Comments about ‘Air Force Academy may drop religious reference from oath’

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Published: Thursday, Oct. 24 2013 9:40 p.m. MDT

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The Scientist
Provo, UT

This is a good thing. The AFAcademy has had a problem for years with religious discrimination and favoritism: "Christians" helping one another advance, discriminating against non-Christians, and preaching a Christians-vs-Islam ideology reminiscent of the Crusades. Things need to change.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I don't see any thing with the fraze. But that's just me wanting to be a good person. America was founded on Christen principles. I figure, it's their house they make the rules. Respect the privilege to live in America.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

Taking "so help me God" out of the honor code oath will do nothing to change a perceived pro-Christian bias at the Air Force Academy.

Of course, graduates of the academy, on commissioning, will still say those words in the oath they take as 2nd lieutenants and then periodically on promotion throughout their careers.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Then swearing any oath has no meaning, no purpose. If nothing is sacred, nothing meaningful, nothing more important or larger than oneself, what possible meaning can anything have? Honor compared to what? Yourself? Commitment to what? Dedication to whom, yourself? Thou shalt have no other god before the government?

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Scientist:

"The AFAcademy has had a problem for years with religious discrimination and favoritism: "Christians" helping one another advance, discriminating against non-Christians, and preaching a Christians-vs-Islam ideology reminiscent of the Crusades."

Really? Would you care to elaborate or this hearsay?

Ranch
Here, UT

How many comments are there going to be before the "war on religious freedom" comments start?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Mountanman, when you give your word, or pledged to do something, it is wholly up to you as a person. What difference does it make if there is a God or not? What difference does it make if you believe in a God. You, said you would do or not do something. If you don't have the personal character to do as you say, what difference does referencing God make?

This has nothing to do with whether there are things sacred or not. It's entirely about personal character.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mountanman – “Then swearing any oath has no meaning, no purpose.”

As a taxpayer I would hope that for military cadets, the oath to protect and defend the Country/Constitution would be enough.

And does it make any sense (or send the right message about personal integrity) to force the increasing number of “nones” to pledge to (in their view) an imaginary being?

Madison would be proud!

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

@ Scientist; I thought scientists believed in facts, not 'faith' or 'belief'. If you have facts to support your statements, let's see them.

donahoe
NSL, UT

Dear Tekakaromatagi and neighbors,
This issue is not whimsical or hearsay. This is largely based on relentless efforts by Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1977. I suggest you look into his efforts, because he has written extensively on the issue. He is doing what he learned to do well as an officer, he is providing leadership. He is serving the call of duty (a word heard far too seldom in today's political discourse).

As far as US history, I point you to the book titled "The Godless Constitution" in which the authors explain early American history. The reality of religious strife is what drove the founders to draft he Constitution as they did (and thus the title of the book).

As an adult, does it surprise you that life (and history) is more complex than you thought as a child? I would hope that the richness of life's experiences is a gift you enjoy each and every day.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think these are the kind of incidents that lead people to feel like, or talk about, religion being attacked in America.

I know it's not taking away anybody's rights, but it sure sounds like America is becoming less and less tolerant of any reference to "God" or religion.

The Scientist,
The phrase "so help me God", is not a Christian thing. It's whatever God you believe you would be accountable to in your oaths. That would include any religion I know of.

If you remove it... who are you pledging too and expecting to be held accountable too? Obama?

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

Donahoe,

Don't confuse secular government for secular nation. This nation was established on Judeo/Christian values and principles. Those same principles and values guided the founders to establish a constitution (government) that was secular (neutral regarding religion), as that was the only way to protect religious freedom.

We have written record of many founders who went on to express their belief that the only way we could maintain a strong country was for the citizens to retain a conviction that god was the source of their rights, not the constitution (government).

The culture in this country has been religious from its inception. It is only now, over 400 years since Jamestown, that we have seen a significant change in that culture; toward self and away from god.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

These stories like this have got to be the most absurd thing. Seriously, is it that big of a deal if it is said or not. The Oath is there, it has it in it, so what does it matter? If you don't want to say it, then don't say it. Hold yourself accountable and move on. These people who keep filing these lame law suits, and keep trying to force these lame things about removing God for this and that. Do you not have anything more important in your life to do? So you don't believe in God. I would venture to guess that the vast majority who do believe in a God are traditionally good people and it is a good thing to those who do. So if you are so worried about people, etc. Why in the heck would you try to tear something down that traditionally promotes and brings out the good in people? It amazes me, so you win your argument or case and you sit back in your lazy boy and gloat in your victory. Lame!

Serenity
Manti, UT

To me, God and religion are two different things. Many of the founders of this country came here to avoid religious persecution (from certain religions) yet they had a stalwart faith in God. The phrase "So help me God" is a reminder that the oath is not to be taken lightly. It brings into the minds of those taking the oath that they have sworn it before someone greater then themselves; that the oath means something more than pretty words. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from God. Freedom to practice a religion, or not, according to the dictates of our conscience is our inalienable right. But God remains over all whether we acknowledge this fact or not.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

"Again, you have heard that it was said to an older generation, 'Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not take oaths at all – not by heaven, because it is the throne of God, not by earth, because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. Let your word be 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no.' More than this is from the evil one" - Matthew 5:33-37.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

I'm not an AFA graduate, but am a veteran of the military. I didn't join the military to fight for and defend God. I joined the military to fight for and defend the USA. If you want to fight for and defend God, then the Taliban or other tribal organization may be for you. I served the people of the United States regardless of their religious affiliation, or lack thereof.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Apparently some would rather have the military swear an oath they don't believe in than be true to their consciences. Religious freedom means just that, the freedom to believe as we choose. It doesn't matter if our nation was "founded on Christian principles," that founding included the inability of government to establish a particular faith. For my LDS brothers and sisters, the 11th Article of Faith also reminds us that:

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may."

That's a pretty broad statement and the beauty of it is that it defends rights for those who believe differently than we do. That is the essence of religious freedom and the "do unto others" golden rule.

If America is truly Christian, then we need to start showing it by following the Savior, instead of just talking about Him and using our faith as a form of bully-pulpit-entitlement.

Pete1215
Lafayette, IN

I agree with CHS 85. I also am a veteran (U.S. Navy), and one pledges to defend the Constitution of the Unites States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Theology is no where a part of the picture.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

@CHS 85

I too am not a AFA graduate, but a Military Veteran also. I thought I would point out to you the following.

First, You also gave an oath that concluded with "So help me God" upon your enlistment. It is what made you a soldier or officer.

Second, You also stated you would "defend the Constitution, against both foreign and domestic." And no where in the Constitution does it mention or refer to God.

However, there is one place that every single signer of the Constitution recognized God. At the end of the Constitution it does state the date of ratification and was signed "In the year of our Lord." There is NO year of our Lord if you do not recognize the death and resurrection of the LORD and Savior. Each of these men did.

Lastly, the Taliban is not a fighter of God. They are an Islamic Fundamentalist Political Movement. They are governed by Sharia Law, which most Islamic Leaders do not recognize as Gods law, or Mohammad's law. The Taliban takes what they want from it and claim it as their own to excuse their actions. This is different than your thoughts.

donahoe
NSL, UT

See the concept of "ceremonial deism" as defined by the supreme court several times.

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