Incompetent Air Force Officials Are Asking the Defense Department Whether “So Help Me God” in Oath is Optional

Last week, we learned that an anonymous service member at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada was denied reenlistment because he refused to sign an oath that included the phrase “So help me God.”

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a warning letter to Air Force officials suggesting this was absolutely unacceptable.

Yesterday, an Air Force official told Stars and Stripes that it had asked the Defense Department’s top lawyer for advice on what to do:

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Two Very Different Takes on the Phrase “So Help Me God”

The news that an atheist airman refused to sign an oath that contained the words “so help me God” last month, and was subsequently denied reenlistment, has drawn some interesting responses. Among others, Law Professor Eugene Volokh and former United States Congressman Allen West have weighed in. Their takes are so profoundly different as to provide a useful study in contrasts.

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You Have a Choice: Sign a Contract That Says “So Help Me God” or Get Out of the Air Force

When a service member stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada decided to reenlist last month, his contract included the words “So help me God.”

He decided to cross the phrase out, which should be perfectly acceptable, but the Air Force said he had to include it or get out. Now, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center is stepping in:

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There’s Even More Religion Than We Thought in Fort Gordon’s Army Substance Abuse Program

Yesterday, I posted about how military personnel at Fort Gordon in Georgia who were struggling with drugs or alcohol may be directed by their superiors to go into the “Army Substance Abuse Program” (ASAP):

The problem was that one of the recovery “tools” they were given was a copy of Pastor Rick Warren‘s book The Purpose Driven Life, all about how Christianity gives you purpose in life.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s Mikey Weinstein has already written two letters to Major General LaWarren Patterson demanding the distribution be stopped.

Today, I received an email from a graduate of the ASAP program. Not only did he confirm the giveaway of Warren’s book, he told me that his “certificate of completion” included the Serenity Prayer:

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Why Are Soldiers in Fort Gordon’s Army Substance Abuse Program Being Given Copies of “The Purpose Driven Life”?

At Fort Gordon in Georgia, military personnel who have substance abuse problems may be directed by their superiors to go into the “Army Substance Abuse Program“:

Soldiers are encouraged to seek help voluntarily for drug and alcohol problems. While self-referral is the preferred method of identification, commanders are also responsible for identifying Soldiers at risk and for referring them to the ASAP for evaluation by the counseling staff and for supporting the recommended intervention and rehabilitation.

All of that is perfectly fine… but according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s Mikey Weinstein, one of the recovery “tools” being handed to soldiers is a copy of Pastor Rick Warren‘s book The Purpose Driven Life. Because Jesus is the government’s path to recovery.

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