Texas Congressman is on the Warpath to Make Atheist Military Cadets Swear an Oath Containing ‘So Help Me God’

Sam Johnson (R-TX), once named the most conservative Member of Congress by National Journal, thinks atheists in the military should be forced to acknowledge God and swear a pledge to the Almighty. He’s even introduced a bill to make that happen.

Johnson’s initiative is a response to the U.S. Air Force top command’s recent decision to make saying “So help me God” optional when cadets pledge they’ll abide by the military code of honor. In other words, cadets who want to say that phrase may do exactly that, as before; those who don’t will swear the oath just the same, but without the deity reference.

Sound reasonable? Not to Johnson it doesn’t.

Rep. Sam Johnson

On his blog, he writes:

In response to the U.S. Air Force Academy’s unilateral decision to make the phrase, ‘so help me God’ of the Cadet Honor Oath optional, I introduced H.R. 3416, a bill that would require congressional approval prior to any change to Oaths of Office. I was joined by original co-sponsor Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22).

Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” and you better believe I’ll fight like mad to keep it that way. I can tell you from experience, there are no atheists in foxholes. We are the land of the free because of the brave. Many people don’t know this, but when you survive a near-death experience [as Johnson did when he was a POW in Vietnam, TF], you realize that the only thing you had to hold on to was your faith in God.

I left him a message through his Facebook page:

Dear Mr. Johnson: Cadets who want to say “so help me God” continue to be free to do so. Those who do not believe in God and wish to serve their country shouldn’t have to have their conscience violated. I’m pretty sure you’d feel the same way if the shoe was on the other foot and you were made to swear an oath that you felt was against your convictions. Live and let live, Congressman. How about it?

If the comments under his blog post are any guide, Johnson’s Christian base is fired up.

Melvin Cleveland, a retiree, opines

I completely agree. If atheists are true athiests put a gun to their childs head and see how many “God Help Me”s you will hear.

Deanna Patterson, an “overnight stocker at Walmart,” adds:

What have we become. When people are try to take god from us.

“What have we become?” I think I know. We’ve become (or are about to become) a more sensible and egalitarian nation that doesn’t coerce believers into saying words that atheists insist upon (as if), and vice versa.

It would probably be futile to point out to Ms. Patterson that no one is trying to take God from her. What will change, under the Air Force’s new rule, is that atheists who wish to join the military will be allowed to leave God out of their oath. “I so swear and affirm” will do nicely, just as it has done in courtrooms across our country for decades. The sky hasn’t fallen — nor will it now.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • Jasper

    His belief that there are no “foxhole atheists” may be even more embarrassingly wrong than his belief in a God, which merely has no evidence to support it.

  • Fentwin

    “Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,”…”

    Horse Apples!

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Yeah, I would like very much to see a citation on that. Pretty sure their motto was E pluribus unum, which is quite secular.

    • Guest

      “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954. It was not declared so by the founding fathers.

      • Fentwin

        ” It was not declared so by the founding fathers.”

        Thanks, yet I’m fairly familiar with the history of that phrase, besides “horse apples” is seldom a term of unabashed agreement. :)

        • Tyler Hopkins

          Horse apples is seldom a phrase, more like.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            It’s a more rural/Southern phrase, for sure. I’ve heard it, but then again I live in Texas, so … yeah.

            It’s a slightly less colorful way of saying bullshit.

          • Fentwin

            “Horse apples is seldom a phrase, more like.”

            If you’d been around my Grandmother as much as I was you would’ve heard that phrase quite often. She liked to be colorful yet not crass.

  • Roger

    So, would a christian put a gun to a child’s head?

    • closetatheist

      Don’t worry! Only a good, god-promoting one would do that!

    • Stev84

      If they are like Abraham, yes.

    • infidel1000

      Yeah, the way I’ve seen it explained, if instructed by God, he’d blow the kid’s brains out thus saving the kid’s soul and ensuring entry into heaven by saving him/her from a life of sin.

    • LesterBallard

      They tell children that when they die they’ll go to Hell if they don’t believe in Jesus; they tell children that Jesus died for them; that Jesus died because of them. Seems like a small step for them to me.

    • 5oh4

      My reply to him would be, shoot yourself in the chest and pray to god to save you. See how that works out.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

        hell, i’d even toss in “I’ll convert instantly if your god heals your wound due to your prayer. Now go on, try it. Your faith is that strong, right?”

  • Mario Strada

    This is the Iranian Congress right?

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    There are plenty of atheists in foxholes…

    You’re thinking of suicide bombers, Representative. Those guys tend to be pretty much 100% religious.

    • Mike

      I’m in the military and also Agnostic/Atheist, I was on a commercial flight to Korea when the plane lost power and started to lose altitude. I looked up from my movie and people were crying, praying etc…. After about ten seconds the plane gained power again and we were fine. I never once thought to pray or appeal to a mythological being. I merely accepted my fate at that moment.

