09-25-2014 08:21 PM
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  1. Scott7217's Avatar
    Atheist airman must swear 'so help me God' or get out in November -- Air Force Times (article link here)

    The US Air Force is making an atheist swear an oath with the phrase "so help me God" in order to reenlist. If he fails to do so, he must leave in November.

    The name of the airman has not been released to the public. The oath he was supposed to take is:

    "I, [insert name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

    Previously, the Air Force allowed airmen to omit "so help me God," but reversed its position on October 30, 2013. The Air Force now claims it cannot change the oath unless Congress changes the law.

    Should the military force people to swear to God, in violation of their beliefs?
    09-11-2014 04:47 AM
  2. Aquila's Avatar
    Should the military force people to swear to God, in violation of their beliefs?
    Can the government force someone to practice a religion? I feel like we've covered this once or twice in the last 300 years.
    UJ95x likes this.
    09-11-2014 09:56 AM
  3. Timelessblur's Avatar
    I would be the first to say it. The government should not be allowed to require it. That is in direct violation of the freedom of religion. That last part should be optional and free to change which god if used.
    09-11-2014 10:01 AM
  4. A895's Avatar
    When you sign up for the military you are contractually obligated to listen to them and follow the rules they put down, just because you have to say one phrase does not negate your whole belief. You can still believe what you want but the military was always created and raised with Christian beliefs just like the Unites States government was. He shouldn't get any special treatment as I bet there have been atheists before him in the military who had to say the same phrase, he just wants to be special or receive attention.
    09-11-2014 10:04 AM
  5. A895's Avatar
    I would be the first to say it. The government should not be allowed to require it. That is in direct violation of the freedom of religion. That last part should be optional and free to change which god if used.

    But the military is a government is a institution of the government and when you enlist you are contractually obligated to do what is needed. To say "Oh I can't say this because I am atheist" is petty. I bet there have been plenty of atheists before him who had to say the phrase, I mean it is basically meaningless.
    09-11-2014 10:06 AM
  6. Javier P's Avatar
    Any government should defend a secular state and leave religion out of every public institution. Forcing anyone to make a religious oath should be illegal.

    I don't think it's a petty claim. If someone was force to deny the existence of God when joining a public institution everyone would cry shame (that includes myself). We can, and should, cry as well when you're forced to admit its existence.
    UJ95x and rexxman like this.
    09-11-2014 10:18 AM
  7. Timelessblur's Avatar
    But the military is a government is a institution of the government and when you enlist you are contractually obligated to do what is needed. To say "Oh I can't say this because I am atheist" is petty. I bet there have been plenty of atheists before him who had to say the phrase, I mean it is basically meaningless.
    Does not change the fact that the courts will strike this down this goes against freedom of religion an crystal clear on that.

    Let's change it up. What you you say if you had to swear to Satan. I willing to bet you would change your tune.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    GadgetGator likes this.
    09-11-2014 10:46 AM
  8. A895's Avatar
    Does not change the fact that the courts will strike this down this goes against freedom of religion an crystal clear on that.

    Let's change it up. What you you say if you had to swear to Satan. I willing to bet you would change your tune.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    I would still say it as I have to say it in order to re elist.

    And everyone is missing he is "re- enlisting". So he had to have said it before right?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-11-2014 10:54 AM
  9. Aquila's Avatar
    I would still say it as I have to say it in order to re elist.

    And everyone is missing he is "re- enlisting". So he had to have said it before right?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    He was able to opt out prior to this time. On one hand, no one is forcing him to re-up - on the other hand, “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”. I believe that's in Article 6 of the Constitution.
    GadgetGator and UJ95x like this.
    09-11-2014 11:25 AM
  10. A895's Avatar
    He was able to opt out prior to this time. On one hand, no one is forcing him to re-up - on the other hand, “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”. I believe that's in Article 6 of the Constitution.
    But now it is law that they have to day it. It is more of I don't want to follow the law. So he is now in a conundrum, does he such it up and say it or does he kicked out? Or does he drag this along and try to change the law?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-11-2014 12:09 PM
  11. Timelessblur's Avatar
    But now it is law that they have to day it. It is more of I don't want to follow the law. So he is now in a conundrum, does he such it up and say it or does he kicked out? Or does he drag this along and try to change the law?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    So let me get this straight you are ok with his rights being violated?
    09-11-2014 01:36 PM
  12. Aquila's Avatar
    But now it is law that they have to day it. It is more of I don't want to follow the law. So he is now in a conundrum, does he such it up and say it or does he kicked out? Or does he drag this along and try to change the law?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    If he wants to serve more than he doesn't want to say the oath (or that part of it) he should say it and then file suit to have the law stricken down. Otherwise he should not say it, not join and file suit to have the law stricken down.
    09-11-2014 01:47 PM
  13. A895's Avatar
    So let me get this straight you are ok with his rights being violated?
    I see no rights being violated. We can practice any religion but is there actually protection for not practicing anything? Also this is the military, not someone forcing him to do anything. It is all up to him, what he wants to do.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-11-2014 03:35 PM
  14. A895's Avatar
    If he wants to serve more than he doesn't want to say the oath (or that part of it) he should say it and then file suit to have the law stricken down. Otherwise he should not say it, not join and file suit to have the law stricken down.
    That is logical, but what is he actually doing?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-11-2014 03:36 PM
  15. GadgetGator's Avatar
    When you sign up for the military you are contractually obligated to listen to them and follow the rules they put down, just because you have to say one phrase does not negate your whole belief. You can still believe what you want but the military was always created and raised with Christian beliefs just like the Unites States government was. He shouldn't get any special treatment as I bet there have been atheists before him in the military who had to say the same phrase, he just wants to be special or receive attention.
    I reject your notion that the military is some branch of Christianity. Obviously someone obsessed with their religious beliefs have written and demanded these things be adhered to unwaveringly, but at that point, you become a religious cult. Why should everyone have to say that phrase? It indicates belief in something that all may not agree with. Is our military there to protect us, or fight holy crusades?

