Imagine the Right’s Religion
For decades I’ve been told by my adversaries in the religious right that they only seek a “place at the table” for their Christian worldview - well, their version of Christianity, that is.
But evidence has mounted recently that what they really want is something else entirely: to own the table, determine what goes on it and force-feed everyone the same gruel they consume.
Consider the outcry over the U.S. Air Force Academy’s decision to alter the Honor Oath cadets take every academic year. It formerly concluded, always, with the phrase “So help me God.”
The problem is that some cadets didn’t want to say a religious oath. Since it makes no sense to force a person to swear an oath that he or she disbelieves, academy officials made the eminently sensible decision to make the God part optional.
Religious right groups immediately went ballistic. The Tupelo, Miss.,-based American Family Association is urging its legion of followers to write to the commandant of the Academy to “preserve religious liberty by defending the oath and recommending the Academy keep the current language intact.”
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins asserted in a radio broadcast that even giving non-believers the option not to say “God” would somehow reflect an “anti-Christian bias.” According to Perkins, making these four words optional would not be “inclusive” since it would not include military personnel like George Washington, whom he claims initiated that phrase. (Washington didn’t do that, but that’s another column.)