Last month an atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God.” After crossing out the last four words, he was told his only options were to either sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force.
The Air Force used to allow airmen to omit the phrase “so help me God” if they so chose. But an Oct. 30, 2013, update to Air Force Instruction 36-2606, which spells out the active-duty oath of enlistment, dropped that option. Since that quiet update, airmen have been required to swear an oath to a deity when they enlist or re-enlist.
In a letter to the Air Force General Inspector American Humanist Association (AHA) attorney Monica Miller said the airman should be given the choice to re-enlist by swearing a secular oath. She said the AHA will sue if the airman is not allowed to re-enlist. The AHA concluded that it is unconstitutional and unacceptable that the airman be required to say an oath swearing allegiance to a deity and that Article VI of the Constitution prohibits requiring religious tests to hold an office or public trust.
The Department of Defense recently informed the U.S. Air Force that it must allow the Airman to reenlist without including the religious language in his contract. A press release from the Pentagon can be viewed here.
The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words ‘So help me God’ from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.
Religious people and their apologizers do that all the time: It is all good and holy when things go well. Until someone gets hurt, of course, or a follower starts doing something they don’t like. Then, suddenly, they say their faith is misunderstood, misinterpreted and that in fact it is not what their faith is at all about
It is disgusting how out of fear of being called “Islamophobic” people, our President included, keep pandering to this sinister religion and its followers. There is nothing good about Islam and those Muslims who do not act like ISIS or what others call “extremists” are the ones just not taking their religion seriously, and not – as everyone would have us believe – because they are the true Muslims. True Muslims are ISIS, the Taliban and the vice ministry of Saudi Arabia and their credo and agenda is very clear. Sharia is not confined to a lunatic fringe, it is a core of Islam and its teachings. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.
In the Hadith book, which is a report of the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, there is AN ENTIRE CHAPTER of Prescribed Punishments (Kitab Al-Hudud) – that deals with all the ways one should punish those who disobey god or cross him or dont worship him right, including calling for the execution of gays.
Let me repeat this for you: ISLAM CALLS FOR THE EXECUTION OF GAYS (Qur’an (7:80-84) , Qur’an (7:81) , Qur’an (4:16) , Abu Dawud (4462) , Abu Dawud (4448) – “If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.” (Note the implicit approval of sodomizing one’s wife)., Bukhari (72:774)…)
So I am not really interested in hearing crap like “respecting other peoples’ beliefs” when other peoples’ beliefs are not only harmful but right out fucked up sinister and call for the execution of people based on their sexual orientation and a host of attributes their god doesn’t approve of.
Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli of Iran said, in April of 2012, that homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, since these animals (presumably) do not engage in such acts. In November of that year, a cleric on British television stated, “What should be done to those who practice homosexuality? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture.”
Why am I anti-Islam? Well, for the simple reason that Islam is anti-me, and it’s anti every fundamental value I hold.
This is not just people saying gays shouldn’t get married, which is bad enough, this is people saying they should be killed. There is a difference. And not just gays but infidels and women who show skin and have sex before marriage and atheists and anyone who violates what Muhammed preached.
No one is obliged to pander to these people and be polite and give them a platform and forum to spread their hatred and such worldviews that are barbaric, dangerous and beyond harmful. We have an obligation to speak up and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.
I really want to see people who keep saying Islam is the religion of peace and understood to actually open up aKoran and read it cover to cover. Because the reality is that it is not. It is a wretched book all about how one should take revenge on and punish people who do not obey the words of god as dictated to Muahmmed. There is nothing heart-warming and peaceful about Islam. And people who say it are painfully delusional and tragically misguided.
People who defend Islam need to educate themselves about Islam and what it teaches. If you practice and abide by a worldview that calls for the annihilation of those who disagree with them, then you have no right to speak your mind.
It is a proud, proud moment for war mongers – Republican and Democrat alike – because President Obama – you know, this amazing shining beacon of Progressivism and the man who was going to do things differently and bring about change we can truly believe and who was supposed to finally be the person to break us out of bad habits such as engaging in fabricated, pointless, illegitimate and not well-thought-out wars that do nothing but suck up our resources and create a milieu ripe for extremists and other such scum that keep targeting us and our people – finally became yet another President to announce military engagement in Iraq, this time without trying to pretend we do it for nation building.
