Some good news: though apparently there’s no one in the Air Force capable of reading the Constitution and drawing the correct conclusions, the DoD General Counsel office labors under no such disability, and accordingly the Air Force will return to its pre-2013 practice (matching the practice of the other services) and make the phrase “so help me God” optional in its enlistment oath.
Patrick Vaughan, General Counsel for the American Family Association, had a very interesting post on the original decision. He reports, citing a 1951 case, [U.S. v. Slozes, 1 CMR 47],
Long ago, the Court of Military Appeals clarified that “In cases of affirmation the phrase ‘So help you God’ will be omitted”
Since the statute allows an affirmation as an alternative to an oath, that precedent would seem to dispose of the argument that the Air Force was simply following the statute. That makes the original decision that much more outrageous; I hope the Secretary of the Air Force will ensure that this outrage has career consequences for whoever made it.
Kudos to Vaughan for Saying the Thing That Is even when he and his employer might have preferred it to be otherwise.
I have to agree with Robertson: little Jewish radicals have always been a pain in the butt.