      • A3Kr0n

        Crying and praying within ten seconds? Maybe they shouldn’t have gotten on the plane to begin with.

      • Edward Baker

        Your Acceptance saved you all …Thanks for being Real .

        • magdog54

          Wonder why their god wnated to kill them?

          • chilehead

            He was just taunting and playing mind games with them – god gets off on doing that to humans, much like little kids like burning ants with magnifying glasses or putting sweaters on cats.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

    This foxhole atheism argument needs to be retired. At most, it shows that some desperate people, in life-threatening situations, will abandon rationality and resort to nonsense, just in case it might help. Nothing about the truth of religion is revealed in the process.

    • Gehennah

      It also ignores the many Atheists that still remain rational in combat.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

        I was speaking specifically about the actions of “foxhole atheists” which some Christians seem to tout as good evidence. A broader scope shows exactly what you said — a dismissal of rational people in foxholes, including atheists. But it’s worse than that. It dismisses all appeals to other gods, spirits, ghosts, dead ancestors, lucky charms, magic spells, rituals, etc etc etc.

        • Golfie98

          It also ignores the actual evidence that appealing to spirits (of whatever form) doesn’t actually stop anyone in a foxhole being killed.

          • townandgownie

            It does nicely highlight the mindset of these folks however. That they would come up with a situation of holding a gun to a child’s head in order to make a point.

            You know what, I’d blow a goat if someone was holding a gun to my kids head if I thought it would save them. And right after this liberal Atheist would blow a hole in their fucking head with my concealed handgun – which I have a permit of course.

            • Timothy McLean

              My solution would be similar, if I A. gave them a chance to lower their weapon first (not a long one), B. shot nonlethally, and C. was in a situation where I could and had legally own and store a firearm.

      • Cthulhu0818

        Right? I always wanted my battle buddy to have his head on a swivel and his finger on the trigger, not muttering to himself for some fairy tale to come and save him.

    • C Peterson

      Nothing about the truth of religion is revealed in the process.

      Oh, I disagree. A very real truth about religion is revealed when we see scared, desperate people grasping for it.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

        I was referring to truth in religious doctrine, core principles, and the like. I accept your point. You’re right, though I’m inclined to categorize it as a truth about human nature instead.

    • Mike

      Many Christians today are only Christians due to ‘Pascal’s Wager’. Many do not follow the commands of their Jesus Christ or their God nor do they live by the teachings of the Bible. They merely hold onto the fact that they will believe in God out of fear that 1) He may be real and they would rather be wrong in death than be wrong in life and 2) The fear a mythological hell where somehow earthly fire can still burn them. It’s a silly belief really and I do not support any member of congress that devotes themselves to cultist mythology.

      • Pascal

        I love the Pascal’s Wager reference. I’m a student of Philosophy and wrote a paper on precisely that assertion.

        • annoying you

          i think its more that they’re told that they are christians since childhood rather than a life changing decision.

      • Timothy McLean

        Most don’t even seem to have read the Bible. Referencing how it supports rape, or how Elisha* sicced dozens of bears on a couple kids who called him bald, or how Jesus explicitly stated he supported all the Old Testament stuff, will get either blank looks or irritation from most Christians.

        *Or was it Elijah? Why did two prophets with names so similar live in adjacent time periods?

      • Ben Clark

        If you’re in a life threatening situation where lives besides your own are at stake there should be ONE thing on your mind: Survival!! Stop and pray for a single second and that could be the difference between life and death for you or the people you’re with.

    • John Gills

      Perhaps someone should direct him to http://militaryatheists.org/atheists-in-foxholes/

      The group has been around since at least 2002.

    • Terry Firma

      Godless dying soldier: “Fuuuuck!! Medic, they blew my goddamn legs off!!”

      Congressman Johnson: “He acknowledged God in the end. See? There are no atheists in foxholes.”

    • Highlander

      If these people were truly honest the would admit that when injured in a firefight some might call on god but everyone calls on a medic or corpsman.

    • 5oh4

      If you have time to pray in a foxhole, then you’re not doing your job.

      • Randay

        Thanks. I have made that statement in the past. Indeed, if you are praying, you are letting your combat buddies down and maybe getting them killed.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

        I don’t find that to be a valid criticism. I have no knowledge of actual foxholes, or the associated job(s) therein. In my ignorance, I think it one would have time to pray, at least, in a brief and simple manner.

        The example has come to mean more than literal foxholes. It has been used generally to represent life-threatening situations. In this broader category, I’m sure there is time to pray.

    • Timothy McLean

      Or how “Oh God” has become a less profane synonym for “Oh $#^&” to many people.

    • Rob Yates

      Aren’t ALL soldiers in foxholes atheists? They’re in that foxhole because they realize their god ain’t gonna protect them.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

        Theism describes the presence of a belief that a god exists. The belief that a god offers protection is a separate issue.

