I never wanted to join the military, even though I come from a military family. My father served twenty-plus years in the Air Force and even my sister enlisted. But I never had the inkling to join up, probably because I am staunchly anti-gun, anti-violence, anti-war; yeah, maybe that had something to do with it. But I am grateful for the men and women who do join up, in any branch of the military, and I respect and value their service, and their desire to serve.
Sadly, though, the Air Force doesn’t seem so keen on some enlistees, especially someone who wants to reenlist. At a time when the Air Force, and any branch of service, should be holding the door open to anyone who wants to serve, and is capable of serving, they have decided not to allow one man to reenlist because he crossed out the words "so help me God" at the end of the Air Force oath of allegiance.
His attorney, Monica Miller, with the Apignani Humanist Legal Center, says her client was informed the Air Force would not accept his reenlistment contract because he had crossed out the ‘God’ and that he had just two options: say the oath as written, or leave the Air Force.
In a letter to the inspectors general of the Air Force, Miller said the airman should be allowed to reenlist under a secular oath, and not have to swear to ‘God’ and added that the airman is set to sue the Air Force if he is not allowed to reenlist.
What’s odd is that, up until last October, you were allowed to omit the words ‘so help me God’ from the oath, but for some reason the rules were changed and now this man, who has served his country already, and wants to continue his service, won’t be allowed to because, well, God.
An Air Force spokeswoman confirmed the new policy:
"Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement under Title 10 USC 502. (AFI 36-2606) is consistent with the language mandated in 10 USC 502. Paragraph 5.6 [and] was changed in October 2013 to reflect the aforementioned statutory requirement and airmen are no longer authorized to omit the words ‘So help me God'.”
You know, that whole Freedom of Religion thing we thought we had going on in this country.
As I was saying, I never wanted to be part of the military, and yet here we have someone who has served, and wants to continue serving, but will not be allowed to reenlist because he refuses to swear to God.
This is really getting ridiculous, y’all.