Air Force Decides to Comply With the Constitution

Well that didn’t take long, but it shouldn’t have been necessary at all. The Air Force has decided to actually follow that pesky constitution and allow an airman to reenlist without ending his oath with “so help me God.” And they’re going to change their instructions to prevent this from happening again:

The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses.

In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from the Department of Defense General Counsel addressing the legal parameters of the oath. The resulting opinion concluded that an individual may strike or omit the words “So help me God” from an enlistment or appointment oath if preferred.

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected.”

The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words ‘So help me God’ from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.

Cue the howls of outrage from the Christian right in 3…2…1

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  • alanb

    What??? The unelected General Counsel is thwarting the will of democratically elected representatives? TYRANNY!!!!

  • grumpyoldfart

    But the words will remain part of the oath – so officers will know who omits god and who doesn’t. I wonder how long it will take before that information is passed along the line of command and used against the person enlisting. Probably not very long.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously

    Bullcrap! If they took religious freedom seriously, they’d not only make those airpeople make an oath to God, it would be accompanied by an immediate patriotic baptism! That’s TRUE religious freedom!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    …said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected.”

    But what about my right to force others to acknowledge my God?

  • kantalope

    How about firing the dolts who thought making the acknowledgement of Modus’s god needed to be mandatory in the first place?

  • sugarfrosted

    I promise to snark and nothing but snark, so help me Modus.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    kantalope, good luck trying to fire America and Freedom and America!

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Of the various branches of the US military, the Air Force has seen the strongest, most intense infiltration of Talibangelicals and Dominionists. I wonder why that one, and not, say, the Marines.

  • montague

    @8, One possibility on why the USAF is so conservative is the fact the Air force academy is located near Colorado Springs, home of the evangelical right wing lobbyist group “Focus on the Family” .

  • Francisco Bacopa

    To address the above comments: the reason the fundies have infiltrated the Air Force is they want to get control of nuclear weapons. They have been trying to create their own General Ripper for more than thirty years. That’s the reason WHY Dobson moved to Colorado and so many fundie megachurches are there.

  • sebloom

    “Cue the howls of outrage from the Christian right in 3…2…1”

    Right Wing Watch has Pat Robertson complaining about “one little Jewish radical” — check it out…

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/pat-robertson-one-little-jewish-radical-has-terrorized-our-cowardly-military

  • Crudely Wrott

    @8:

    It’s due to something about slipping surly bonds and touching faces, I think.

    Also, according to doctrine, the abode of the good god is up while the abode of naughty god is down. The Air Force goes way up in the air. The Army digs in.

    I wonder if there are more Satanists in the Army . . .

  • sezme

    @8: Because it has the least minorities?

  • dingojack

    sebloom (#11) – I couldn’t be arsed going to that drivel. So when they say ‘one Jewish radical’, they mean Jesus, right?

    😉 Dingo