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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Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

The next thing we'll tell the military, is that they no longer have families. Since that will offend those that do something other than One man and One woman that are married.

After all you don't want to offend single people, divorced people, polygamists people, gay people, players etc.

You can't mention God or religion, but, now the government is pushing to let people partake of drugs and make that institution legal.

Why can't people see through what is happening? It's soo very obvious.

Then again there are Germans and people today that actually believe the Holocaust never happened. Or atheists controlled Soviet Union and other countries discriminated against people of faith, marching millions of the faithful to their deaths or working them in the gulags to their deaths.

Hope and change is here everyone! This is what you chanted about and re-elected.

Now it's a sad country song....Maybe we can turn it around in 2014.

Got my health care back, got my freedom to worship back, got my money back, got my truck back, got my freedoms back, and kicked bo out of this country along with his goonies

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

So....liberals are screaming bloody murder over the mention of "God" in an honor code oath at the Air Force academy.

And yet there is no "war on religion"?

Does.

Not.

Compute.

I mean, if it's not an attack on the religious, what is it? A free trip to Disneyland?

Ranch
Here, UT

@bj-hp;

You'd better drink a lot of water before you start you crying; it's going to take a lot of tears for you to complete your self-appointed task.

@UB;

That they used "Year of our Lord" in no way proves they believed in god in any way. It's how dates were calculated and was common parlance.

@A Guy With A Brain;

It isn't a war against religion, it's simply taking away religion's authority over us.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

@Ranch

Study up on "Year of out Lord" my friend. Re-read my post. You are right, it is how dates were calculated. It began with the death of Christ. This is where the term "Year of our Lord" came from. It is a recognition of his death, and then dates today were calculated from that period of time. The World recognized it as such, because they recognized a Lord and Savior. Thus the "Year of our Lord"

I also said in my post, that I know they did not make mention of God anywhere. I was making a point that if you are going to remove "So help me God", why not just go as far to say that we need a new date system as well, since it is recognized and started from the time of Christ death.

Heck, all these non believers want to take God out of everything, so why don't we just go ahead and start from the beginning. I think you can honestly say that is where it all started, so lets not just pick and choose our ignorance of where we begin, but yet lets start from the beginning and move forward.

bj-hp
Maryville, MO

Ranch: There will come a time where every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is The Christ. You may not see and neither may I but it will happen just as surely as you are living today. You and other critics are confrontational which has no place here. You really don't belong so why come but to express your own hate and disgust to the people who cherish freedom more than you or any of your associates will ever do.

We may as well take the motto off our money, IN GOO WE TRUST, as we do with the oaths. I served 20 years in a military that gave you the right to be free but you like others wish to take that freedom away from us.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

Re: "Study up on 'Year of out Lord' my friend.... You are right, it is how dates were calculated. It began with the death of Christ. This is where the term 'Year of our Lord' came from. It is a recognition of his death, and then dates today were calculated from that period of time."

The "year of our Lord" is the English translation of the Medieval Latin "anno Domini," abbreviated A.D. The abbreviation A.D. does not stand for "After Death." It has nothing to do with Jesus's death, but with the traditional year of his birth. The year A.D. 1 was thought to be the year Jesus was born. This method of reckoning years was not devised until the early 6th century, and did not become widespread until the 9th century.

Since Jesus said "Do not take oaths at all," shouldn't Christians be in favor of scrapping the oath altogether? Or didn't Jesus really mean it, or was he just kidding?

Is the best way of honoring and obeying Jesus to insist on doing the opposite of what he said?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@bj-hp – “You and other critics are confrontational which has no place here.”

The “cherish freedom more than you” comment was uncalled for and over the line.

I’m sorry you see our engagement in the discussion as being motivated by hate & disgust. I think we’re just expressing on own points of view in a forum (and country) that values the marketplace of ideas more than conformity (religious or otherwise).

And I would defend your right to do the same, and want to offer my sincere thanks for your service in protecting our right to do so as well.

Peace…

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

@ Lightbearer

Thanks for a definition version of AD. You say it does not stand for After Death. If you want to get completely technical, well then sure. However, since Roman and British Conquest, it has been referred to just that, AD, time periods. In fact it was the early beginning of what led to the crusades, a religious conflict.

But since we are getting technical, A.D. is the abbreviation of the Latin term anno Domini, as you explain. Which its many definitions is the division fall during a Christian era. Thus the Birth and Death of Christ as it was used from and before.

Next:

And the Lord never said not to take an Oath. He did say all Oaths should be taken between you and the Lord, and that you should not perjure yourself by an Oath. To take an Oath outside of the Lord would then be to perjure yourself as the only one who can hold you accountable is God. This can all be found in Exodus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc. Heck even Joseph took an Oath in Genesis with God for the Children of Israel.

Dan Maloy
Enid, OK

@ The Scientist - Provo, UT - "This is a good thing. The AF Academy 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."

What is your proof?

My proof is the fact that I've been an active duty USAF officer for 22 1/2 years and have never, repeat never seen even the slightest hint of discrimination against "non-Christians" in a career where I've interacted with thousands of Air Force personnel at over 7 assigned bases and dozens of TDY (temporary duty) base locations.

But then again, you would know better than I do......

(By the way, I'd include my rank, my branch of service and the base I'm assigned to but the last 4 times (yes, 4 times) I tried to do that, the DeseretNews moderators keep finding excuses not to post my comment.)

Apparently, even though we're encouraged to post with our real names, when you really do post your real name it's suddenly considered "personal information".

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Yeah, we don't need to be claiming to be 'bombing for god'.

