The Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s Mikey Weinstein just sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on behalf of 17 officers, urging him to put a stop to the Air Force’s bizarre enforcement of an oath that includes the unnecessary words “So Help Me God”:
I write you on behalf of our MRFF clients, 17 active duty USAF non-commissioned officers, who intend to reenlist in the USAF sometime in the next 9 months. These honorable NCOs have been specifically told by their commanders that they MUST end their respective enlistment oaths with the words “so help me God,” or face draconian and certain expulsion from the United States Air Force (USAF).
“Believe or be gone” was NOT the motto of our founders, and it’s not an idea that our predecessors fought and died for. With a single command directive, Mr. Secretary, you can immediately remediate this bigoted issue and prevent any valuable airmen from being wrongfully discharged from the military for failing a BLATANTLY unlawful religious test. We are calling on you to uphold your oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Secretary Hagel, will you please have the courage to do so?
It’s a powerful letter and it comes days after an Air Force official said the USAF was reaching out to the Defense Department’s top lawyer for advice on what to do.
I said this before, but there’s really no discussion to be had here. The final line of the oath needs to be optional. It’s a simple problem to fix and I can’t believe it’s taking this much effort to make it happen.