Thursday, October 31, 2013

Air Force Academy Makes “God” Optional


Last week, we reported how the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) pressured the U.S. Air Force Academy into removing a poster with the Academy’s oath, which includes the phrase “so help me God.”

Now, the U.S. Air Force Academy has taken things a step further, deciding last week to make the phrase “so help me God” optional in its honor code. 

The Academy’s Honor Review Committee made the decision after receiving a complaint filed by MRFF. 

The Honor Oath, created in 1984, currently reads: “We will not lie, steal or cheat nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and live honorably, so help me God.”

The change to the oath came right after the Academy capitulated to MRFF and removed the poster of the oath, which had been on display for 29 years.

Why Does it Matter?
The Air Force’s decision to remove the poster, and to make “God” optional in the oath, demonstrates the stunning quickness of the campaign to purge religion and religious liberty from the U.S. military.

In 1778, General George Washington and Congress ordered chaplains for every regiment of the Continental Army, and Washington—in a written order—encouraged religious piety among the ranks.

Washington knew the need for the comfort and strength religion provides for troops facing stressful, life-and-death situations.  He also knew that an institution as powerful as an army needs the moral restraint that open religion provides, as a safeguard against military power being misused.

“Our nation’s history and heritage make clear the need for religious liberty and values within our military,” says Liberty Institute’s Michael Berry, a former top Judge Advocate General officer. Berry is heading Liberty’s Armed Forces Religious Liberty Project, which will enable us to defend those in the military who are facing religious persecution.

 He stated, “That’s why we are ramping up our efforts to counter the growing discrimination against faith.  We will win these cases if we have the funding to pursue them.”

In order for the Armed Forces Religious Liberty Project to be successful, we need your continued support. We have a 99% win rate only because of help from friends like you. Please, consider a generous gift today to help launch this crucial project and protect the freedom of those who bravely fight everyday for ours.

If our service men and women can lose their religious liberty, then all Americans are at grave risk.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military, and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit