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#309809 - 02/26/08 05:21 PM Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment
Mister Breaker Offline


Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 4
Loc: Metairie, Louisiana
I have a question as it pertains to both the Oath of Enlistment for the Armed Forces, and the Oath of Office as it pertains to Law Enforcement or any public official. I've spent the last 16 years in the Marines and am getting ready to enlist in the Louisiana National Guard. In addition to that, in a few months time, I will be swearing in as a Deputy Sheriff, also in Louisiana. I not sure if there are any other members of the military or public office here, if there are maybe they can help, but my question is in regards to the last four words of both these oaths; 'so help me god'. Being a Satanist, I can't swear an oath to a god I don't believe in, so how do I handle that part? I've been considering simply shutting my mouth when it comes time to recite that part. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

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#309814 - 02/26/08 05:33 PM Your god [Re: Mister Breaker]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
 Originally Posted By: Mister Breaker
Being a Satanist, I can't swear an oath to a god I don't believe in, so how do I handle that part?


Is there a god you do believe in?

Hint: "As Satanists, we are I-theists". ;\)
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#309818 - 02/26/08 05:51 PM You call that a "hint"??? [Re: Roho_the_Rooster]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12529
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Might as well tell him to look in the mirror!

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#309820 - 02/26/08 05:53 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Callier Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 2196
If that's what you have to say in order to advance in your desired field then by all means do it.

It doesn't mean you really have to believe in this "god". It's just a word. ;\)
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$$$ Get Rich or Die Tryin' $$$

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#309821 - 02/26/08 05:58 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
What do you have to lose?

If swearing by a non-existing entity helps you get a job, go ahead.

It's like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes. Even people who don't believe in "blessings" can do it, because it's just a commonly established ritual that had become part of good manners.
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You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


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#309822 - 02/26/08 05:59 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Poetaster Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
Pay lip service to God.

It's hardly going to affect you, or at least it shouldn't and, it will curtail any problems you are likely to have if you 'take a stand'. It's important to understand that there is no 'us v.s. them' dynamic in Satanism and, there is no tribunal of Satanists to rain down fiery punishment on your head for playing 'by the rules' of 'polite' society.

Pride, is only as good as the positive change it produces for you. When pride begins to interfere in a negative manner you can be assured that counter-productive pride is looming on the horizon.
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a personís faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#309823 - 02/26/08 06:00 PM Re: You call that a "hint"??? [Re: Nemo]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
 Originally Posted By: Nemo
Might as well tell him to look in the mirror!


Now you know why the kids like it when Uncle Roho hides the eggs.
_________________________
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces

http://theepicureandilettante.blogspot.com/

"Life is the only race you lose by reaching the end." - M.M.

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#309824 - 02/26/08 06:02 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Old_Pig]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
 Originally Posted By: Tha_Pig

It's like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes. Even people who don't believe in "blessings" can do it, because it's just a commonly established ritual that had become part of good manners.


I say "Bless you" when someone sneezes.
Someone once thought they "got me" and said, "Aha! And WHO are you asking to bless me?"
I said, "Me".
_________________________
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces

http://theepicureandilettante.blogspot.com/

"Life is the only race you lose by reaching the end." - M.M.

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#309834 - 02/26/08 06:44 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
 Originally Posted By: Mister Breaker
Being a Satanist, I can't swear an oath to a god I don't believe in...


You said the oath a few times in sixteen years. Why stop now? I've said the oath three times, and all I could think was, "hurry up! Please."

Don't let minor obstacles prevent what may be a worth while career.

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#309838 - 02/26/08 06:49 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
DickSteele Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 1411
I like what Tha_Pig stated about if it gets you into a good career. Dr. LaVey said it "it's allright to conform to someone else's standards as long as it ultimately benefits YOU".

When I joined the service we had the option to say "I hereby AFFIRM", for those who didn't want to say "GOD" or "SWEAR".

A funny side note to the ritual of saying "Bless you", when people say that to me I always reply- "Too Late!".

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#309840 - 02/26/08 06:54 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: DickSteele]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
 Originally Posted By: DickSteele
When I joined the service we had the option to say "I hereby AFFIRM", for those who didn't want to say "GOD" or "SWEAR".


That was a long time ago.

