You’re probably tired of hearing the myth, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” I am too—especially when atheists outnumber all other religious minorities in the military.
Yet time and time again, the military has alienated its nontheistic service members with discriminatory policies and outdated regulations.
Last year the American Humanist Association was proud to work with an atheist airman to successfully overturn the U.S. Air Force’s unconstitutional requirement that enlistment oaths end with the phrase “so help me God.” Unfortunately, religious right extremists in Congress are quickly working to overturn this ruling. U.S. Representative Sam Johnson recently introduced the Preserve and Protect God in Military Oaths Act of 2015, which could force cadets at the Air Force Academy to say “so help me God” in their oaths. This is the same person who claimed, “Americans have the freedom of religion—but not freedom from religion.”
Rep. Johnson’s lack of support for the thousands of atheists and humanists currently serving in our military is a disgrace. Ensure his bill doesn’t become law by contacting your Representative and asking him or her to oppose it.
Our armed services are meant to be institutions in which all Americans can serve, free from discrimination based on gender, race, religion, or other factors. Rather than supporting our troops, Rep. Johnson’s bill will alienate nontheistic soldiers who feel uncomfortable swearing a religious oath.
Fight back against attempts to inject religion into our armed services by opposing this bill today. Our military must respect the religious and non-religious views of all who serve to protect our country—not just some.