The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013, 4:39 p.m.

'So help me God' optional in Air Force oath

DENVER — Air Force Academy cadets are no longer required to say "so help me God" at the end of the Honor Oath, school officials said Friday.
The words were made optional after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, that they violated the constitutional concept of religious freedom.
Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said the change was made to respect cadets' freedom of religion.
The oath states, "We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God."
Cadets are required to take the oath once a year, academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal said.
Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, welcomed the change but questioned how it will be applied.
If the person leading the oath includes the words, cadets who choose not to say them might feel vulnerable to criticism, he said.
"What does it mean, 'optional'?" Weinstein said. "The best thing is to eliminate it."
Vidal said the oath is led by the Cadet Wing honor chair, a student, and that person will also have the option to use or not use the words.
Academy officials did not immediately return a follow-up call seeking comment on Weinstein's question.
The West Point equivalent oath does not include the words "so help me God," said Frank DeMaro, a school spokesman. It states, "A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do."
Officials at the U.S. Naval Academy did not immediately return a call. "The Honor Concept" on the Naval Academy website includes similar proscriptions against lying, cheating and stealing but includes no religious reference.
The Air Force Academy outside Colorado Springs has about 4,000 cadets. When they graduate, they are commissioned as second lieutenants.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

HeraldNet highlights

Remembering Jerry
Remembering Jerry: EvCC groundskeeper Gerald Olmstead was always happy
An untapped market
An untapped market: Sound to Summit is first brewery taproom in Snohomish
Saving the trees
Saving the trees: Learn from arborist how to keep your trees healthy
So far, little snow
So far, little snow: But in 1871, it was a different story
SnoCoSocial