'God' Now Optional in Air Force Oath
Cadets can skip it if they'd like
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2013 3:08 PM CDT
Members of the U.S. Air Force's 437th Airlift Wing perform a pre-flight check in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – An oath of honor uttered by Air Force cadets might be a little less godly from here on out. The service says cadets now have the option to skip the last phrase, "So help me God," reports the Air Force Times. The move comes in response to a group pushing for separation of church and state in the military, but it might not be enough to ward off a lawsuit. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation wanted the phrase cut entirely—the Air Force chose to keep it, but make it optional.

The full 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.” The founder of the MRFF calls it unconstitutional, though he wouldn't object if cadets continued to say the phrase even if it were stripped from the official oath. “They can swear so help me God, so help me Allah, so help me Spider-Man. But when you have it there, that is a noxious violation of separation of church and state.”

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Oct 27, 2013 9:35 AM CDT
Dear Newser bloggers I am a highly-evolved, rational, secular, humanist, big government bureaucratic scientist who determines your food labeling requirements. As one of the enlightened dispensers of rational wisdom, I determine that your primitive superstitions and fears regarding irradiated food are unfounded and therefore of no concern to you via labeling requirements. Likewise, any concerns regarding GMO’s or transgenic ingredients in your food (if an allergic protein from wheat, soy, shellfish, or peanuts are slipped into your food via another plant and ingredient name) are silly and primitive. Any potential resultant adverse allergenic responses are well within our pre-defined tolerances for numbers of individuals affected. Finally, any potential carcinogens or industrial chemicals can be provided to you under the subterfuge of artificial flavors and/or colors or we can further obfuscate under labeling “natural and/or artificial ingredients” so you won’t even know! If we want you to consume “essence of beaver butt” under the guise of “natural vanilla flavor”, then so be it. Because I have no morals to follow (because these are based on nonsensical “sacred or religious texts”), I have no real interest or concern for your well-being (after all “altruism” is really just genetic garbage), nor do I have any need to assign to you any intrinsic value or self-worth as we are all just masses of tissue (you just made it through the birth canal, unlucky you). While I realize that there will be some cancers, premature deaths, illness, and disease from these decisions, they have been carefully calculated based on risk assessments, economic, political, liability, personal and corporate culpability decisions (so that you won’t know who was responsible for your cancer or harm to your health, if and when it occurs). After all, we are all evolving and species go extinct all the time, (in fact most of them do), and we believe in the “survival of the fittest”. Some of you will survive, produce viable offspring, and the species will be the better for it! I and my fellow secular, humanistic, scientific friends use the same rational approach to determine your exposures to similar chemicals in the air that you breathe, the water that you drink, the chemicals in the clothes that you wear, and in your workplace, houses, and children’s schools. WE are your secular, humanistic gods! P.S. Just be glad that we aren’t some of those silly, emotional, empathetic, compassionate Christians making ignorant decisions regarding your health based on some silly book about concern for your neighbor. We weeded THEM out of our scientific societies based on their primitive beliefs in a divinely created, orderly world. We also weeded them out of our public schools and universities years ago by purging “their book” and banishing all mention of their beliefs and those silly prayers. After all, you proved them to be primitive, evil, wicked, useless, and hypocritical in your Newser discussion forums years ago! (Disclaimer: this is hypothetical and sarcastic of course, not intended to accurately depict or represent any person living or dead, and any such resemblance is merely coincidental).
Oct 26, 2013 4:12 PM CDT
God can't exist because of Eric the God-Eating Magic Penguin. Since Eric is God-Eating by definition, he has no choice but to eat God. So, if God exists, He automatically ceases to exist as a result of being eaten. Unless you can prove that Eric doesn't exist, God doesn't exist. Even if you can prove that Eric doesn't exist, that same proof will also be applicable to God. There are only two possibilities - Either you can prove that Eric doesn't exist, or you can't. In both cases it logically follows that God doesn't exist.
Oct 26, 2013 1:50 PM CDT
"High Flight" Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air.... Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or even eagle flew — And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, - Put out my hand, and bitch-slapped God.