After a group filed a complaint, the Air Force Academy is reportedly considering whether or not they should drop the “so help me God” part of its honor oath.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has protested the "so help me God" phrase that was added to the end of an oath that has cadets swearing they won't lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette.
"To tie the honor code to a religious test violates the no-establishment clause of the Constitution," Mikey Weinstein, founder of the MRFF said.
The Huffington Post reports that, via the Air Force Academy's cadet handbook, the honor oath reads: “We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.”
The honor oath reportedly came into use at the academy after 19 seniors were disciplined for cheating on a physics exam in 1984.
"We need to be respectful of all people of faith and all people of no faith," David Cannon, an academy spokesman said. "Our goal is to do the right thing for the Air Force Academy."
The Huffington Post also reports that executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty Ron Crews told Fox News, "Removing this voluntary affirmation expresses hostility toward religion."
Crews also added, "Further, it removes the solemnity and gravity of the oath, particularly for the many cadets who come from a faith tradition."
Sources: Huffington Post, The Colorado Springs Gazette