Texas Congressman is on the Warpath to Make Atheist Military Cadets Swear an Oath Containing ‘So Help Me God’

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Sam Johnson (R-TX), once named the most conservative Member of Congress by National Journal, thinks atheists in the military should be forced to acknowledge God and swear a pledge to the Almighty. He’s even introduced a bill to make that happen.

Johnson’s initiative is a response to the U.S. Air Force top command’s recent decision to make saying “So help me God” optional when cadets pledge they’ll abide by the military code of honor. In other words, cadets who want to say that phrase may do exactly that, as before; those who don’t will swear the oath just the same, but without the deity reference.

Sound reasonable? Not to Johnson it doesn’t.

Written By: Hemant Mehta
continue to source article at patheos.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. No religious test of office. This will be shot down in the unlikely event it actually becomes law.

    Can’t someone introduce a law along the lines of Wasting Court Time by forcing them to keep shooting down this kind of blatantly and obviously unconstitutional legislation?

    • In reply to #1 by ANTIcarrot:

      No religious test of office. This will be shot down in the unlikely event it actually becomes law.

      Can’t someone introduce a law along the lines of Wasting Court Time by forcing them to keep shooting down this kind of blatantly and obviously unconstitutional legislation?

      The law of course will get shot down as unconstitutional, but Johnson knows this and is doing it to get votes. He knows his voters mostly don’t understand what “religious freedom” or the First Amendment mean. He doesn’t care that he is wasting time and money on an invalid law that won’t get on the statute books, he only cares about keeping his job by pandering to his voters

  2. The gist of the Bill is this:

    H.R.3416 – To amend titles 5, 10, and 32, United States Code, to require congressional approval before any change may be made to the oaths required for enlistment in the Armed Forces, appointment to an office in the civil service or uniformed services, or appointment as a cadet or midshipman at a military service academy, and for other purposes.

    The full text of the Bill is here

    While the title of the article is plausible, the actual bill doesn’t say anything of the kind. What it would surely do, however, is strongly “grandfather in” other military academies that have supernatural elements to their oaths.

    We’re witnessing a more clever than usual Liar for The Lord here and as such, I’m a bit worried it might actually pass.

    Mike

  3. The photo of Rep. Johnson is not current. According to sources: he was a Viet Nam POW who spent part of his time in solitary. Rep. J writes faith in God and fellow POWs defiantly singing ‘god bless america’ / national anthem is what got me (us) through the horrible ordeal.

    My perspective – Rep. Johnson seems to understand the Air Force change in oath to a point, i.e. he does not grasp that the “so help me god” part is merely optional, not a freedom of religion issue. In his mind, goD helped him, hence all personnel should have goD, too.

  4. If you make atheists swear an oath “so help me god”, you are demanding they lie. You are demanding they swear a meaningless oath. This is rather pointless is it not? What you are attempting to do is extract a solemn promise.

    This old fart is merely trying to impose his religion on others.

    Perhaps he thinks of it that atheists are closet Christians trying to avoid swearing an oath. But then why would they be joining the organisation in the first place?

    • In reply to #7 by Roedy:

      Perhaps he thinks…

      That’s just it, tho. I perceive it as a person who is simply awash in purple haze feelings. *God helped me, and by god I want all military folk to have faith / protection too.

    • In reply to #11 by Stafford Gordon:

      Bully.

      Hmm, probably better ascribed to Johnson’s co-sponsor Pete Olson. Just a guess here – Olson is Johnson’s ‘yes man’ in return for $$ and/or political favours. good boy, here’s your treat

      (today is Veteran’s Day – local boy scout troop put a u.s.a. flag in everyone’s front yard, slice of Americana)

  5. So what we have here is yet another Texan politician who thinks that atheists are a threat to his religion lets hope he is right. It also says much about the country that a politician can have the opportunity to enact this law

  6. Non- believers must pay lip-service to imaginary deities to avoid raising questions? – Is he really that desperate to maintain his feeble minded delusions?

    (I suppose it is only to be expected when a majority of sheeples elect those with a backward bronze-age goat-herder mentality!)

