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U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out

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Air Force AcademyIn a new, unexplained shift, the Air Force is compelling its troops to use the phrase ‘so help me God’ in their oaths or be discharged.

For years, allegations of religious intolerance have swirled around the U.S. Air Force, with officers accused both of pushing evangelical Christianity on the troops—and of hampering Christians’ practice.

Now, a new case threatens to reignite the firestorm. The Air Force has allegedly refused to allow a service member to reenlist, because he refused to use the phrase “so help me God” in his oath, the American Humanist Association asserts.

According to the group, which has come to the defense of the unnamed airman—as Air Force troops are known—commanders told the service member on Aug. 25 that he must use the religious language in his reenlistment contract or leave the military.

The association wrote a letter dated Sept. 2, 2014, on behalf of the airman demanding that he be allowed to reenlist without invoking the religious language. Further, the letter threatens legal action against the airman’s commanders at Creech Air Force Base in the Nevada desert unless they reverse course. The complaint was previously reported by the Air Force Times.

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