After a protest from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the Air Force Academy is considering the removal of a religious reference from an honor pledge.
For years, cadets at the school have concluded their pledge to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing and tolerating any of those infractions in other cadets, by saying “so help me God.” The MRFF says that last phrase constitutes a litmus test for religious belief which is incompatible with basic constitutional protections, the Associated Press notes.
Now, the Air Force school indicates that it could make the phrase optional for cadets, or simply scrap the oath altogether. “We need to be respectful of all people of faith and all people of no faith,” an academy spokesperson said.
Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson is reviewing the matter and could make a final decision soon.
The school’s honor code dates back to 1956, but the oath was only instituted in 1984 in the wake of a cheating scandal.
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