Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” and explained why he and 27 other representatives wrote a letter to the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson, about the deletion of the phrase, “so help me God,” from the oath in the Cadet Handbook.
Pompeo sees the deletion of this phrase as “an attack of core freedoms and our Christian nation” and as a part of a larger attempt to remove religious freedom from military institutions.
“These are not isolated random events,” Pompeo asserts, “They are a concretive effort by folks who are on what I call the ‘hardcore progressive left’ who want to take religion out of the American mainstream, who want to paint it as irrational or paint those who hold dearly to their religious beliefs as being outside of the mainstream or the norm. The military institutions are certainly a part of that.”
The phrase, “so help me God,” is a part of the oath, but is optional for military members to include when taking the oath to serve. Pompeo pointed out that the Supreme Court has evaluated matters similar to this phrase both in the public square and in military institutions and found them both proper and constitutional.
He affirms, “This is not about establishment. This is not about denying other folks freedom to exercise their religious rights. This is about a basic set of values and a basic set of core religious freedoms, so we asked the Superintendent to reconsider the decision that has been made. We want to work with the Department of the Air Force, as well and get the leaders inside of the Air Force at large to reconsider this. We are hopeful that they’ll start to do that. I hope that’s what they ultimately conclude and I hope to get this right for the nation.”
Pompeo understands that military institutions are usually one of the first places that cultural changes take place. “In some cases I’m very proud of that. There are certainly some things that the military has led the way on. But this is a place that the left has determined they can make inroads.”
“I’m optimistic that the military leadership – both civilian leaders and those in uniform will see this for what it is and move back and allow these deep traditions of religious freedom to continue to exist,” concluded Pompeo.