  • C Peterson

    In other words, he wants to force a small, but significant percentage of military cadets to swear an oath they feel no obligation to uphold. Brilliant.

    • Golfie98

      Worse than that – he actually wants people to swear to uphold a code of honour by lying.

  • closetatheist

    If you’re in the mood to shit your pants and give yourself a headache, read this article on his blog. I think every inane, senseless Christian catch phrase is mentioned by the second paragraph – He jumped so quickly from one to the next that the crazy ride made me sick to my stomach.

    Excuse me while I go in search of spare toilet paper and some ibuprofen.

  • Ashley Nasello

    “Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,”

    Ummm…no they didn’t. From where does this falsehood originate? And why is it allowed to perpetuate? And WHY are these morons allowed to continue to gain and hold office?

    SMH

  • David

    Just one comment. Fuck everything about this dude.

  • Michael

    Do we have to keep Texas?

    • Timothy R Alexander

      I think we tryed getting rid of it a couple times, it just keeps coming back like a little lost puppy who always bites you in the ass.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Well, the US did reject it the first time it applied to join. They took it the second time, though. That was probably a mistake.

        And I live in Dallas … so please don’t get rid of it without some help with resettlement, at least! There’s more of us rational folk than you might expect.

        • alex

          the might send you to jereuselum

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Meh, I could live with that. I can claim citizenship in Israel any time I like. I certainly wouldn’t be happy about it, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    • Spuddie

      We could sell it back to Mexico and lease the oil fields.

  • Sven2547

    What have we become. When people are try to take god from us.

    It’s stunning, truly stunning, how many people just don’t get what the discussion is even about.

    • islandbrewer

      “Wait, did you just say the government is going to round up christians and send them to concentration camps?” [/clueless rhetoric]

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        He said that the discussion is about atheists getting many people and stun-gunning them! Twice!

  • WoodwindsRock

    “Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” ”

    I’ll just say it bluntly: Anybody who is this ill-informed (or knows better, but continues to try to legislate otherwise) has no place in a position of power in our government.

    It’s one thing to see some random person say it, but to see somebody who is a part of our government saying something this blatantly false just really infuriates me and makes me wonder what has gone so wrong.

    • Gehennah

      I agree, before being able to hold office you should have to pass some form of test to at least show that you know something about the founding of the US.

    • Dr Kaz

      Exactly. Just the fact that “one nation under God” wasn’t added to the pledge of allegiance until 1954 tells me he needs a history lesson.

      • Dr Kaz

        Sorry, I meant to only say “under God” was added to the pledge in 1954. “One nation” was already in the pledge.

        • Tobias 27772

          To be completely accurate, the pledge was not officially adopted by Congress until 1942. Until that we had no “official” pledge.

          • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

            There have been lots of memes floating around lately about “Do you think kids should have to say the pledge dailty?” I don’t agree with that either – with or without under God – the pledge of allegiance serves no function in a school room – unless you are studying US History. or civics.

            • Jimi Wilson

              Pledges and oaths to human governments that include God are a violation of many theists’ religious convictions as well.

              • Paul Kirker

                Which a number of the founding fathers were.

              • BigJared

                Pledging ‘allegiance’ to The State is antithetical to the concepts America was supposed to built on…..the God part just distracts from that fundamental truth.

            • Timothy McLean

              Sure it does. It wastes time.

              And *something about patriotism*.

        • Randay

          That “Pledge” means nothing. If you don’t say it, you are not breaking a law. As I’ve mentioned before, even the presidential oath in the Constitution does not include “so help me god” or any other mention of a god. To appease certain religious groups, the presidential one says “I swear(or affirm)”.

      • rhodent

        I doubt the founding fathers would have even agreed with the “one nation” part. I think they would have felt that understated the importance of the states.

        • Spuddie

          Which is why we had a civil war and still have a 14th Amendment.

    • Timmah

      He is either ill informed or he thinks the people who will vote for him are. So he either sucks at history or is a liar.

      • http://leftsideannie.wordpress.com/ Leftside_Annie

        I vote “both.”

    • Jan Kafka

      “Anybody who is this ill-informed (or knows better, but continues to
      try to legislate otherwise) has no place in a position of power in our
      government. It’s one thing to see some random person say it, but to see somebody who is a part of our government saying something this blatantly false just really infuriates me and makes me wonder what has gone so wrong.”

      Aren’t the ability and willingness to spout utter bullshit required of a politician?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        It is, it is. It’s a question of where to draw the line. Anyone who doesn’t expect a politician to make grandiose promises that can’t be kept is simply being unrealistic. My lines are:

        1. If they don’t know as much as I do about Constitutional law and government, they aren’t qualified to have a position of authority over me. That’s actually a pretty low bar. Anyone who graduates from high school ought to know as much as I do (even if they forget it)… but we don’t value Civics for some reason.