    • In reply to #19 by simgiran:

      “Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” [citation needed] and you better believe I’ll fight like mad to keep it that way.”

      For the non US readers here is the actual historical truth: None of the founding fathers said anything like that. Many of them were products of the enlightenment and as close to being atheists as it was possible to be in an age that still didn’t understand natural selection. The phrase “Under God” part of the pledge didn’t happen until around the 1950′s as part of our cold war lunacy.

      What is really ironic though is even the pledge of allegience (where that phrase comes from) doesn’t go back to the founding fathers. The original pledge (without the words “under God”) was an oath that confederate soldiers had to say at the end of the war. The North was very generous letting the soldiers keep their rifles and horses because many of them needed those things to make a living. The pledge was what they required in return. If you listen carefully to the words it’s clear you are pledging to “one nation” i.e., not a confederacy of states or to your state but to the nation as a whole (still a new idea at that time).

      I say it’s ironic because many of the same people that support this guy actually want their states to secede from the union yet again. When they make a big deal about the pledge they don’t realize they are praising the words the soldiers they admire so much had to say in ignominious defeat to acknowledge that they lost a war to preserve slavery.

  7. Some counter examples:

    “The experiment is made, and has completely succeeded: it can no longer be called in question, whether authority in magistrates, and obedience of citizens, can be grounded on reason, morality, and the Christian religion, without the monkery of priests, or the knavery of politicians.”
    ~ John Adams

    “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
    ~ John Jay, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

  8. I’d be interested to know the ratio of believers to atheists in the military – anyone know ?
    “Accept anything your told”…..”Sir yes Sir”…..seems more of a believers thing…..

    • In reply to #23 by Light Wave:

      I’d be interested to know the ratio of believers to atheists in the military – anyone know ?
      “Accept anything your told”…..”Sir yes Sir”…..seems more of a believers thing…..

      I’d be willing to bet most veterans are atheist.

      • In reply to #24 by Peter Grant:

        In reply to #23 by Light Wave:

        I’d be interested to know the ratio of believers to atheists in the military – anyone know ?
        “Accept anything your told”…..”Sir yes Sir”…..seems more of a believers thing…..

        I’d be willing to bet most veterans are atheist.

        You would be right, at least if you are making book on the Australian navy, that is. Of the 83 people I joined with many years ago, and with whom I still stay in touch at reunions, not one is a god botherer.

    • In reply to #23 by Light Wave:

      I’d be interested to know the ratio of believers to atheists in the military – anyone know ?
      “Accept anything your told”…..”Sir yes Sir”…..seems more of a believers thing…..

      Actually the idea that the military just wants drones is a stereotype and not really correct. If you look at military history at some of the most effective soldiers of all time, e.g. the Germans in WWII, there was a strong emphasis on being able to think creatively and to come up with tactics on the fly rather than on just following a set plan. And the US military is aware of that. They encourage people to think for themselves although of course it’s always required to obey the chain of command.

      • In reply to #25 by Red Dog:

        They encourage people to think for themselves although of course it’s always required to obey the chain of command.

        It’s required to get away with seeming to. I’m just saying…

  9. Two biblical quotations that may be germane:

    Matthew 3:34-37 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

    Matthew 6:5-6: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

  10. If atheists are true athiests put a gun to their childs head and see how many “God Help Me”s you will hear.

    Only if I thought it would make you lower the gun, and then you’d be dead…

    • In reply to #31 by Jjcob82:

      I served in the U.S. Army and was informed prior to swearing in both times I did that the “so help me god” portion was optional. I of course omitted that part.

      I served in the British Army and was not informed prior to swearing in that the “so help me God” portion was optional, if it was optional. I of course, being 17 years old at the time, would not have omitted that part of the swearing in at that time for fear of being painted as an upstart that was kicking back against the establishments standard. Today I would feel differently.

  11. Somebody might want to tell him that the founders never called America “One nation under God.” And the ‘no atheists in foxholes’ thing is getting old. What’s this I hear about an atheist soldier suing the military?

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