Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

‘So help me God’ becomes optional in US Air Force Academy oath

Catholic World News - October 28, 2013

The United States Air Force Academy has announced that the phrase “so help me God” at the conclusion of the Cadet Honor Oath is now optional.

The oath, adopted in 1984, states, “We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.”

“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,” said Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, Academy superintendent, in commenting on the change.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,070 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,930.48
52% 48%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 29, 2013 5:26 PM ET USA

    I mind, but I would not find this intolerable if "they" (militant atheists) would only stop there. So far as I know, the ultimate goal is to strike the phrase entirely as a "violation of Church and State..."

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 29, 2013 7:18 AM ET USA

    Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson doesn't know her American history to comment and has embarrassed herself and the Air force Academy. General George Washington believed that "providence", the will of God, was an essential element of the U.S. victory in the Revolutionary War. Abraham Lincoln and General Robert E. Lee were firm believers that God's will would be done in the Civil War. Johnson has shown her ignorance and has broken with that tradition. She is a poor example for Academy cadets!

  • Posted by: Seriously - Oct. 28, 2013 8:50 PM ET USA

    So...those who chose the "option" of not saying "So help me God" ... exactly who are they swearing the oath to? Also, I saw this story a day or two ago which quoted a Pentagon official as saying they weren't taking this seriously and that the oath would NOT be changed. I am disgusted by the lies.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 28, 2013 1:03 PM ET USA

    Can someone tell me what the term "religious preference" means? The word "preference" suggests "optional," "not required," "irrelevant to modern society," etc. "I prefer my tea hot." "I prefer my tea cold." These are preferences. However, true religion is not a preference but a duty, an obligation, a service that all men must render to God, whether a person believes in God or not. True religion embodies a way of life, a worldview that acknowledges the Creator above the creature, a living reality

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Oct. 28, 2013 10:40 AM ET USA

    Now, we have an anti-God supporter running the Air Force Academy. Is there a "pattern of behavior" here for the Obama Administration. "One small step" is becoming a sprint toward Marxism.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 28, 2013 10:37 AM ET USA

    But it wasn't the AF Academy that prompted this, it was MRFF President Mickey Weinstein who threatened to sue to get his way. This guy has become the unofficial SecDef who wants to root out all Christians and all references to God for everyone's own good.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 28, 2013 7:54 AM ET USA

    Well, given the various cheating and sex scandals that have plagued the military academies these last decades, at least this move will ensure God's name is not taken in vain so often there.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20