Not wanting to be the first President in a long line of Presidents to not announce military airstrike in Iraq, President Obama proudly announced a bombing campaign in Iraq stating equally proudly that the United States has taken the first step in its planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants (ISIS) going to the “aid” (uh-huh) of Iraqi security forces near Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters.
The U.S. Central Command said it conducted two airstrikes Sunday and Monday in support of the Iraqi forces near Sinjar and southwest of Baghdad.
A vote on the broader use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) isn’t expected to happen until after Election Day because, of course not. First you lie to the public with lofty speeches and then once you got their votes, you turn around and do what you wanted to do all along by saying something about national security and changing priorities.
The White House feels good about the chances for getting authorization for the package through Congress, a senior administration official said. Obama spoke with lawmakers from both parties on Monday and, according to the official, is personally gratified that he has received support from Republican and Democratic leaders for the proposal.
According to the White House, officials weren’t sure the idea would receive bipartisan support with the public still wary of military action following the Bush years. But, the official said, congressional leaders expressed bipartisan agreement for that path forward during an Oval Office meeting last week with Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Boehner and Obama spoke last Wednesday on the telephone and have cooperated in trying to move the package forward — a sharp shift from the chilliness over much of the last year.
It is interesting that there is bipartisan support for the President’s plan (always a sign that something is amiss because if Republicans are for it, it cannot be good) because nothing brings politicians together more than war and, of course, one is not bound to find a Republican who never met a war he didn’t like.
The only extent to which Republicans and Democrats differ from one another in this is that Republicans worry the military actions will not go far enough (66%) whereas by contrast, 54% of Democrats say their bigger concern is that it will go too far.
This is amazing: we now have gone straight from nation building to military building and we are not even trying to pretend otherwise anymore.
Of course, the bigger question to ask – and which everyone on Capitol Hill and the White House refuses to ask – is whether we really think that bombing Iraq once again, thus undoubtedly causing the deaths of countless innocent people and creating the kind of havoc only war can create, to maybe get a few ISIS operatives is going to put an end to ISIS.
The thing is that ISIS is the symptom of a larger problem. You bomb and kill them, two new groups will grow in their place in no time and the cycle continues.
That is why military action in such a short-sighted, knee-jerk manner is not the answer. We need to step back and rethink our strategy toward the Middle East altogether, not engage in those very acts that created the milieu that gave rise to entities like ISIS in the first place.
I am afraid that all this will do is perpetuate the violence, create an even bigger disdain for the US and, worse of all, cost the lives of countless innocent people as collateral damage before we are back at square one.
Not to mention that we cannot afford this. Our last engagement in Iraq nearly bankrupted us, we cannot afford another war, however short-lived it allegedly may be. And it will not be short-lived. Once you are in, once you start arming rebels and becoming part of the deal, there is no easy way out. You are bound to stay around to continue and finish what you started. It took us nearly a decade to get out of Iraq (and we are still not really fully out) and we are still in Afghanistan.
I am absolutely terrified and appalled that going to war has become such an easy thing to do with our lawmakers.
We are such a disgraceful country and seem to seriously have no other priorities besides stealing from the masses to get a few people rich and go to wars.
We keep insisting that we do not have the funds to feed our hungry and, therefore, slash food-stamps and welfare programmes; that we cannot extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed; that we cannot increase the minimum wage (as we speak, Republicans have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act once again); over the past six or seven years, Republicans have fought tooth and nail to make sure we do not get the Affordable Care Act which makes affordable health care accessible to everyone; we claim we do not have the money to build on, strengthen and expand our social safety net programs and enact a host of middle-class strengthening policies citing lack of resources and a deficit (which, ironically, was created, among other things, by being in a perpetual state of war); we say we cannot regulate polluters and strengthen regulatory agencies to safeguard the environment and with it our health, slashing their funding, but somehow we seem to be able to always find copious amounts of money to engage in yet another expensive military strike under questionable rationales.
Star Trek TNG stars reunite for comic con in Chicago. A whole lot of awesomeness in one picture.
(Clockwise starting far left: Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, unknown, William Shatner, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn (very far right, cut off), LeVar Burton, Patrick Stewart).
(Seriously, though. Religious people are so cute when they try it with the big thoughts, big words and big concepts. Everytime they come back with a rebuttal of some sort against us evil atheists, it always ends up in some incoherent, pathetic clusterfuck such as this piss poor cut and paste job of a cartoon. But it is cute in my opinion. It is like watching a dog walk on its hind leg or something. Just adorable how hard they try and still miss by miles.)