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Author Topic: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist  (Read 6894 times)

Skyth

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Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« on: September 11, 2014, 05:02:06 pm »
http://news.yahoo.com/atheist-must-swear-god-leave-us-air-force-232153866.html

Apparently, the part of the enlistment oath where you swear by God is mandatory for the Air Force.

missgraceless

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 06:06:30 pm »
Quote from: Skyth;158765
http://news.yahoo.com/atheist-must-swear-god-leave-us-air-force-232153866.html

Apparently, the part of the enlistment oath where you swear by God is mandatory for the Air Force.

My roomie's friend is saying he's a moron for fighting "tradition," that "freedom of religion" only applies for religion, not lack thereof.

My boyfriend and I, however, are saying he's going to make serious money if he takes it to court. Which he should, in my opinion. It's discrimination, pure and simple.
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RandallS

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 06:10:43 pm »
Quote from: Skyth;158765
http://news.yahoo.com/atheist-must-swear-god-leave-us-air-force-232153866.html

Apparently, the part of the enlistment oath where you swear by God is mandatory for the Air Force.

::rolling eyes::

This will go over like a lead balloon in federal court. Perhaps someone should bring this to Obama's attention. He could save the government a lot of time and money by simply ordering the Air Force to drop that requirement.  As he's not up for re-election, he could do so without worrying about Christian zealot voters.
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Skyth

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 06:51:55 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;158778
::rolling eyes::

This will go over like a lead balloon in federal court. Perhaps someone should bring this to Obama's attention. He could save the government a lot of time and money by simply ordering the Air Force to drop that requirement.  As he's not up for re-election, he could do so without worrying about Christian zealot voters.

 
According to the Air Force, it was mandated by congress in 2013.

RandallS

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 07:34:26 pm »
Quote from: Skyth;158782
According to the Air Force, it was mandated by congress in 2013.

Shouldn't matter as Congress lacks the authority to mandate it. Obama as Commander in Chief can simply order them to stop enforcing it. Presidents regularly refuse to enforce laws they consider unconstitutional. Sometimes congresscritters sue over it, but that doesn't work when the law is actually unconstitutional. This one clearly violates the final clause of the third paragraph of Article VI:

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The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of  the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers,  both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by  Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test  shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust  under the United States.
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MadZealot

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 09:15:10 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;158778
As he's not up for re-election, he could do so without worrying about Christian zealot voters.


::snort:: Even if he were up for re-election, he wouldn't have to worry about Christian zealots.  They're not exactly part of his voting bloc.
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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 10:03:25 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;158786
Shouldn't matter as Congress lacks the authority to mandate it. Obama as Commander in Chief can simply order them to stop enforcing it. Presidents regularly refuse to enforce laws they consider unconstitutional. Sometimes congresscritters sue over it, but that doesn't work when the law is actually unconstitutional. This one clearly violates the final clause of the third paragraph of Article VI:


Nice! I knew it was unconstitutional, but I didn't know it was unconstitutional
explicitly in bold letters, underlined.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that it's the Air Force that does this. As I recall, until some proselytizing shenanigans got publicity a few years ago and the commanders were forced to dial it back, the Air Force was the branch of the armed services most thoroughly colonized by evangelical Christians--to the point that they were nearly a wholly owned subsidiary of Focus on the Family et al.
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Aster Breo

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 02:19:53 am »
Quote from: missgraceless;158775
My roomie's friend is saying he's a moron for fighting "tradition," that "freedom of religion" only applies for religion, not lack thereof.

Just for the record, your roomie is incorrect. The pertinent part of the First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

It's been interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean, among other things, that *religion in general* may not be given preference (by the federal or state government) over *no religion*.  The Wikipedia article lays out the relevant case pretty well:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torcaso_v._Watkins
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missgraceless

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 06:30:37 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;158799
Just for the record, your roomie is incorrect. The pertinent part of the First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

It's been interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean, among other things, that *religion in general* may not be given preference (by the federal or state government) over *no religion*.  The Wikipedia article lays out the relevant case pretty well:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torcaso_v._Watkins

 
Thanks for clearing that up. Truth be told he's not exactly the, uh, expert on the politics of religion. I'm not saying I am, but at least I take an active interest in it*. He mostly just drinks beer and watches football.