        2. If they make promises they don’t intend to try to keep (generally evidenced by post-election behavior), they aren’t qualified and need to go. A big example, possibly the biggest, would be the 2010 Republican election push based on job creation, followed by a total disregard for that very thing and an overt admission that their real goals began and ended with “winning”.

  • OhioAtheist

    Yet another example of Christian privilege. Perhaps we should put “under Allah” in the oath, and see what they say.

  • John Herling

    When and where did the Founding Fathers declare that we were “One nation under God”?

  • Jilly519

    I have one comment…He is from Texas, ‘nough said.

  • Dave Lanson

    So any devil worshipers can take an oath saying “So help me Satan” and that would be OK with this Neanderthal crone from Texas?

    • Paula M Marshall

      Oh, heck no! His god is the only true god and we all have to worship it!

    • kaydenpat

      This country wasn’t founded by Satanists!
      /snark

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Either this guy or another one who co-sponsored the bill made the comment that they want people to be able to practice their religious freedom. Which he didn’t seem to understand that the part about god would be optional if you don’t think it’s a good idea to ask help for a genocidal fuck-wit.

  • Paula M Marshall

    I love how he put those quotes exactly how they were written. Both sucky English. lololol

    • Crash Override

      Haven’t you heard? We speak ‘Murican here, pilgrim.

  • Gehennah

    Funny, no Atheists in Foxholes. I’m an Atheist, was only in combat once but was pretty sure we were going to die (got ambushed). But never once did I think about god, all I cared about was getting out alive with my men.

    Fortunately there were some Army Rangers not far off and they saved our buts. I wasn’t thankful to god, I was thankful to the Rangers.

    • Mackinz

      Can you tell us more about what happened? Where was this? Did anyone die, enemy or friend?

      • PervertSmith

        Why would you want to know? It’s not relevant to the conversation and, no, he probably can’t legally tell you more.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

          some people have no combat experience, and are curious about the real thing. this is not a bad question.

        • Mackinz

          Because I want to hear the full story, of course. It sounds like an interesting one to me.

    • Timothy McLean

      Technically, they are correct. I’m pretty sure modern DFPs aren’t the same as old-timey foxholes.

  • ragarth

    Leave it to the theist to consider putting a gun to a child’s head to coerce a conversion.

  • NoYourGod

    In response, the member of Congress who is muslim should introduce similar legislation requiring ALL members of Congress acknowledge allah and swear a pledge to allah.

    • LesterBallard

      Do you want him drone striked? (Grammar, I know.)

      • NoYourGod

        “drone stricken”?

        I’d suggest “drone stroked”, but that might imply the use of a Japanese sex robot… ;-)

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Drone struck, maybe?

          That sounds weirdly like love-struck, though …

  • NoYourGod

    And for those atheists he would require to say “so help me god”, Senator J. Wants them to begin their career with a LIE?!?

    The dick’s got the right last name…

  • JuneAbend

    The saddest aspect of this, and the never-ending related instances of such obvious vote-pandering, is how unaware the sheeple are of being so thoroughly played. He spends one hour proposing (an unconstitutional) law, with NO expectation of it ever passing, and he gains 50,000 more votes every two years. Me…I’m going to pray for him that that suit of his may someday be in style again.

  • MsDragonSlayer

    how desperate do you have to be to try and make people believe in the invisible man in the sky? I’m so sick of these I-think-I’m-high-and-all-mighty types. Get over it theists…we are NEVER gonna convert…deal with it! Oh and have your churches (cults) of worship start paying taxes. It’s about time you pay back to this country, that you seem to think only be a God believer can fight for it, and start paying for that freedom. Put your money where you mouth is! Government needs to get these freeloaders to start paying their share and stop protecting them.

    • kaydenpat

      I don’t think he cares whether or not atheists convert. He just seems to want to force atheists to say certain god-friendly phrases. Very bizarre thinking.

  • Duane Mortensen

    Most of the founding fathers were adamant that we were not and should never be a country tied to a religion of any sort. They had seen the evils of a national religion in England and knew better. We came here to avoid that mistake. Let’s not ignore our history.

  • Moose McNuggets

    Apparently this idiot was never informed of the fact that “One nation under God” did not enter the lexicon until the 1950s, during the anti-communist hysteria, and that the Founding Fathers had nothing to do with it. In fact, they specifically stated in the Constitution that no religious test was to be applied to office holders, a stipulation that could certainly be extended to military personnel (and is being properly done so by the Air Force leading me to say – with a twinkle in my eye – “God love ‘em”). This guy is the very definition of absolute dumbfuckerism.

    What we need to do is require that anyone wishing to run for elected office should first be legally required to take an in depth course on the history of how our Constitution was written and the ideas and ideals of the Enlightenment that went into it. But good luck with that.

    • TnkAgn

      Good to see you posting Moose! since I retired and moved down to Oregonia, I haven’t done much posting at ADN, particularly since they went off Disqus.

