Recently Congressman Johnson (R-TX) became rightfully outraged with the Air Force Academy removed the requirement to swear an oath to our nation with “so help me God.” As a result he has introduced H.R. 3416, a bill that would require congressional approval prior to any change to Oaths of Office. In support of the bill he wrote the following which perhaps every American should read:
“Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” and you better believe I’ll fight like mad to keep it that way. I can tell you from experience, there are no atheists in foxholes. We are the land of the free because of the brave. Many people don’t know this, but when you survive a near-death experience, you realize that the only thing you had to hold on to was your faith in God.
I spent nearly 7 years as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Vietnam – more than half of that time in solitary confinement. Our captors tried to break our spirits daily. One year, a group of POWs in the prison we dubbed the Hanoi Hilton decided to defy our captors and hold a church service. They hated that we found unity and strength in God and one another. As armed guards surrounded us, a fellow POW pounced onto the poor excuse for a bed and belted out the national anthem and “God Bless America.”
I remember how the magnitude of the moment and the magic of the music overpowered any illness or ache. For a fleeting time, we felt strong and faithful. It was truly the greatest gift each of us had during those endless days of torture, isolation, and starvation. It’s not only my experience, but that of my fellow POWs, veterans, and those currently in harm’s way that make “so help me God” vital to the oath. I urge my colleagues to join this effort to protect the legacy of freedom of religion.”
Please contact your congressman and urge him to support Congressman Sam Johnson’s bill in defense of keeping “so help me God” in military oaths. Amazingly, so far he has only one co-sponsor to the legislation.