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Old 09-11-2014, 07:58 PM  
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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Atheist must swear to God -- or leave US Air Force

Washington (AFP) - The US Air Force has told a sergeant he will have to leave the military unless he agrees to take an oath with the phrase "so help me God," officials said Tuesday.

In the latest religious controversy to roil the air force, the atheist airman last month was denied his request to re-enlist because of his refusal to swear to God -- and he is now poised to take the military to court, his lawyer said.

"We have not received word from the Air Force regarding our letter. It has not indicated a willingness to settle out of court," said Monica Miller, an attorney for the American Humanist Association, which has taken up the service member's case.

With the deadline for re-enlisting expiring in November, the technical sergeant at Creech Air Force base in Nevada -- whose name has not been released -- will be forced to sue the government in a federal court, Miller told AFP.

In the past, an airman could opt for an alternative phrase and omit the words "so help me God," but the US Air Force changed its policy in October 2013.

The other branches of the American military do not require the reference to God and make the phrase optional.

"This is the only branch to my knowledge that's actually requiring everyone in all instances to use the religious language," Miller said.

The requirement violates the US Constitution, which bars religious tests to hold office or other positions, Miller said of the case, which was first reported by the Air Force Times.

"The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being," she said.

The sergeant's service expires in November and he has until then to re-enlist and take the oath, said US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

In the meantime, "a written legal opinion is being requested" from the Pentagon's top lawyer, she said.

The air force has been plagued by controversy for years over religion and the role of Christian evangelists.

The US Air Force Academy in Colorado faced accusations several years ago that evangelical Christians exerted a dominating influence over the institution.

But attempts to counter the perceived bias in the service have sparked criticism from Christian activist groups, who allege a new rule stifles the religious expression of troops.

The disputed rule bars commanders from promoting their religious convictions to their subordinates.

Advocates of the policy say it protects troops who worry their careers could be jeopardized if they do not take part in their superior's Christian activities.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:15 PM   #2
ClevelandBronco ClevelandBronco is offline
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Should we behead him instead? There's no difference between religions.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:21 PM   #3
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #4
Aries Walker Aries Walker is offline
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Think you can throw in a link to the actual story?
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:38 PM   #5
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Say the words and move on with your life, FFS.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:50 PM   #6
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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Oh for the love of God,Dave. Get a life
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:02 PM   #8
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http://news.yahoo.com/atheist-must-s...232153866.html
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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Oh for the love of God,Dave. Get a life
No shit

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Old 09-11-2014, 09:29 PM   #10
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Say the words and move on with your life, FFS.
I don't think so. We have freedom of religion in the US. Atheists are normlu annoying but in this case, it's fair to challenge this. I'd never take a forced oath for anything
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:56 PM   #11
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Say the words and move on with your life, FFS.
Yes, promise to invisible sky lord gate keeper or your fired. Sounds reasonable.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:23 PM   #12
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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Say the words and move on with your life, FFS.
I'm with ya. But I do think legally he is in the right.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:42 PM   #13
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Oh for the love of God,Dave. Get a life
...says guy who has posted no less than 20 butt plug references in the past two weeks.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:55 PM   #14
Aries Walker Aries Walker is offline
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Thanks, KChiefer.

The guy's right. He shouldn't have to make that pledge; it says so right there in the Constitution. All the Air Force has to do is to allow him to not vocalize those four words and all is solved; even the Presidential Oath allows him to 'affirm' rather than 'swear'. It should be simple.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:07 PM   #15
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If you don't believe there is a God, why would you give a shit about the oath? I'm an atheist and I don't see any reason to get all bent out of shape about something like this unless I'm looking for a little publicity or money or content for my first book...

If someone made me swear an oath to Zeus, I would just laugh and do it...
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