Air Force Academy May Drop ‘So Help Me God’ From Oath


The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. is considering whether or not they should drop the "so help me God" portion from its honor oath after Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a complaint.

"To tie the honor code to a religious test violates the no-establishment clause of the Constitution," said MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein to The Colorado Springs Gazette.

Adopted in 1984 and unchanged since, the Honor Oath reads, via Air Force Academy's cadet handbook:

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.

Last week, the Colorado Springs Independent published a photograph of a poster which includes the cadet oath and the line "so help me god." The newspaper forwarded that photo to Weinstein who contacted Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson about the poster who responded via email saying that the "Prep School poster has been taken down."

Written By: Matt Ferner
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  1. We will not lie, steal or cheat nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and live honorably, so help me God

    Having to promise not to lie, steal or cheat – and not an ordinary promise either, no, a proper promise you have to keep because god’s watching – not a great argument for religion and morality being anything other than occasional bedfellows.

    I also like the way duty and honour seem to have been bolted on as an afterthought.

    On a more serious note – “nor tolerate among us” – I wonder if they’ll tolerate anyone who skips the god bit? That part of the oath opens the door to summary mob retribution for anyone who doesn’t conform.

  2. On the other paw, an oath is rather meaningless without the implied “may god strike me down if I violate the oath”.

    Maybe they could say “upon my honour” meaning “this is a formal, public promise that I expect to be held to”.

  3. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty, live honorably and not allow my stone-age brain to fall prey to any barbaric superstition spit up by members of the priest class.

  4. In reply to #1 by bluebird:


    Thanks for the update.

    “The Air Force Academy on Friday announced that it will now be optional for cadets to recite “so help me God” at the end of its honor oath.”

    And the award for the lamest attempt at a compromise goes to…

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