“So help me God” and the Obama Administrations war on God at the Air Force Academy

From Rev. Mr. Kandra’s page:

Chaplains erect billboard supporting phrase “So help me God”—UPDATED

This press release was posted by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Freedom:
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Freedom has joined with other members of the Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition to provide a message via billboard to Air Force Academy cadets regarding their freedom to use the phrase “So help me God.”
The billboard went up this week not far from one of the entrances to the academy.
“The message is clear, our Founding Fathers said ‘So help me God’ on taking their oath of office; Air Force cadets have that same freedom,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USAR Retired, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “Our billboard is a reminder that cadets can say the phrase, which is deeply rooted in American tradition.”
Last fall cadets received new handbooks that had removed the phrase “So help me God” from the cadet oath of office. After members of Congress intervened, the superintendent of the academy said that the omission was a printing error [Uh huh… printing error…. right…] and that cadets have the option to say the words.
“‘So help me God’ is a solemn reminder that cadets are pledging their fidelity both to their country and to someone higher than themselves,” said Crews. “The presidents Americans admire all solemnly uttered these words when they took their oaths of office. Our Air Force cadets should be encouraged to follow their example.”

[…]

There is an update stating that some presidents didn’t use the phrase “So help me God” in their oaths of office. I respond, saying: So what? The principle is crystal clear.

Once we detach our duties from objective truth and the root of objective truth, Truth Itself, God, then we also erode our rights.   Without “So Help Me God” the one swearing is merely standing before The State.   Our rights and duties are not rooted in what the State determines we can or should have or do.  Ultimately, the grounding of anything that is good and right and beautiful is God.  Without God, nothing is reliable and each individual is reduced to himself, alone, in competition with all other selves.  The results of that are not good.

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14 Responses to “So help me God” and the Obama Administrations war on God at the Air Force Academy

  1. tcreek says:

    They are just following the lead of their Commander in Chief deleting “under God” from the Gettysburg Address.
    “… that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, (under God,) shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

  2. Michael says:

    Just as long as it is optional and there is no discrimination for not saying the phrase at the end of the oath. The USA is a secular nation and the nation as such does not recognize and deity or the laws of any deity. Frankly, we are much better off that way.

  3. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Last fall cadets received new handbooks that had removed the phrase “So help me God” from the cadet oath of office.”

    That phrase, technically, makes the oath an act of religion, which is a good thing. People need to be beholden to the transcendental.

    Some people have, erroneously, argued that this phrase violates the Constitutional Establishment Clause and No Religious Test law, but since the phase, “I solemnly swear,” may be replaced with a mere affirmation (as for Quakers), and no transcendental belief is activated by virtue of this affirmation, the phase, “So Help Me, God,” may remain in the oath as an option for those who do wish to activate a binding in religion when coupled with swearing the oath without violating the Constitution.

    The Chicken

  4. Sonshine135 says:

    The Air Force Academy is also embroiled in a scandal where a cadet was forced to remove a bible verse off of his whiteboard in his dorm room. From the American Family Association:

    The cadet wrote the passage from Galatians 2:20 on the whiteboard outside his room. “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

    Mikey Weinstein, director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, contacted the Air Force Academy and filed a complaint. Exactly two hours and nine minutes later, the Bible verse had been scrubbed from the cadet’s whiteboard under the direction of Lt. Col. Denise Cooper.

    “The whiteboards are for both official and personal use, but when a concern was raised we addressed it and the comment was taken down,” Lt. Col. Brus Vidal told Starnes.

    The academy said the cadet will not be punished because he did not violate Air Force regulations. However, Weinstein, in a hate-filled rant, said the cadet must be punished.

    Ironically, just last September, the Air Force told AFA, “Weinstein’s self-proclamation of influence is greatly exaggerated” and that the Air Force no longer returns his phone calls.

    This is another in a growing list of religious discrimination offenses by the Air Force Academy. When the constitutionally protected expression of Christian faith is expressed at the Air Force Academy, why is it immediately censored?

  5. Johnno says:

    Michael –

    Actually the United States does recognize a ‘Deity.’ One that is not defined, likely being Masonic in origin, but it’s there. That’s what all those there self-evident rights you have come from! But given that the new regime and era no longer accepts the deity, there is no longer any reason to accept the fundamental rights granted by the Amendments either, so no wonder they are being eroded as time goes by subject to the interpretative whims of the present power. So carry on in your new man-made empire, which as we are seeing isn’t really leaving anybody better off, but you’re currently doing okay, so good for you.

  6. anilwang says:

    Michael says: “The USA is a secular nation and the nation as such does not recognize and deity or the laws of any deity. Frankly, we are much better off that way.”

