The Air Force banks left

The U.S. Air Force reversed course today, deciding that you really don’t have to believe in God to hop aboard a plane and drop bombs on bad guys.

Specifically, the Air Force decided that, going forward, airmen will be allowed to omit the words “So help me God” from their oath.

OMIGOD! Now that I’ve heard this, so help me God, I want to . . .

Crack open a beer and celebrate. The Air Force got it right. Continue reading

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There are no atheists in foxholes … or in cockpits

So the president of the United States went on television last night to tell us that 13 years haven’t been nearly enough, and we now have a whole new band of barbarians hellbent on killing us and we’ll be waging war against them for the foreseeable future, and then some.

That new group has lots of names, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what to call them. Pretty much every newspaper and television station I’ve seen is calling them ISIS, which apparently is upsetting lots of women named Isis, not to mention that it’s the name of a great Dylan song (which is redundant) and I’m sure this isn’t what he had in mind. And, besides, the second S stands for Syria, which nobody really wants to think about very much. Continue reading

On my honor . . .

 Repeat after me . . .

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
And to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
Mentally awake, and morally straight.

That, kids, is the Scout Oath, the words that every Boy Scout recites with two or three fingers pressed against his forehead.

The “morally straight” part almost got settled this year when the Scouts finally ruled that gay boys would henceforth be worthy of joining the club. I don’t think the founders of this organization ever intended “morally straight” to mean “morally heterosexual,” and now they’ve halfway straightened it all out. I say halfway because they still don’t allow gay adults to be Scout leaders. So now you can be gay and a Scout until you reach adulthood, at which time you must amazingly become straight or, more likely, take a hike. Them’s the rules.

But those rules are downright radical when compared to another part of their pledge. We’re talking “God and my country.”

In 2013, if you don’t happen to believe in God, then you’re still on the outside looking in. The Scouts make it very clear: We don’t want no stinkin’ atheists.

So what do you do when your kid wants to join the Scouts, and you happen not to believe in the Big Bad Invisible Voodoo Guy in the Sky?

Pull up a chair, kids, and I’ll tell you about the day my son, Ben, wanted to be a Tiger Scout, and how a little clause in the signup form opened not only my eyes, but his.  Continue reading