I know Pat Robertson saying something crazy isn’t news to anybody, but now that the Air Force is allowing atheists to omit the words “So Help Me God” from the oath, he is flipping out over how quickly they changed this policy. (Edit: I should have said they changed this policy back to what it used to be.)
He’s especially angry with Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation for writing a letter to the Secretary of Defense defending atheists. (For what it’s worth, there’s no evidence that Weinstein’s letter was the one that caused the Air Force to change its policy, but it undoubtedly helped.)
There is a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has got a group about ‘people against religion’ or whatever he calls it, and he has just terrorized the Armed Forces. You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you’ve got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you.
You want these guys flying airplanes to defend us when you’ve got one little guy terrorizing them? That’s what it amounts to. You know, we swear oaths, ‘So help me God,’ what does it mean? It mean’s that with God’s help — You don’t have to say you believe in God, you just have to say you want some help beside myself with the oath I’m taking. It’s just crazy. What is wrong with the Air Force? How can they fly the bombers to defend us if they cave to one little guy?
Well, first of all, it wasn’t just “one little guy.” It was Weinstein, and the American Humanist Association, and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, and a lawyer for the conservative American Family Association, and right-winger Gordon Klingenschmitt who almost never says anything sensible.
And what’s with Robertson saying, “You don’t have to say you believe in God”? Signing the oath is admitting exactly that! Remember: All the other branches of the Armed Forces made “So Help Me God” optional a long time ago. The Air Force is only now falling in line with them. So why isn’t Robertson complaining about the other branches?
The Air Force agreeing that service members’ religious beliefs shouldn’t preclude them from enlisting isn’t “caving in.” It’s making us stronger. It’s what they should have been doing all along.
I called up Weinstein to see if he had anything to say in response to Robertson — as if he ever didn’t have something to say — and he was even more blunt than usual:
“Pat Robertson is to human dignity and sanity and integrity and character what dog shit is to a fine French restaurant on the menu.”
Unquote. I’ve had many phone conversations with Weinstein over the years, but never one that quick. He knew exactly what he wanted to say.
(via Right Wing Watch)