    The constitution trumps and overrides any military rules. And does not permit any one religion or belief to supersede another.

    Posted via Android Central App
    rexxman likes this.
    09-11-2014 05:36 PM
  16. A895's Avatar
    I reject your notion that the military is some branch of Christianity. Obviously someone obsessed with their religious beliefs have written and demanded these things be adhered to unwaveringly, but at that point, you become a religious cult. Why should everyone have to say that phrase? It indicates belief in something that all may not agree with. Is our military there to protect us, or fight holy crusades?

    The constitution trumps and overrides any military rules. And does not permit any one religion or belief to supersede another.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Regardless the law currently states you have to say it, and would you argue the fact that the government wasn't made by Christian beliefs? I mean god is mentioned in various forms of the government and federal officials even swear on the bible. If anything if this goes against this mans belief then he should get out now. That would be the simple way of doing it.
    09-11-2014 06:58 PM
  17. GadgetGator's Avatar
    Regardless the law currently states you have to say it, and would you argue the fact that the government wasn't made by Christian beliefs? I mean god is mentioned in various forms of the government and federal officials even swear on the bible. If anything if this goes against this mans belief then he should get out now. That would be the simple way of doing it.
    But it's not constitutional. You cannot make and uphold a law that is unconstitutional. It is impossible. You seem to think you can violate both the constitution and another man's rights. You cannot.

    And no. I do not believe the country was founded on any one religion because the founders themselves stated as much. This "christian nation" stuff is revisionist history, much like putting "in God we trust" onto money and into the pledge of allegiance was.

    Posted via Android Central App
    msndrstood and rexxman like this.
    09-11-2014 07:24 PM
  18. A895's Avatar
    But it's not constitutional. You cannot make and uphold a law that is unconstitutional. It is impossible. You seem to think you can violate both the constitution and another man's rights. You cannot.

    And no. I do not believe the country was founded on any one religion because the founders themselves stated as much. This "christian nation" stuff is revisionist history, much like putting "in God we trust" onto money and into the pledge of allegiance was.

    Posted via Android Central App
    That is the rub though, his rights aren't being violated. The whole point of freedom of religion is that you can practice what you want, and he can. And no one is making him say the phrase. He doesn't have to say it.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-12-2014 07:28 AM
  19. Timelessblur's Avatar
    That is the rub though, his rights aren't being violated. The whole point of freedom of religion is that you can practice what you want, and he can. And no one is making him say the phrase. He doesn't have to say it.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    But again he rights are. Saying it is basically violating his rights.

    I can promise you if it was to Satan you would be changing your tune and you would not being making the same argument.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    09-12-2014 09:36 AM
  20. A895's Avatar
    But again he rights are. Saying it is basically violating his rights.

    I can promise you if it was to Satan you would be changing your tune and you would not being making the same argument.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    I already mentioned above that I would still say the same even if it was Satan. Who it is does not matter. The law says if you want to enlist you say the phrase. If he does not feel comfortable with the law he does not need to enlist.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-12-2014 10:25 AM
  21. Timelessblur's Avatar
    I already mentioned above that I would still say the same even if it was Satan. Who it is does not matter. The law says if you want to enlist you say the phrase. If he does not feel comfortable with the law he does not need to enlist.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    And I find that hard to believe. There would be out rage in that Satan case.


    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    GadgetGator likes this.
    09-12-2014 10:28 AM
  22. A895's Avatar
    And I find that hard to believe. There would be out rage in that Satan case.


    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    Not from me, but it wouldn't happen in the first place. The thing is no rights are being violated if the person has a choice. He has a choice. He is not backed into a corner.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-12-2014 11:01 AM
  23. Timelessblur's Avatar
    Not from me, but it wouldn't happen in the first place. The thing is no rights are being violated if the person has a choice. He has a choice. He is not backed into a corner.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    No his rights are. This is a direct violation of separation of church and state and freedom of religion.

    You can not be required to swear an oath to a religions entity for an government office plan and simple.
    You know as well as I do that any court would strike it down.

    This is cold war crap that needs to go.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    09-12-2014 11:06 AM
  24. Aquila's Avatar
    You don't consider a military career to be a government position? What's the difference between this and the town that got sued for requiring the city council to declare themselves Christians? Both are voluntary positions and in both cases the relevant part of the Constitution would apply, wouldn't it? I think I agree that no rights are being violated as it is not addressing the rights in the amendments, etc... But that isn't the same as saying the government is not stepping outside of its boundaries. The president isn't allowed to declare war. If he/she does, they're not violating your rights, but that action is still unconstitutional and illegal.

    XTNiT-1060 through spacetime. Android Central Moderator.
    09-12-2014 11:09 AM
  25. A895's Avatar
    No his rights are. This is a direct violation of separation of church and state and freedom of religion.

    You can not be required to swear an oath to a religions entity for an government office plan and simple.
    You know as well as I do that any court would strike it down.

    This is cold war crap that needs to go.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    So all those oaths swearing to god for public offices are unconstitutional?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-12-2014 11:14 AM
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