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Until this change, officers were required to end the oath with the phrase "so help me God." Can anyone truly say to me that forcing an atheist to mouth these words is not an infringement on his religious freedom? Would it be an infringement on your religious freedom if you were forced to conclude your oath with the phrase "so help me Vishnu?" Of course it would be! Atheists are Americans too, and they should not be forced to assert that a god exists in order to join the military.

The Constitution states "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States". Forcing a person to conclude an oath with the words "so help me God" is clearly a religious test. An atheist would not be able to honestly say those words.

As the military oath was originally drafted by the Congress of 1789, it had no such phrase. In fact, this was only added in 1862. It is high time that we returned to the what the Founders envisioned.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

The religious discrimination and problems at the Academy have been well-documented for well over a decade. Yale and Harvard scholars have studied it.

I know of it from personal experience. But unlike others who think their personal experience tells the full story...

See "The Report of the Headquarters Review Group Concerning the Religious climate at the US Air Force Academy, June 22, 2005."

There has long been an "evangelical choke hold on the Academy", and the "evangelical pressure tactics at the Academy" continue to this day.

Women at the Academy have been taught that her "career should be that of a wife and mother," and in Biblical terms, "the female is the sheep and the male is the shepherd."

The problems have been so pervasive that in September, 2012, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz had to send a servicewide email cautioning leaders at all levels to balance the Constitution's protection of religious freedom and the prohibition on government intrusion.

The Air Force had to suspend an ethics course for new nuclear missile officers that contained so many biblical references it was jokingly referred to as the "Jesus Loves Nukes" training.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

Re: "You say it [A.D.] does not stand for After Death."

"'A.D.' does not mean 'after death,' as many people suppose" - Paul Brians, "Common Errors in English Usage."

It's not just a "technical" matter, either. If the years in the era A.D. were reckoned from Jesus's death, there would be a thirty-three year gap, the length of Jesus's life, between the year 1 B.C. and the year A.D. 1.

Re: "And the Lord never said not to take an Oath."

The Quakers refused to take oaths, and were persecuted for this religious principle.

Why did they refuse? Because, as quoted in my first comment (9:21 a.m., Oct. 25, 2013), Jesus said not to take oaths.

"A testimony against the taking of oaths came directly from the New Testament, Matthew 5:34-37 and James 5:12.... Speaking the truth on all occasions has been a cardinal Quaker principle, and Friends believe the practice of taking oaths implies that a person might be telling lies on other occasions" (Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Part I. Faith, A. Historical Sketch, 6. Early Quaker Testimonies).

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@Dan Malloy,

I disagree vehemently with 99% of The Scientist's critiques of religion, but he is correct here. The Academy has been a hotbed of Christian evangelism, spurred by the fact that Colorado Springs is ground zero for many evangelical megachurches. It has been a controversy for at least a decade. Evangelized cadets put pressure on "non-Christian" cadets that makes greenie LDS missionaries look subtle. Resistance is punished. The Air Force IG office even investigated and issued a scathing report indicting Academy leadership for sanctioning or willfully turning a blind eye (at best) to actions that violate the religious rights of those who aren't interested.

A guy in my LDS ward and a Jewish officer I work with, both Academy grads, told me that it made for an awful experience. I think that those who decry this as more of the war on Christianity need to be more aware of intrusions on the rights of those who believe differently. If you don't play nice with people who aren't of your faith, be prepared for this kind of pushback.

Bob K
porland, OR

Several people wrote: "this nation was founded on Christian principles"

It is a Christian principle NOT to require people to pretend to believe in something they do not.
It is a Christian principle to allow that non-believers or followers of other religions and spiritual practices have a right to choose as they wish.

Nowadays, the military and politics are full of people who vainly consider themselves "The only kind of Christians" and will berate, dismiss, or thwart those of us who believe, but do not believe exactly as they do.

There is a lie going around, that religious people are being persecuted, even when asked to stop telling others that they believe wrong. Some folks put up a smokescreen about persecution, when they are asked to accommodate to a changing world, or to follow non-discrimination laws in their public businesses.

One might think that the lds, having had a history of being driven away or killed over polygamy and other beliefs, should be FIRST in saying that all ways of believing are welcome in America

Bob K
porland, OR

Really? ...a comment in which the President of the United States is referred to disparagingly and disrespectfully, as able to be kicked out of the country (I guess he is not really a Citizen, huh?) What are goonies?

Some of my comments which were FAR less strong, more temperate, and actually funny came back to me as "denied" -- but they expressed a more liberal point of view.

I feel I must say again that a blog belonging to a major church ought to be as hard on the right-wingers as the left. Jesus loves all of us.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT
The next thing we'll tell the military, is that they no longer have families. Since that will offend those that do something other than One man and One woman that are married....

...Hope and change is here everyone! This is what you chanted about and re-elected.

Now it's a sad country song....Maybe we can turn it around in 2014.

Got my health care back, got my freedom to worship back, got my money back, got my truck back, got my freedoms back, and kicked bo out of this country along with his goonies

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

@ Ranch - Here, UT "@A Guy With A Brain; It isn't a war against religion, it's simply taking away religion's authority over us."

Ranch - 2 comments:

1) Religion is not claiming any "authority" over anyone. Just because the honor code mentions 'god' does not, and cannot be construed to mean, that "authority" or power/suppression is occuring.

2) I've read your posts for many months. You are not a member of the USAF Academy so you are not a part of the "us" featured in this article.

Respond if you wish but the only responce you can give is an apology in terms of over-playing a false hand.

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