Target: United States Representative Sam Johnson
Goal: Don’t force military members to pledge to God in their oaths.
Members of the military could soon be forced to swear to a supreme being in their oaths of service in perpetuity if legislation introduced by Representative Sam Johnson becomes law. This is an infringement of every American’s right to freedom of religion. Demand that Representative Johnson abandon his misguided proposal at once.
In response to the United States Air Force Academy’s announcement that it independently amended its oath to allow students to opt out of concluding it with “So help me God,” Representative Johnson has taken it upon himself to “preserve and protect God” in America. Saying that “Americans have the [right to] freedom of religion—but not freedom from religion,” Johnson’s proposal would make congressional approval mandatory before any military oath could be amended to make references to God optional based on service members’ personal beliefs.
This would block branches of the military taking it upon themselves to change their oaths to be consistent with the right to freedom of religion. The ultimate effect is soldiers not being able to express their religious beliefs without explicit congressional approval, which is blatantly unconstitutional.
Representative Johnson apparently does not understand that a person’s right to religious freedom includes the right to not practice any religion at all. Sign the petition below to demand that he rescind his proposal from consideration so that it can never become law.
Dear Representative Johnson,
I am writing you today regarding your Preserve and Protect God in Military Oaths Act of 2015. This is a horribly misguided piece of legislation that fundamentally misunderstands Americans’ right to religious freedom.
Despite what you have argued, Americans absolutely have the right to freedom from religion. They are in no way, shape, or form mandated to possess some kind of religious belief, and that right has been affirmed time and time again by the Supreme Court. As a result, enforcing a pledge to a “God” as part of all military oaths is unconstitutional.
Military members, like those at the national Air Force Academy, have a right to take an oath that is consistent with their personal beliefs, whether or not those beliefs include a supreme being. The fact that you are national congressman and yet have such a fundamental misunderstanding of Americans’ rights is frightening.
Your legislation is misguided at best and dangerous at worst. Making it so that any and all oaths must be approved by a conservative, warmongering, and in many cases religiously-crusading Congress is wrong. I demand that you rescind the Preserve and Protect God in Military Oaths Act of 2015 so that it can never become law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Boing-boing via Wikimedia Commons