September 17, 2014 – Under Pressure from MRFF and Allies, the U.S. Air Force Rescinds the Unlawful and Coercive Requirement That Enlistees State “So Help Me God” in Their Enlistment Oath

Around August 25, 2014 an airman at Creech AirForce Base seeking to reenlist was informed that he must swear to God in order to do so.  Airmen were allowed to omit the phrase until October 2013 when the U.S. Air Force changed their interpretation of 10 USC 502, 5 USC 3331 and Title 32.  The legal arm of the American Humanist Association represented this airman in a letter to DoD officials on September 2, 2014.

As a result of the treatment of the airman at Creech AFB, MRFF was contacted by 17 clients currently serving as active duty USAF non-commissioned officers who intended to reenlist in the USAF within the next 9-months.  These NCOs had been told specifically by their commanders that they MUST end their respective enlistment oaths with the words “so help me God” or face expulsion from the USAF.  MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein sent a letter on September 11, 2014 to the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on behalf of these 17 clients requesting that he immediately remediate this religiously bigoted issue and prevent any valuable airmen from being wrongfully discharged from the military for failing a blatantly unconstitutional religious test.

On September 17, 2014 the Air Force News Service (AFNS) reported “In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from the Department of Defense General Counsel addressing the legal parameters of the oath. The resulting opinion concluded that an individual may strike or omit the words “So help me God” from an enlistment or appointment oath if preferred.”

On September 19, 2014, former presidential candidate, long-time televangelist, and ‘700 Club’ host Pat Robertson stated “There’s a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has got a group about people against religion or whatever he calls it, and he has just terrorized the armed forces.  You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you.”  When asked to comment, Mr. Weinstein stated “Pat Robertson is to human dignity and sanity and integrity and character what dog shit is to a fine French restaurant on the menu.”

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