email to my Congressman, Rep Gerlach

As info, below is a note that I sent this morning to Rep Gerlach. Peace, MC

———————————————

Good Day, Rep. Gerlach –

I write to share my thoughts regarding the recent USAF Academy honor oath kerfuffle, and more specifically my concerns about a bill (HR 3416) introduced by Reps. Johnson and Olson of Texas that is explicitly intended to promote a specific religious agenda.

I am a 1985 graduate of the Academy, an AF veteran, and a devout Christian. Yet, unlike many of my Christian compatriots, I do not believe the phrase “so help me God” belongs in the honor oath. I appreciate and agree with the sentiment of the phrase, given my own religious beliefs. But I also understand and appreciate that neither allegiance to nor belief in God is required of USAFA cadets or any US military member. As well, it seems to me that the intent of the Constitution is clear in this area – neutrality and non-interference in the area of religious beliefs (and non-belief) was the aim of our founders.

Lt. Gen. Johnson and the rest of USAFA leadership are not taking this situation lightly. They are working to find a solution that will adequately address the issue. Unfortunately, it appears that any effort to promote an organizational culture of mutual respect, tolerance and religious neutrality is unwelcome by some staunch Christians. In my view, HR 3416 is a fruit of that unhappiness, and is wrong-headed in its purpose and intent.

There are times when Congressional involvement is entirely appropriate; this is not one of those times. On a practical level, with recent challenges around spending, deficits and the debt ceiling still not fully resolved, Congress has much higher priorities to address. On a philosophical level, I don’t believe that Congressmen should introduce or support a bill that is transparently intended to advance personal religious convictions, at the expense of the Constitutional protections afforded to members of our military.

I ask that you oppose HR 3416 and be a voice of reason, tolerance and religious neutrality in Congress. It will benefit all Americans, believers and non-believers alike.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

(name withheld)


Good Day, Senator Casey;

Good Day, Senator Toomey;

I write to share my thoughts regarding the recent USAF Academy honor oath kerfuffle, and more specifically my concerns about a bill (HR 3416) recently introduced in the House of Representatives that is explicitly intended to promote a specific religious agenda. In the event that HR 3416 would pass and arrive for consideration in the upper house, or that a similar effort is introduced separately in the Senate, I want to make you aware of my apprehension about this matter.

I am a 1985 graduate of the Academy, an AF veteran, and a devout Christian. Yet, unlike many of my Christian compatriots, I do not believe the phrase “so help me God” belongs in the honor oath. I appreciate and agree with the sentiment of the phrase, given my own religious beliefs. But I also understand and appreciate that neither allegiance to nor belief in God is required of USAFA cadets or any US military member. As well, it seems to me that the intent of the Constitution is clear in this area – neutrality and non-interference in the area of religious beliefs (and non-belief) was the aim of our founders.

Lt. Gen. Johnson and the rest of USAFA leadership are not taking this situation lightly. They are working to find a solution that will adequately address the issue. Unfortunately, it appears that any effort to promote an organizational culture of mutual respect, tolerance and religious neutrality is unwelcome by some staunch Christians. In my view, efforts such as HR 3416 are a fruit of that unhappiness, and wrong-headed in purpose and intent.

There are times when Congressional involvement is entirely appropriate; this is not one of those times. On a practical level, with recent challenges around spending, deficits and the debt ceiling still not fully resolved, Congress has much higher priorities to address. On a philosophical level, I don’t believe that any Senator or Representative should introduce or support a bill that is transparently intended to advance personal religious convictions, at the expense of the Constitutional protections afforded to members of our military.

I ask that you oppose HR 3416 or any similar effort that comes before the Senate, and that you be a voice of reason, tolerance and religious neutrality. It will benefit all Americans, believers and non-believers alike.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

(name withheld)

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