Texas Rep. Finds Life's Great Purpose: Forcing Air Force Cadets To Swear Oath To God
You know, kids, Ted Cruz isn't the only Christian in Congress. He's the only one running for president (in a field of one declared candidate), but there are also decent God-fearing Christians like Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, who has introduced a bill that will make sure "so help me God" is a mandatory part of the official oath at the Air Force Academy. This is especially important since jet aircraft fly so much closer to God than our ground forces are, and we wouldn't want Him swatting them out of the air, now would we?
Johnson explained that the bill is all about protecting religious freedom for our Boys (and Babes) In Blue, by which he means the freedom to worship Jesus at the church or synagogue of your choice:
“Our Constitution’s very First Amendment protects every individual’s freedom of religion. But our servicemen and women who protect our county with their lives are seeing that freedom under fire,” he said in a statement.
A couple years back, the U.S. Air Force Academy, which had over the years become a wholly owned subsidiary of evangelical Christianity, upset a whole bunch of wingnuts when it announced that cadets would no longer have to say "so help me God" at the end of the Academy's Honor Oath. The change was made after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation threatened to sue on behalf of a cadet who was an atheist, which is silly, because everyone knows there are no atheists in foxholes, cockpits, or poop decks. In 2014, the Air Force as a whole made "so help me God" optional for all enlistment oaths.
The Honor Oath at the Air Force Academy requires cadets to make this very solemn vow, which we are certain they all follow to the letter because it is an oath:
“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)."
Johnson was very unhappy that all service people lost their freedom to be required to swear an oath to god just because "one radical atheist group" objected. He explained why his legislation -- which doesn't actually mention God, but prohibits all the armed services and the service academies from modifying any oath without an act of Congress -- will definitely pass Constitutional muster:
Let me be clear: Americans have the freedom of religion -- but not freedom from religion [...]
The moral foundation of our country is in serious danger if we allow radical groups to dictate whether or not we can freely express our religious beliefs! It’s time to take a stand.
Johnson didn't address what would be done to cadets found to have merely moved their lips during the oath without speaking, or even worse, those who actually spoke a mandatory promise to God (in keeping with the Constitution) that they didn't really mean. We're guessing a dishonorable discharge would be the minimum, but we can't rule out the possibility that violators would be stoned to death, just to be sure, and to protect freedom.
Or maybe, like Dr. Katz, Johnson just wants cadets to take an oaf:
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