When The Oath Ridge Boys Are Wrong

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When I think of the U.S. Air Force I think of its theme song [1] “Off we go, into the wild blue yonder… nothing can stop the US Air Force!”[2] nothing except a misunderstood use of the first Amendment.

You see, the Air Force Academy is under fire for asking cadets to recite its oath: “[W]e 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.” An outfit that bills itself as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has filed a formal complaint, asking that the words “so help me God” be banned from the oath.

This prompted Family research Council President Tony Perkins to condemn the Freedom Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein: “No one is forced to say this. This is about imposing an atheistic view on everyone so there can be no recognition of God.”

Actually, Tony, this is about honoring Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.

Article VI bans any “religious test…as a qualification….for [an] Office [of] public trust”.

Some may wonder why a “conservative” like me would entertain a ban on God in government? Because the “founding fathers” MADE God part of THEIR government?! That is not entirely true.

Way back in the 1820’s, a semi-retired James Madison wrote notes on subjects he called “Detached Memoranda.” Madison, the chief author of the 1st Amendment lamented that he had not vetoed appropriations for the House chaplain and held similar feelings for ARMY or in our case, Air Force chaplains.

“The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of Constitutional principles …. Better also to disarm in the same way, the precedent of Chaplainships for the army and navy”[3].

Madison’s point is that anytime a religious act is authorized and paid for by Mordor on the Potomac the citizens are being compelled to support it and THAT is not in keeping with the Constitution and religious liberty, how ironic that the “religious” among us, insist that it is.