Saturday, September 13, 2014

"God" In Pledge and in Military Oath Challenged Anew By Humanist Group

Stars and Stripes reported earlier this week that the U.S. Air Force is seeking an opinion from the Defense Department's chief lawyer on whether an enlisted man who is an atheist can refuse to include the phrase "so help me God" in his re-enlistment oath. Among the armed services, only the Air Force has a policy that does not make inclusion of the phrase optional.  The American Humanist Association has threatened to sue on behalf of the airman, who is stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada-- if the issue is not resolved next week.

Meanwhile last week the American Humanist Association launched a national campaign urging everyone to sit out the pledge of allegiance until the phrase "under God" is removed from it. The organization has created a website devoted to the campaign. The campaign yesterday released a letter it sent to New Town, North Dakota school officials complaining about a teacher's refusal to allow a first-grader to sit out the pledge.