Force, who believe that many accommodations designed to protect religious minorities in the service violate the Christian majority’s right to religious freedom.
Seriously? Those specific changes have angered those people for those reasons? Allowing people not to say “so help me God” is seen by those people as a violation of the Christian majority’s right to religious freedom? How? How is imposing a religious oath on unwilling people a form of religious freedom?
It’s Humpty Dumptyism run mad.