WASHINGTON POST – Humanist group: Air Force airman denied reenlistment because he refused to say ‘so help me God’

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • An airman stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev., was denied reenlistment because he omitted the part of a required oath that states “so help me God,” according to a letter from the American Humanist Association. The letter was sent on Tuesday to the Air Force’s Office of the Inspector General on behalf of an unnamed airman.

    The AHA said it is prepared to sue for what the organization says is a violation of the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution, unless the Air Force permits its members to enlist without the religious portion of the oath. The letter says that the airman “was told that his options were to say, ‘so help me God’ or to leave the Air Force.”

  • The Air Force, in particular, has faced intense scrutiny for what some believe is a preferred status for Christians in the service and at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Critics, including Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation, have in the past lobbied for changes to the way the Air Force references God and the Bible. For example, in 2011, the group helped to successfully eliminate an Air Force nuclear training program that taught ethics using Bible passages and religious figures for reference.

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