*I honestly couldn't care less about anything but the "social" politics. Same-sex marriage (AKA marriage), religion, women's and animal rights, etc. But whatever.
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missgraceless

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 06:51:30 am »
Quote from: missgraceless;158804
Thanks for clearing that up. Truth be told he's not exactly the, uh, expert on the politics of religion. I'm not saying I am, but at least I take an active interest in it*. He mostly just drinks beer and watches football.

*I honestly couldn't care less about anything but the "social" politics. Same-sex marriage (AKA marriage), religion, women's and animal rights, etc. But whatever.

 
My boyfriend just told me that this whole fight is basically a waste of time because "part of being in the military is to just shut up and do what they tell you."

I wholeheartedly disagree. And that's exactly why I will never enlist. I have... problems with authority and being told what to do. I'm not one to directly say "no," but I poke and prod and provoke like it's nobody's business. If a drill sergeant is screaming in my face, I'd probably just ask him what he'll do if I don't listen. And because they can't put their hands on you, I'd use that to my advantage.  :ange:
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mlr52

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 09:23:05 am »
Quote from: missgraceless;158805
If a drill sergeant is screaming in my face, I'd probably just ask him what he'll do if I don't listen. And because they can't put their hands on you, I'd use that to my advantage.  :ange:

 
Think again they will not leave any marks. and your question could be seen insubordination, which can bring  charges, which if brought and uphelded often enough can lead to a dishonorable discharge.
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missgraceless

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2014, 09:33:04 am »
Quote from: mlr52;158808
Think again they will not leave any marks. and your question could be seen insubordination, which can bring  charges, which if brought and uphelded often enough can lead to a dishonorable discharge.

It honestly doesn't really matter 'cause I won't join, for any number of reasons.

Back to the matter at hand, one of my other friends who's Army said that when she enlisted they gave her the option to not swear by God, and just say "so help me."
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Castus

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2014, 10:47:17 am »
Quote from: Skyth;158765
http://news.yahoo.com/atheist-must-swear-god-leave-us-air-force-232153866.html

Apparently, the part of the enlistment oath where you swear by God is mandatory for the Air Force.

 
Dat ceremonial deism.
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Juniperberry

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2014, 12:11:19 pm »
Quote from: missgraceless;158805
My boyfriend just told me that this whole fight is basically a waste of time because "part of being in the military is to just shut up and do what they tell you."

I wholeheartedly disagree. And that's exactly why I will never enlist. I have... problems with authority and being told what to do. I'm not one to directly say "no," but I poke and prod and provoke like it's nobody's business. If a drill sergeant is screaming in my face, I'd probably just ask him what he'll do if I don't listen. And because they can't put their hands on you, I'd use that to my advantage.  :ange:

 

It's been a while since I was in the military and I didn't join for the most patriotic of reasons. I always regretted that, which is why I think I have a deep respect for those who do.

There's something really noble in the fact that men and women basically resign their citizenship to safeguard someone else's. The idea that these young men and women serve their country with the idea that their right to individuality, that the greater good of their countrymen, is worth more than their own personal individuality, is awe-inspiring. And they pay for the things we take for granted with their life-- not with their death, but with the life they live for us.

There are people like that in our military. I wasn't one of them, but they're there.


I alsi like to think that the end of that oath, "so help me god", isn't just a prayer that the soldier himself can live up to his promise to the country, but a plea that his country itself can live up to the enormity of his promise. That that which he has sworn himself to is noble, that the leaders are good people, that it's Just. He's sending out a prayer that his sacrifice is worthy, but praying that he is also making a sacrifice for something worthy- so help him god.

I don't agree that everyone should have to take that oath to re/enlist. I think the case is solid and fair. But I also think without it, there's a solemn and sacred element that's missing, and I can't think of anything else to replace it.
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DavidMcCann

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Re: Air force requires an oath to God to (re)enlist
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2014, 12:52:29 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;158818
I also like to think that the end of that oath, "so help me god", isn't just a prayer that the soldier himself can live up to his promise to the country, but a plea that his country itself can live up to the enormity of his promise. That that which he has sworn himself to is noble, that the leaders are good people, that it's Just. He's sending out a prayer that his sacrifice is worthy, but praying that he is also making a sacrifice for something worthy- so help him god.

At last, some sense.

The oath doesn't specify any particular god, so the only people who have a problem are atheists. Why pagans of any variety should feel the need to defend atheists, I can't fathom: they're hardly an endangered species!
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