    That’s not quite correct. It would be more correct to state that the US is deistic nation founded on natural law, and Protestant Christianity was a reference for natural law. Because of that, all laws have traditionally been Protestant-friendly with some accommodation for the Catholic Church (mostly because Protestants can’t agree on doctrine and it was impossible to ignore so many Catholics).

    When laws start deviating from those founding principles, we have what we currently have in the US, namely administrations which ignore laws they disagree, implement policies that directly contradict and undermine those laws, and go to court to strike down existing laws they disagree with.

    No country is better of this way

  7. Cantor says:

    Do they no longer use a Bible in Air Force courts martial?

  8. jacobi says:

    I would strongly advise any air force personnel, particularly aircrew, to become familiar with the expression “so help me God”.

    The chances are that in their flying career, either routine, or in action, they will resort to that, or something similar , quite frequently!

  9. robtbrown says:

    Michael says:

    Just as long as it is optional and there is no discrimination for not saying the phrase at the end of the oath. The USA is a secular nation and the nation as such does not recognize and deity or the laws of any deity. Frankly, we are much better off that way.

    You might want to read the Declaration of Independence.

    BTW, Woodrow Wilson had little use for the Declaration’s reference to natural law and natural rights.

  10. TomD says:

    @Michael: “The USA is a secular nation and the nation as such does not recognize an[y] deity or the laws of any deity. Frankly, we are much better off that way.”

    To expand on how others have responded, The USA has a secular government, to the extent defined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” In no way can the words of the First Amendment, specifically related to Congress and the passage of law with respect to “an establishment of religion,” be used to declare the USA a secular nation.

    The founders had a very specific and limited notion of what establishment meant, and it was not as broad as today’s secularists would like to believe. It is from the misinterpretation of the First Amendment, to a great extent through Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, that the erosion began to the religious basis of our founding, most especially beginning in the 20th century.

    We will not be “much better off” if those who wish to make us a secular nation succeed. This nation has been the beacon of freedom and hope to the world precisely because it is a Christian nation, when we act as a Christian nation tolerant of all free religious exercise, even as Christians make up the vast majority of the population. The United States is at its best when it acts, as a Christian nation, to welcome all those of different faiths, while retaining its ethos as a nation founded on Christian ideals and principles.

    The founders were a religiously diverse group, some orthodox in their beliefs, others influenced by less traditional views of the Christian faith. Most, if not all of them, were not agnostics or atheists, nor did they found the USA as a secular nation. The USA as a secular nation is a modern-day invention. If we lose our identity as an open and tolerant Christian nation, or permit it to be lost, we will lose an essential foundation of what it means to be American.

  11. Michael says:

    TomD,

    The US is absolutely not a Christian nation. The Treaty of Tripoli as ratified unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams itself states, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” The idea that we are a Christian nation is actually the modern-day invention perpetuated by, who would have guessed, the Christian right. The US was founded on purely secularist and humanist ideals.

  12. TomD says:

    @Michael: ahhhh yes, that tired, old internet combox warhorse, the Treaty of Tripoli, run out yet again to definitively “prove” that the United States is not a Christian nation. But, as Article 11 of said treaty states, in part: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion . . .”

    As I stated above, the United States has a secular government. Our government was not founded on the Christian faith. But we were founded as a Christian nation. Anyone familiar with America’s founding and possesses a broad reading of the founders understands this.

    The distinction between “government” and “nation” is key here, and the failure (or refusal) to make that distinction often leads to confusion. The United States was founded as a Christian nation with a secular government.

  13. Giuseppe says:

    Honestly, would it have killed them to write the words “So help me God” in parentheses or brackets at the end, which would acknowledge that it is a valid and traditional addendum to the oath, but that it is not required?

  14. Magash says:

    Scott Hahn’s book Swear To God explains exactly why this is a problem. Basically it comes down to this: No one can be trusted. That is because of Original Sin no human can be trusted with power over another. However for a society to work we must be able to appoint people as soldiers, police, judges and governmental representatives. Because they can’t be trusted on their own we require them to take an oath. An oath is a promise invoking the name of God, that they will faithfully carry out the promise they have made. The supposition is of course that the oath taker believes in God and that they believe in the power and interest of God to punish the oath breaker.
    A society which counts only on the force of law to hold people to their oaths is doomed, because people break laws all the time because they think they will not be caught. And sure enough we see Air Force cadets that break their oath of honor by cheating. Police officers who break their oath to serve and protect by taking bribes and fabricating evidence. Judges who base decisions not on the law but on political affiliations.
    In fact in truth an oath is only an oath if it is taken in Gods name. Else it is simple a promise to the national government, and so meaningless, should one beyond the reach or the national government, or choose to ignore it.