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Comments about ‘Air Force makes 'so help me God' optional in oath’

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Published: Friday, Oct. 25 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT

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The Scientist
Provo, UT

Good decision.

“To add more seriousness to the oath, we decided to mirror the commissioning oath and add the words, ‘so help me, God,’ ” said retired Brig. Gen. Hans Mueh, a member of the committee that made the change, according to Starnes."

What unsupported bias is it, to arrogantly assume that invoking a god is "more serious" than not, and that believers are "more serious" than non-believers.

Religious hubris is both amazing and frightening.

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

To require a person to conclude his oath with the words "so help me, God" is an absolute affront to his religious liberty. If you cannot see why this is an unconstitutional infringement on religious liberty, consider how you would feel if you had to take an oath that concluded with the phrase "so help me, Vishnu" or "so help me, Allah" before joining the military. While the majority of the country may believe in God, many do not. To require them to mouth these words is to require dishonesty. If they are not willing to mouth these words would they have been disqualified from military service? If so, then the requirement is an unconstitutional religious test. The constitution clearly states "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

The phrase "so help me, God" was absent in the original oath required for military service, as passed by in 1789 by the Congress, and was only added for some officers in 1862. It is long past time to return to the vision of the Founders and to delete this phrase, or at least make it optional.

podunk utah
DRAPER, UT

we know we will be in trouble when they all start saying 'so help me Allah'

jdaliix
Bountiful, UT

What everybody invariably overlooks is that religion has almost nothing to do with God, other than the use of the word, so religious freedom here is not the issue.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

Of course, use of "so help me God" is not optional once the cadet graduates and is commissioned.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Yeah, like 'optional' is a concept in the military.

TA1
Alexandria, VA

In my opinion - this is a non event. We get caught up too much with stuff like this - kind of like - don't get caught up in the theology - just go out and see if you can still make the world a better place - not by your words, but by your actions!

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

An atheist should not be required to say, "So help me God" if it offends his/hers religious views. We are a diverse society and we should respect that people are going to have different religious beliefs. People should be not be compelled to violate their religious beliefs.

At the same time, the phrase should not be eliminated for non-atheists.

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

@ jdaliix - Bountiful, UT - "What everybody invariably overlooks is that religion has almost nothing to do with God...."

Nothing to do with God?

You're kidding, right?.....

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

I seriously doubt this will satisfy those who opposed having the mention of "God" in the honor code oath.

Why do I say that?

Because they want NO option to mention God. They want God not only out of their life, they want God out of everyone's life.

Sad, because you'd have to be blind to claim that America's Founding Fathers did not have tremendous faith and belief in a Supreme Being AND fully intended the United States of America to be a nation permanently founded on God, morality and Judeo-Christian values.

When I think what we could be as a nation, and what we are instead, I weep for my country...

John20000
Cedar Hills, UT

Expressions attributed to deity should be optional and allowable. That makes the expression more meaningful. Make people free to choose to acknowledge God or not. Neither should be looked down upon or restricted. Let freedom reign.

From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

My mother and her generation still complain about the removal of prayer in schools and while I believe in the LDS God(s), I recognize that my incarnation of deity may differ from someone else's. There was a time in our country when including references to God meant more to a large majority of people than they do now and it's appropriate that we back off declaring our religious beliefs by default. Should one choose to believe in God and act in a moral manner as a result then there is little need for these types of oaths and statements. Compelling one's neighbor to adhere to one's beliefs is not a Christian approach and yet it is the hard core Christians that seem to have the most reluctance when it comes to removing references to God in our culture. (Again, it's not like we are all worshipping God or even the same God.) We should be more concerned with our overall declining morals than with references to God. Let's all start with ourselves and our own houses when it comes to living moral, upright lives and spend less time judging others' deficiencies.

chemimagineer
Spanish Fork, UT

Our country has always been a Christian land. The Russian Perastroyka Plan to destroy the country was based upon removing Christian teachings from school, government and the home. The same format Hitler used to take over the European countries in expanding his empire. The accounts from Austria make it very clear that removing Christian teachings and God from life was a major target that started from Day 1 of the takeover. So it is clear where this all comes from.

God's blessing upon our land has been unmistakeable. We have been up until now the world's source of innovation, industrial production, energy production, food production, mineral production and so forth....unitl the EPA and OSHA came into existence in 1970. The United States of America is #1 in all important categories that are advantageous for societal economic development -- ranging from Crop Growing Days to water supply to mineral supply to energy supply to navigable water to innovative breakthroughs to liberty of its citizens to build and create anything/everything. This was God's plan for this nation...and still is. Any attempt to make this appear happenstance is poppycock.

chemimagineer

Don Bugg
Prince Frederick, MD

As far as I can tell, this is nothing new at all. I joined the Air Force more than 13 years ago, and no one was required to say "So help me God" when we took that oath. We were specifically told it wasn't required, along with being given the option to say "affirm" rather than "swear."

suzyk#1
Mount Pleasant, UT

That's pretty sad when people cannot or will not give the credit to the only one that truly loves us "God". Sometimes I wonder about our country and the fragile condition it is in because of non-believers. They remind me of a bunch of babies throwing a fit because it's not exactly the way they think things should be. I know...why they just grow up..that's a good idea.

raybies
Layton, UT

Still not clear how honor can ultimately exist without somehow acknowledging that we are somehow accountable to God when we give our word...

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