Alexander's Column

I will support and defend... So help me God

By Mark Alexander · Aug. 12, 2005

“Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” –George Washington

There are no ACLU lawyers on the actual warfront with Jihadistan demanding military compliance with the erroneously-named “separation clause.” There are, however, plenty of American Patriots on the front who daily offer intercessory prayer to God. Yes, they are in uniform and on official assignment with the U.S. government, and yes, they do petition GOD, not “the man upstairs,” “the higher power” or some other PC-neutral deity. They even receive encouragement and guidance from official military chaplains.

How do they get away with it?

Well, the closest any ACLU gofers come to a “warfront” is arguing with their high-brow breed about what wine will best complement their entr?e at fashionable urban bistros. What they don't argue about is their commitment to a vigorous and relentless crusade to remove any reference to God from all public life – using their cadre of judicial activists to twist Thomas Jefferson's allusion to a “Wall of Separation” into grossly errant interpretations of our Constitution's First Amendment. They want to take “God” out of our national pledge, motto, official oaths, monuments, seals, schools, currency, political dialogue, etc. (Taking God out of places of worship will be next – after all, they are tax-exempt organizations, synonymous in liberal parlance to “state supported.”)

On the real warfront, where uniformed Patriots are defending our Constitution in actual combat operations, there are few atheists in the trenches, but stateside, atheists boldly target the enemy from their lofty ACLU perches. Their most recent military target was the Air Force Academy (USAFA), where a few hand-wringing bed-wetters complained of religious intolerance.

Without the first legal shot being fired, Acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael Dominguez appointed Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for personnel, Lieutenant General Roger Brady, to investigate this crisis and determine if there was adequate diversity indoctrination for both USAFA faculty and cadets to promote the “free exercise of religion” and comport with the “establishment clause.”

General Brady and his brigade were deployed to the USAFA, where they found deplorable examples of intolerance. For example, cadets, 85 percent of whom identify themselves as Christian, were encouraged to attend chapel. If that were not bad enough, an Academy staffer put some New Testament verses in an official e-mail, and worse, some cadets used the USAFA's e-mail system to encourage others to see the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”

“There is a lack of awareness on the part of some faculty and staff, and perhaps some senior cadets, as to what constitutes appropriate expressions of faith,” said Gen. Brady upon concluding his investigation. “There is a lack of operational guidance that tells commanders and senior supervisors exactly what is appropriate in regard to free exercise of religion.” Echoing Brady's assessment, the USAFA's superintendent, Lt. Gen. John Rosa said, “We've got a long way to go.”

To that end, the Academy has created a new diversity curriculum called “Respecting Spiritual Values of All People.” “This program tells cadets that people believe different things and come from different places,” said Gen. Brady. Nonetheless, that did not silence critics like New York Rep. Steve Israel, who said of Brady's report, “It is not a whitewash, but it does resemble a milquetoast.” (Seriously, that's what he said.)

Milquetoast notwithstanding, Rep. Israel and the ACLU claimed their first victim in this skirmish. In reviewing promotions for 21 Air Force generals last week, the Senate passed on awarding another star to the USAFA's commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, a 1978 academy graduate and, unfortunately for his future billet prospects, a Christian. (For a full explication on how the ACLU aborted the career of another distinguished American, a USMA graduate and decorated Vietnam veteran, link to – http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2003/08/22/the-despotic-branch-the-case-for-judge-roy-moore/)

His offense: Gen. Weida apparently told cadets in his June, 2003, “guidance” statement that they were “accountable first to your God.” Of this overt reference to God, disgruntled USAFA cadet parent Mikey Weinstein whined, “Weida lost his constitutional compass, which resulted in him violating the oath he took to preserve, support and defend the U.S. Constitution.”

Ah yes, “the oath he took.” That would be the one that concludes, as all official U.S. oaths do, with these words: “So help me God.”

On 30 April 1789, America's first Commander in Chief, President George Washington, took his presidential oath of office with his hand on a Bible opened to the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 28. He ended his oath with “So help me God,” which was added to military oaths for officers by Act of Congress 29 September 1789.

In his “Inaugural Speech to Both Houses of Congress,” President Washington said: “It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect.” Such was the conduct of his administration.

In his Farewell Speech of 19 September 1796, George Washington concluded with these words: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. … Let it be simply asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

However, “subverting the firmest props” which “sustain security for property, for reputation, for life” is the axis of the ACLU's agenda. Anyone taking official oaths can simply “affirm,” as our Constitution's Article 6, Section 3 ensures, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The point, of course, is not that the ACLU objects to the wording “So help me God” in oaths. The ACLU objects to God in any context.

Despite misguided efforts by the DoD to accommodate that agenda, the fact remains, on the frontlines of our war against Jihadistan, that four words ultimately transform American citizens into Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – “So help me God.”

God bless you Patriots!

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: For an excellent resource on the origin and purpose of these transforming words, you can purchase the handbook, “So Help Me God: A Reflection on the Military Oath” at http://patriotshop.us/productinfo.php?cPath=75&productsid=413. You can also support our Armed Forces with “I will support and defend…so help me God” Shields of Strength at http://patriotpost.us/opsos/

1 Comment

Terry said:

Thank you. However it bears reiteration that the phrase "So help me God" is now optional. This gives pause however, as some may wonder exactly how much weight the oath now carries, or if, indeed it even exists by implicit world view, if the world exists, if existence exists...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 9:20 AM