The Appignani Humanist Legal Center has won another victory. This time it got the air force to remove “so help me god” as a requisite for the oath a soldier must take upon joining.
Air Force Trainee Jonathan Bise and others will be offered a chance to recite and sign a secular oath as part of their graduation ceremony on Tuesday, after officials noted that they had erred in including the phrase, “So help me God” as mandatory in both written and verbal versions.
“Our previous legal advisors were mistaken in advising us that it was required,” Maj. Stewart L. Rountree wrote in a letter, addressing the planned revision. “Our current legal advisors made me aware and we will ensure it reaches all corners of our program.”
Bill Burgess reduced the simple matter to a single sentence:
“A non-religious person cannot be forced to affirm the existence of a God,” said Appignani Humanist Legal Center Coordinator Bill Burgess in a statement. “The law is clear that such demands violate the constitutional mandate of church-state separation and the right to freedom of conscience. This officer-to-be must be allowed to omit theistic language from his commissioning oath.”
Ayup. Kick ass.