Removing the poster and editing the oath for all Academy students is extreme and unnecessary, and does a disservice to the countless individuals who wish to include the phrase as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and country.
Letter to LtGen Michelle Johnson from Congress
18 November 2013
Lost in the recent hubbub over the US Air Force Academy Cadet Honor Oath’s inclusion of “so help me God” was an observation made by Patriot Post some time ago: The phrase “so help me God” had already been deleted from the oaths included in the Cadet Contrails (the book of knowledge issued to each new cadet, which they are required to memorize).
Twenty-eight members of Congress recently wrote to USAFA Superintendent LtGen Johnson and reminded her that the Oath of Office, Oath of Enlistment, and Continue reading →
“In the Army we talk about readiness,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Doug Downs, 2/1 AD chaplain. “In all different ways, folks have to be ready. Spiritual readiness is just as important for soldiers who are getting ready to, or who will potentially go to war.”
…”If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the Lord to war, and will go all of you armed over Jordan before the Lord, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, and the land be subdued before the Lord: then afterward ye shall return…and be guiltless before the Lord, and before the nation.”
Any of you suffering from PTSD right now, you listen to me. You get rid of that right now.
You don’t take drugs to get rid of it, it doesn’t take psychology; that promise right there will get rid of it.
several states today are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities. Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, but their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.
This is wrong. It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.
The situation is intriguing, because by calling these states “wrong,” Secretary Hagel appears to be calling the citizens who voted state laws into place “wrong.” If a state has a constitutional amendment that refuses to recognize a homosexual relationship — an amendment passed by the citizens of the state — it naturally follows that the offices of the state, including its National Guard, would adhere to those laws.
President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Russell Moore recently spoke to the New Orleans Seminary and said Christians should advocate for the Gospel — and religious freedom:
The apostle Paul provides a model for how pastors and other Christians are to maintain “the centrality of the Gospel and the defense of religious liberty at the same time,” Moore told the seminarians.
Preaching from Acts 26:24-32, Moore said Paul both defended his religious freedom and proclaimed the Gospel…
“Paul here understands that freedom itself is not enough,” Moore said. The freedom Paul sought — and Christians today should seek — “is a freedom to do something … the pushing and the pressing and the pleading of the Gospel,” he said.
While some have advocated for Christians to abandon the political realm — an attitude of which Moore was even accused — Moore clearly says Christians have a duty to advocate for religious liberty.
Several news reports over the past few months note that faced with growing concerns from its chaplains, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board — which sends chaplains to the US military — has updated its guidance in light of the repeal of DADT and the open service of homosexuals in the US military:
“Our chaplains want to uphold the authority and relevancy of Scripture while continuing to serve in a very diverse setting,” said Doug Carver, the retired Army major general who leads NAMB’s chaplaincy efforts. “We believe these updated guidelines will help them do that while still sharing the love and the hope of Christ with everyone.”
In short, SBC chaplains must conduct every part of their ministry in accordance with the Christian faith — which reflects the “historic, natural and biblical view of marriage…” The specificity and clarity was praised by retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
The guidelines also seem to specifically call out marriage retreats, like the US Army’s Strong Bonds: Continue reading →
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein penned half of a pro/con debate for the local Colorado Springs Gazette regarding the presence of “so help me God” in the USAFA Cadet Honor Oath. Weinstein boils his argument down to this:
Removing those words from the published oath does nothing to change [cadets' First Amendment] right [sic].
In balance, however, if the removal of those words affects not the First Amendment rights of believers, why would the presence of those words affect the rights of others? Weinstein fails to justify his call for a change.
In a fascinating case, the Conservative Baptist Association of America has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs, essentially alleging that a VA chaplaincy training program is intentionally preventing them from sending chaplains to VA and military medical centers:
The actions of the Secretary within the San Diego VA-DOD CPE Center establishing a secular, humanist and holistic religion which excludes mainstream Judeo-Christian beliefs discriminates against CBAmerica Chaplains, prevents them from practicing their religious beliefs, have forced them out of the program and will, if not corrected, prevent future CBAMERICA Chaplains from completing the program and practicing their faith in the health care facilities serviced by the program.
The VA-DOD CPE Center is responsible for preparing chaplains to serve in military and VA medical facilites around San Diego.
The Associated Press picked up on Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint about Allen Willoughby, an athletic trainer at the US Air Force Academy Prep School who sent Weinstein an email after Weinstein’s complaint about “So Help Me God.” As published by Weinstein’s ally Pam Zubeck at the Colorado Springs Independent, the email said:
…God will always be a part of the US Military even when you are gone to meet him face to face. You know you can do a lot for the homeless veterans out here but you could care less about them but when it comes to Christians you are willing to fight against us, well you will never win and so you know the war has already been won. I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with. Do something productive with your life and Stop harassing the fine people at USAFA. I really pray for your soul.
Zubeck provocatively titled her blog
Academy athletic trainer vows to proselytize on campus
Presumably, Zubeck is at least trying to appear to be a journalist, albeit one who apparently does not deign to use a dictionary. As is evident to the rest of the world, the Prep School trainer did not “vow to proselytize.”