      Hope all is well by you.

      • Moose McNuggets

        Good to hear from you as well, my old friend. Didn’t realize you flew south. Hope all is well down there. I’ll envy you today as I shovel snow.

      • Moose McNuggets

        Oh, and it just so happens that this morning I was telling my son about one of our favorite foils, Richard. We should track him down and invite him to comment here. Imagine the fun to be had.

    • infidel1000

      Right. The first amendment attached to that legislation would allow that course to be taken at Regent or Liberty University, where half of these morons graduated from.

      • Moose McNuggets

        True that, unfortunately. If only we could legally filter the stupid.

    • Terry Firma
      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        But Terry, you quoted him from his blog saying:

        Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” and you better believe I’ll fight like mad to keep it that way.

        That’s the exact dumbassary we’re referring to.

        • Terry Firma

          Ah, yes, that dumbassery. I thought Moose was referring to the oath. My bad. It’s hard to keep Mr. Johnson’s fallacies straight!

  • observer

    “[T]here are no atheists in foxholes.”

    I dunno why, but as I see those words, it tells me that Johnson is so desperate to see to it that atheists do believe in god, he’ll desperately make it so that atheists will say god, even if by law, will somehow “prove” atheists are hypocrites.
    That is to say, if he does make it a law to make atheists cadets say “…under God,” right wingers will go “SEE!? atheists DO believe in God!!”

    “If atheists are true athiests put a gun to their childs head and see how many “God Help Me”s you will hear.”

    I don’t know about God, but these True Christians™ are gradually making me believe the Devil exists.

  • http://leftsideannie.wordpress.com/ Leftside_Annie

    I hate these people. What’s next? Burning atheists at the stake??

    • Crash Override

      Please don’t give him any ideas…

  • infidel1000

    Apparently, not being satisfied as congress’s most CONSERVATIVE member, he wants to unseat Louie Gohmert and take the mantle of STUPIDEST member, to boot.

    • Stev84

      He probably holds many other stupid beliefs, but this doesn’t even approach Gohmert-levels of stupid.

      • infidel1000

        Agreed. Louie’s a true champion.

  • Michael Mastan

    Lmao someone puts a gun to my kids head they’re gonna be met with a bullet thru their skull. Screw asking “God” for help, I’m saving my fcking kid!

  • kaydenpat

    How idiotic. How is forcing someone to say something they don’t believe necessary for military service?

  • Garret Shane Brown

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was able say he never met an atheist when he was in the military. The number of atheists have grown dramatically over the years and even if there was an atheist in the Vietnam war, I doubt the atheist would be very open about it. Times have changed congressman, and the fact that some people would like “so help me god” to be left out is evidence of atheists in the military.

    • TnkAgn

      In Vietnam, there were plenty of us. At least a whole lot of “nones.” My dog tag read “Lutheran” only because that was my upbringing, and “none” was not an option, as I recall. We used to joke: “Church of preference? Red brick.”

    • Spuddie

      We have been at war with religious fundamentalists for over a decade. Plus our homegrown ones have stepped up their game to try to subvert military and civilian society. It does quite a bit to make atheism more noticeable and to get people fed up with religion in general.

  • Cris Waller

    From his website:

    “Our nation was founded upon the belief that all men, regardless of status, are entitled to the most precious of rights: the right to life. We cannot allow this most fundamental value to erode. Human life begins at conception and should end in natural death. ”

    Hmmm… so he’s against the death penalty, then?

    Ummm- no. http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27079/sam-johnson/71/death-penalty#.Un6XeZTk-yx

    How about making sure kids have enough health care so they don’t die of preventabe illnesses?

    Ummm- no. http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27079/sam-johnson/68/women#.Un6X3JTk-yw

    I guess only fetuses count as people in his world… especially if they have guns.

    • TnkAgn

      And, how is having your head shot off in some dumbass war a “natural death?”

      • Itarion

        Because death is the natural result of not having a head anymore?

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I could’ve sworn it was life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. And that you weren’t allowed to trample over the liberty and pursuit of happiness of others even if your life depended on it. Which means if a fetus tramples on the life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness of the woman, it doesn’t have a right to life anymore.

      Silly me, actually reading the whole thing, I guess.

    • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

      “Fetuses with Guns” would make a good band name.

  • Lauras61

    You all know the country was founded on freedom of religion?? This also means FREEDOM FROM RELIGION!! So simple, yet so misunderstood! Especially by those who want to shove their religion AND their faux smaller government up our uteri!! Time for all of you Know Nothings to reread about OUR country and it’s FACTUAL history!!

  • berberine

    “If atheists are true athiests put a gun to their childs head and see how many “God Help Me”s you will hear.”

    What kind of sick fucks even think like this?

    • Miss_Beara

      Guns and God.

