The U.S. Air Force Academy has removed the phrase "so help me God" from handbooks and also pulled down a poster that included "God."
Those moves were brought to the attention of CBN News by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. The new controversy comes after the academy decided in October to allow cadets to opt out of using the phrase, which is traditionally invoked at the end of the Honor Oath.
The atheist Military Religious Freedom Foundation had protested the oath's language, calling it unconstitutional and threatened to sue the academy if it wasn't removed.
How did the Air Force violate the law by removing "God" from the oaths in the handbook? Ron Crews, with the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, addresses this and more on CBN Newswatch, Nov 22.
Meanwhile, 28 congressmen and women wrote to the superintendent of the Air Force Academy last week, telling him that pulling God from the handbook violates the law.
"The Constitution does not require that this phrase be scrubbed from the oath," the letter, drafted by Rep. Jim Bridenstein, R-Okla., read.
"The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion. However, the inclusion of the phrase 'so help me God' in an oath of service does not rise to this level," he charged.
"Editing the oath for all Academy students is extreme and unnecessary, and does a disservice to the countless individuals who wish to include the phrase as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and country," he said.
The Air Force Academy currently has about 4,000 cadets, who, when they graduate, will be commissioned as second lieutenants.