The Air Force Academy has decided to make the phrase “so help me God” optional in its honor code in what it called an effort to “build a culture of dignity and respect.”
The decision to make the reference optional came after the Academy’s Honor Review Committee met to consider a complaint filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
“Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference – or not,” Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said in a prepared statement.
The current version of the Academy’s oath reads: “We will not lie, steal or cheat nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and live honorably, so help me God.”
“In the spirit of respect, cadets may or may not choose to finish the Honor Oath with ‘So help me God,’” said Johnson, the superintendent of the Academy.
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