      Murika’

    • LesterBallard

      “What kind of sick fucks even think like this?” The kind who thinks their child is a worthless sinner and deserves to be punished for all eternity. You know, Christians.

  • Mike

    If Christians believe God has a perfect plan, why do they try to change it by praying?

  • Jamie Ramone

    “Our Founding Fathers declared we are, One nation under God…”
    No, they didn’t. That was added to the pledge of allegiance in the 50, roughly bout the same time as the “in god we trust” was added to all currency. Do these asshats ever think or does random bullshit just fall out of their mouths?

  • God_Doesn’t_Exist

    Shouldn’t we legally have to force Judges, Representatives, Congressmen, Senators ect. to confirm their Atheist status so that they up hold the separation of church and state otherwise they must immediately vacate their jobs? It should be any decision or law they try to make based on a religious view results in their immediate removal from office. Then maybe we can get back to the important stuff, like actually bettering the country.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      No no nonono not even in jest. No. No religious tests of any kind.

      Now, testing people’s understanding of what secular means, what the First Amendment means and legal precedents regarding it, the actual meaning and history of the phrase “separation of church and state”, and so forth- that should be something we teach about in high school government/civics classes.

      • 3lemenope

        No no nonono not even in jest. No. No religious tests of any kind.

        Quoted for emphasis.

        I mean, this is one that even made it into the main body of the Constitution; didn’t even need an amendment. That’s how bad an idea it is.

    • Brian Williamson

      When solid violations of our Constitution occur, such as this bill; yes we should force them back into compliance with the Constitution or Impeach them. This is a tell your representative moment.
      Having a religion is different from writing a legislative bill codifying it.

  • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

    So, an Atheist has to swear “so help me God” to do what, exactly? Of what damn use are those words in the military oath? Maybe all the Atheists should just get out of the armed services & leave them entirely to the Christians…..Ditto the Jews, the Muslim Americans, The Hindus, the Pagans & any other religion who might not want to swear to GOD. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have heard. He needs to go back to his pulpit & get the hell out of politics.

    • Terry Firma

      That’s a good point. These Bible bangers lurve their country, but not enough to embrace all recruits who will defend it.

      If they want to effectively exclude atheists from the military, are they prepared to send home roughly 120,000 U.S. soldiers and officers, most of them from the non-shallow end of the gene pool? You have to wonder.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

        not just the atheists. the pagans, hindus, muslims, catholics, those christians who don’t do “oaths,” wiccans, satanists, pastafarians, agnostics, native americans and traditionalists…

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God”

    I wonder which Founding Fathers lived until 1954?

    This guy is Rocket Fuel Ignorant.

    • Terry Firma

      That’s not the phrase we’re talking about, though. Not as it relates to the military oath, anyway.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

      weapons grade stoopid.

  • alex

    they arnt taking God away from you, they are giving people a choice

  • wesvvv

    Congressman Johnson is all about empty words, so why shouldn’t everyone else be?

  • N J H

    My father was in front line service throughout WW2 and was an atheist. One example (one only needs one) that counters the “there are no atheists in foxholes” malarkey. However we are human and as a rule extreme circumstances do not engender clear thinking. He went into and came out of the war an atheist and nothing he saw or did made him want a god or religion.

  • Minh Dao

    “Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” ”

    REALLY, mister representative? Care to include citations for that?

    Oh you can’t? Well gee, I wonder why? Could it be perhaps that the Founders DIDN’T EVER SAY THAT?

    I swear this moron has been reading too much David Barton. They all are, down in Texas.

  • Rain

    I don’t think Sam went to a very good school. Either that or he was a very poor student. There is also the unthinkable possibility that he’s lying his tail off, but I would never accuse a politician of lying their tails off.

    • Nick Wride

      Rain, he’s from TexASS. That explains a lot of it.

  • UWIR

    I don’t know where Johnson is getting that “one nation God” stuff, but Article Six of the Constitution says:

    “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States

  • DougI

    He’s an advocate for violence against children. Yup, just another immoral god believer. Didn’t this clown take an oath to uphold the Constitution? Obviously another liar for Jesus. Just proves that fundies don’t have morals.

  • JaneGalt

    Dr. Kaz said it all: “Just the fact that “one nation under God” wasn’t added to the pledge of allegiance until 1954 tells me he needs a history lesson.” The disturbing part is that this man is an ELECTED OFFICIAL. Hellooooo???? RepubliCONS, please look in the mirror.
    That said, why would this ignoramus want someone to swear on a deity he doesn’t believe exists?? That would be like swearing on Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. The wording on most Loyalty Oaths is usually “so I do swear/or affirm.” Such an oath is also legal for purposes of notarization. So why in hell can’t they put it on the military oaths? Just goes to show how much the military has been dominated by Christianity.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Hmm … I wonder if a soldier could request a colander for a hat and plate of pasta on which to swear, “so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster”. After all, religious accommodations and all that must be made, right?

