Recently, we heard that the U.S. Air Force had dropped the words “So help me God” from three official oaths in the cadet handbook. The highest-profile oath was pledging not to “lie, cheat or steal,” or “tolerate among us anyone who does.” U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) sent a letter co-signed by 28 lawmakers, to the Air Force Academy, Supt. Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, asking why the change was made. You won’t be surprised to learn that, oh gosh, it was all an editing mistake and will be corrected next year. “God” is clearly among our Armed Forces, however, and this flashmob production by the USAF Band declares Joy to the World, The Lord is Come. Enjoy the video (vocals begin at a little past two minutes in) and take a look at Rep. Bridenstine’s letter as well.
Honor Oath: 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.
Spirit of the Code: Do the right thing and live honorably.
Rep. Bridenstine’s letter:
“The Constitution does not require that this phrase be scrubbed from the oath,” read the letter drafted by Rep. Jim Bridenstein [sic] (R-Okla.) and signed by 28 lawmakers. “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion’ however, the inclusion of the phrase ‘so help me God’ in an oath of service does not rise to this level.”
Bridenstein [sic] said “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.”
Air Force Academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal told me the omission was a simple mistake.
“It was an editorial oversight,” he said. “We learned within the last few weeks there was a problem.”
Vidal said there was no reasoning behind the omission and there was no forethought. Read more.
USAF Band at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (video)
Thank you Judy!
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