Our View: A bow to tyranny as Air Force drops God from oath

Posted: November 4, 2013

The anti-God crowd won again last week when the Air Force Academy dropped the words “so help me God” from its Honor Oath. The academy acted after a complaint from a graduate named Mikey Weinstein, who runs a leftist outfit called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which is dedicated to annoying and aggravating the 90 percent of service personnel who consider themselves Christians.

The “so help me God” portion of the oath is now optional, said the academy’s superintendent. “Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference — or not.” Thus, the general said, “in the spirit of respect, cadets may or may not choose to finish the Honor Oath with ‘So help me God.’ ”

You can see where this kind of thing is going, particularly given the news, from three years ago, that the academy dedicated a pile of rocks on campus, something on the order of a Rocky Mountain Stonehenge, so that pagan cadets can don robes, warble at the moon and hoot with the owls. Perhaps the superintendent will replace “so help me God” with “so help me Endora.”

What’s really frightening about this whole thing isn’t that cadets now have the choice to put the Almighty behind the oath they take. The surrender on that point is hardly a surprise. The frightening thing is this: the motto of the MRFF: “When one proudly dons a U.S. military uniform, there is only one religious symbol: the American flag. There is only one religious scripture: the American Constitution. Finally, there is only one religious faith: American patriotism.”

Reading that nonsense, two thoughts come to mind: First, no one in his right mind believes it. The flag is not a religious symbol, the Constitution is not the Word of God, and patriotism is not a religion, at least for someone who understands what patriotism is. Second, everyone understands the MRFF’s real goal: driving yet another explicit symbol of the Christian religion from the public square. “Options” had nothing to do with it. If MRFF gets it way, “options” will soon be a thing of the past, and the only “religious” symbol left at the academy will be that pagan pile of rocks.

The sentiment expressed in the group’s motto would come as news the men who died in agony on Normandy or Tarawa, muttering not the text of the First Amendment, but an Act of Contrition to express sorrow for sin, or some other plea for mercy to the Almighty.

It would come as news to Father Emil Kapaun, the Catholic priest who has received the title Servant of God, the first step on the journey to sainthood, and who received, posthumously, the Medal of Honor from President Obama for his selfless care for fellow prisoners of war during the Korean War. Father Kapaun did not minister to those men because his religion was patriotism; he did so because his religion was Christian, and he saw the face of Christ in each of his fellow GIs.

Indeed it would come as news to about 90 percent of the American people, who wonder, no doubt, just what is wrong with “so help me God.” Then again, they aren’t enlightened as the ministers at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an outfit that has less to do with religion and freedom than it does with jamming its leftist dogma down the throat of anyone who wears the uniform of his country.

That isn’t patriotism. It’s tyranny.