      • Ella Warnock

        Please may it be made so. R’amen.

  • LesterBallard

    I was in the USMC for six years in the mid eighties. The main reason I I didn’t re-enlist was because of the religious bullshit. And I wasn’t out of the closet, so to speak, as an atheist. But I wasn’t the only one. There were at least half a dozen guys in my battalion who were non-believers. And we all saw combat in Kuwait. Fuck him.

  • Milton E. Findley

    There was sure as hell an atheist in my foxhole.

  • Deborah Bee

    Religious people are so obsessed with having everyone think, believe, worship of their god. That it’s almost as if they think that the more people believe in it, the more realistic their god will become. Thankfully, social media is drawing more people to the Atheist/Agnostic tent. With that happening, I won’t be surprised if religious groups try banning the internet in schools, etc.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

      i was an early adopter of the “the internets will kill religion” meme and i still believe it. the young have so many ways to find answers to questions these days. many of those answers will be wrong, but it will be impossible for any one to truly dominate, or eliminate, the others. this is the “crack” the enlightenment has been waiting for, the final chink in religion’s armor against reality.

  • ggsillars

    “…but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    — U.S. Constitution, Article VI

    • Nick Wride

      Pesky little facts hurt these Neanderthals. When someone like Johnson says the Founders declared “One Nation Under God”, the ignorant fools who voted for him believe it.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

      what we need is a constitutional amd that says you can’t get demoted or fired for enforcing this amendment.

  • purplhippo

    I just want to point out that this oath only exists for cadets at the Air Force Academy, no one else in the Air Force has to say this. It isn’t clear from the article that this is limited to only 4000 of the officer candidates in the Air Force. It doesnt change the argument at all, the oath should not include “so help me god” regardless of how many people say it.

  • Mark Moore

    During WWII the majority of soldiers in foxholes were atheists. The Soviet army was mostly atheist as was the Chinese army. Those two armies far out numbered the Christian armies of Germany, America, Britain, Italy and other European countries.

  • Victor Riley

    Wow… why does “Melvin” want to put a gun to a child’s head? Isn’t that a bit sociopathic?

    Did it ever occur to him that the reason some people become atheist, is because “good Christians” like him are willing to kill a child because he doesn’t like what someone else thinks?

    And to Sam Johnson… no, the founding fathers didn’t say “one nation under God”. That was put into the pledge of allegiance in the 50s. He’s old enough that he should have remembered when it was put there.

  • Roy Mears

    I wish Christopher Hitchens was still alive to take on this idiot in a debate. Hitchens would wipe the ground with the fool.

  • Robyman4

    Well, maybe they could say “so help me goddammit,” because really rough language is something NOBODY who has EVER served in the military has EVER dared to utter in public… Oh wait, I remember getting hold of one of my father’s Air Force drinking songs books and the vile, downright appalling lyrics they belt out at their parties is the mark of true, die-hard, God-fearing, Jesus-loving, faith-filled Christians fighting for ‘MERICA, right? A little bit of explicit necrophilia singing and joking (complete with details of how to erase the, uh, evidence once the object of amorous physical activity is found to be dead) during a night of countless drinks on any given day of the week, and then repentance, sorrow and redemption on Sunday mornin’, right? RIGHT????? Congressman Sam Johnson may not have the slightest $%!^ing clue about the existence of such a book, but there’s no doubt he equates our military with righteousness based on belief in the Christian God. What a pathetic moron. I wonder if he stays up at night wondering how he can showcase his stupidity to the world, or if it just comes naturally?

  • Celina Anderson

    Oy, FFS with this tired thing about the founding fathers. I’m Canadian, and even I know that all of that god BS was added far later. Don’t these obsessively-fundie Republicans have Google??

    The funny thing about people who are active skeptics, at least all of the ones whom I know, is that they just might value your life more when they DON’T believe that you’ll simply go to a “better place” upon being shot to death, or blown up, or whatever. Also, all of that time that might have been wasted on praying for you could be put towards actual saving your earthly life, if you are seriously wounded. Not to mention, atheists who gravitate towards evidence-based information might have picked up more crucial first-aid skills to use,

    • Spuddie

      Generally 99% of the arguments referring to the Founding Fathers is made up ignorant bullshit. Its a lame attempt to ignore the fact that white christian male landowners aren’t the only people who count in this country.

  • William Myers

    Here’s the thing about taking oaths. When you take an oath and swear ‘by God’ or some other power, being, etc… what you are saying is that not only can you trust me to do as I said I will; but if I don’t do it, this all powerful being will come down here and smack me around for not doing what I committed myself to. If I don’t believe that that all-powerful being is all-powerful or that it will take action to prevent me from violating my oath… then there is no point at all in including it in the oath. Personally, I’d rather live in a culture in which an individual has a code of ethics by which they act on their own commitments without need for reminders by anyone else. Human or otherwise. And the fact that a politician or a believer in any faith would find it important enough to force someone to swear an oath that MUST include a reference to a deity… is very telling. Because what they are saying to us is that they don’t believe that we human beings, as individuals, can have a code of ethics that result is us meeting our commitments on our own. What kind of person would do that? Someone who lies. Someone who regularly takes actions other than what they have promised to.

