Air Force Academy cadets now have the option whether or not to repeat the phrase “so help me, God” when reciting the school’s honor code.
The Academy’s Honor Review Committee voted to make the statement optional following a complaint by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, reports Fox News, and says the decision was made to help build a “culture of dignity and respect” for all students.
“Here at the Academy, we work to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference — or not,” said Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson in a prepared statement.
The complaint came after the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper published a photograph of a poster at the academy, which included the oath, and then forwarded the photo to MRFF President Mikey Weinstein, a frequent critic of Christianity in the armed forces.
But Weinstein, while applauding the decision to make the oath optional, questioned how it will be applied, reports The Associated Press.