The Air Force Academy is reportedly considering dropping the phrase "so help me God" from its honor oath because of a complaint by a group that tries to remove religion from government entities.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation made a formal complaint after a newspaper printed a photo of a poster that showed the honor oath and then forwarded it to the foundation.
The military school has since removed the poster with the oath.
Academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal told the Air Force Times that the Honor Review Committee met Oct. 22 to discuss the oath’s wording, but made no decision on whether or how to alter the 28 words. Vidal said the academy will “develop a way ahead that is respectful to all perspectives.”
“They considered a range of options and some of those options will be presented to academy leaders and, ultimately, the academy Superintendent [Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson] for a decision,” Vidal said. “We value an inclusive environment that promotes dignity and respect for all.”
The academy’s honor oath currently reads: “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.”
Among the options the committee discussed were making no change to the oath, making the “so help me God” portion optional, or striking the entire oath.
The honor oath has had the wording since about 1984.
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