  • http://perplexedorder.blogspot.com/ Brad Smith

    Is he still using the atheist in foxholes argument? Ignorant fuck. Nothing to do with his religion. He’s just ignorant.

  • Colin

    If Mr Johnson is such a believer then why doesn’t he just pray for there to be no atheists in foxholes? Is his invisible friend so lame that he has to get mere humans to do his menial tasks?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Someone suggested in the recent thread about beheading people that God knows he is an overreactive tempermonkey, so he appoints humans to do his will with relative grace and perceptiveness. It’s actually a pretty good explanation. :P

  • Edward Baker

    OUR Founding Fathers DID NOT declare this Nation One Under god …where do they come up with this crap ? The word creator was reffered once and that could mean your Parents …

  • Nick Wride

    This is the kind of thing the Taliban would do. People like this are the American Taliban, the Christian Taliban.

  • Cthulhu0818

    The only thing I ever said in my “foxholes” was, “Ooooh SHIT!”

  • Shaun Hatcher Kelley

    Lui donner la guillotine!

  • Ed Dylina

    “Melvin Cleveland, a retiree, opines

    I completely agree. If atheists are true athiests put a gun to their childs head and see how many “God Help Me”s you will hear.”

    Mr Cleveland is sick! I am an atheist. If he holds a gun to my child’s head there will be no praying to imaginary friends. There would only be me ending the only life that the sick bastard has.

  • Marty Glenn-Ford

    My Father served in the military for 10 years, and is an Atheist. Pat Tillman walked away from a multi-million dollar NFL contract to serve in the military and was shot and killed in Afghanistan-He too was an atheist.

    No Athiest in foxholes?

    Sam Johnson, You insult your brothers sisters in arms, and the honored dead, and shame your self in doing so.

  • I_Own_Me

    Maybe we should change the oath out of spite to the phrase “So help me Allah” and see if Rep Johnson loses his mind. I would bet a large sum of money that if we did that then Johnson would fight it tooth and nail, claiming that it was an unconstitutional oath, simply because he perceives it to be an oath to a different god than his own (when in reality ‘Allah’ just means ‘God’ in a different language). Sometimes the best way to oppose something is not to fight it, but to give those who support it a taste of their own medicine.

  • Nunofya Damnbiznus

    saying” put a gun to the head of an athiest’s child and see how many god help me’s you hear” is like saying” put a gun to the head of every theist’s childs head and ask them to pray that the round doesnt go off when the trigger is pulled.”
    damn idiots.

  • Mike Stachewicz

    Atheists in foxholes are far bigger men than those who’d believe their sacrifice will send them to eternal paradise.

  • Proudscalawag

    ‘take god frum us’?! If any one of us has a living, robust relationship with the living God, then nothing–NOTHING–can take that from us!! Paul knew this and said so in Romans. Anyone who believes God, or religion, can be taken or stolen away has no more contact with God than the sepoys who, in 1857, were persuaded the British were up to that very thing!

  • phantom_scribbler

    Melvin Cleveland, a Christian? What kind of person would think to put a gun to anyone’s head let alone a child’s, just to get someone to claim a belief in God..

    • Mike Hitchcock

      What kind of person? One who believe his invisible sky-daddy justifies anything.

  • Eduson Sullivan

    Mr. Johnson, if you don’t believe in Zeus, Baal, Krishna, Allah or others, then you too are an atheist with respect to those gods. Since you were in a foxhole, well, I think you see my point.

    Just think, without religious faith or belief in deities we may very well not have to worry about foxholes at all.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    Rep. Sam Johnson demands hypocrisy over truth.

    Shocking?

    No.

    .

  • rtfazeberdee

    How many more complete idiots are the American political class going to produce?

  • Peter Browne

    What would Tom Cruise say? lol

  • serfdood

    I guess this moron thinks that the founding fathers wrote the pledge of allegiance, complete with the phrase “under god”.

    • Cylon

      That was my first thought, too. Then again, in the history books he wants people to learn from, they probably did!

  • Ogre Magi

    I am sooooooooo sick of christians

  • Halina

    I wonder how our esteemed Congressman would feel if, while in the Middle East, for example, he were forced to declare “Allahu Akbar!” People who seem to think we should all live by faith in God have never lived anywhere where people have different faiths. Or none at all.
    Not to mention that he does show his ignorance by saying that the Founding Fathers declared us “one nation under God.” He would be hard pressed to find a more secular group of men that our Founding Fathers.

  • Heresathing

    If he’s a real “conservative”, why doesn’t he go back past 1954 – problem solved.


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