[Ed. – This whole thing was clearly staged by someone in the Air Force hierarchy. The airman who complained originally should never have been required to say “so help me God” as part of his service oath. The Air Force regulations had to be changed, just a couple of years ago, to make that clause a requirement, rather than an optional clause, which is what it had been for years. As the TWT story notes, it’s optional in the other services. The showdown in which the atheists brought suit was quite transparently a set-up, designed to create the pretext for a lawsuit.]
Members of the U.S. Air Force will no longer be required to say “so help me God” during their enlistment oath.
A legal review of rules that required the phrase occurred after the American Humanist Association threatened to sue on behalf of an atheist airman. The unnamed airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied re-enlistment Aug. 25 after crossing the phrase out of the oath.
“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, Air Force Times reported Wednesday. The change in policy goes into effect immediately.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Defense has confirmed our client has a First Amendment right to omit the reference to a supreme being in his reenlistment oath,” Monica Miller, an attorney with the AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, said in a statement Wednesday, Air Force Times reported. …
The Army, Navy and Marine Corps all give enlistees the option to say “so help me God.”