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#309847 - 02/26/08 07:24 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Colonel Kurtz]
DickSteele Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 1411
1993

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#309850 - 02/26/08 07:40 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: DickSteele]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
1994. The oath seems longer now.

I'll be repeating the oath for a fourth time 18 MAR 08.

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#309854 - 02/26/08 07:50 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Colonel Kurtz]
ConquerOrPerish Offline


Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 228
Loc: DC Metro Area
they should make a "men of satanism" calendar


Edited by ConquerOrPerish (02/26/08 07:50 PM)
_________________________
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"Making a difference makes sense only if you are convinced that you have mastered the subject at hand to the point where any difference you might make would be for the better." -Thomas Sowell


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#309859 - 02/26/08 08:02 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
RaSc Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 484
Loc: PA
 Quote:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.


You also swear to defend the Constitution and part of that is the first amendment. Interesting, isn't it?

My take on the oath (16 years Air Force) is that it is easy enough to recite it all. Every bit of the oath is binding and punishable if I fail to perform... except the last part. There are no lightening bolts that strike, no judgment forever more. The last part is a guilt trap to act as a catch all. You see, the majority will falter if they attempt to circumvent the oath because they believe in some sort of deity. I do not - therefore saying the last part is meaningless whether I say it or not.

I do, however, say it all because the officer swearing me in is most likely a Christian who can cause waves. Others might disagree with my thought process, but I am not concerned. Either way I walk away with a smile on my face and they are none the wiser.

Or...

You could say Dog and say it was a Freudian slip if asked.

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#309863 - 02/26/08 08:12 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: RaSc]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
Your signature on the contract is really all that matters.

Also a bonus check in the mail helps.

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#309870 - 02/26/08 08:20 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Colonel Kurtz]
RaSc Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 484
Loc: PA
You are correct, sir. ;\)

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#309892 - 02/26/08 09:31 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: RaSc]
Bizzaam Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Durham, NC
When I reenlisted in 2007 (Air Force), there were two people in the room. When the officer reached the last line of the oath, I put my hand down and smiled. It didn't take much to comprehend that I wasn't going to say it. As far as I could tell, no feelings were hurt, not that I cared about that anyway. Remember if anyone gives you grief about not saying it, there is always your Military Equal Opportunity office or an equivalent for your branch of service that will back you up for any type of discrimination.

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#309933 - 02/27/08 12:12 AM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Citizen Jonesy Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 994
Loc: Palm Springs, California, USA
So Help Me God=So help me Jonesy. ;\)
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#309987 - 02/27/08 06:32 AM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Remo razz Offline


Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 68
Loc: Canada
I have been in the Canadian military for almost 20 years. I know for a fact that there is other kind of "oaths". They involve loyalty to your government, sovereign or what ever rules the country you are in.

It all comes down to this: they are just words and don't mean the same for everyone... To you, when you say them, what do they mean? I pledged allegiance to god, donít you? I love my god and I treat him with respect, my god would like to eat breakfast right now...

Cheers
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http://www.satannet.com/Remorazz/

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#309990 - 02/27/08 06:56 AM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Bizzaam]
RaSc Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 484
Loc: PA
Those are good avenues of defense... if you can prove that you are being harassed because of your religion. The difficult thing is proving it.

BTZ boards, EPRs, Quarterly award packages, job positions, etc. can all be affected by such a thing as someone not liking you. You won't be told that it is because of your religious preference (to say so would be idiotic), but it can and does happen.

Disfavor can be shown in any number of ways - all unprovable to the MEO.

Consider yourself fortunate that the officer didn't care. There are those who can and will cause damage. Believe it or not, but officers are not immune to juvenile, herdish behavior.

Consider the OTS application (AF Form 56): The religious preference was removed from the form for obvious reasons. However, you are required to include your VMPF record, which includes your religious preference. The board scores are not releasable to the public or applicant. The Colonels who rate your package don't have to justify their decisions so their own religious bias can play free if they so allow.

You give them too much credit, sir.

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#310200 - 02/27/08 09:07 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: RaSc]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
My policy when dealing with these matters, goes like this, "Don't ask! Don't tell!" It works for gay service members, if followed properly.

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#310418 - 02/28/08 04:27 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Colonel Kurtz]
Mister Breaker Offline


Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 4
Loc: Metairie, Louisiana
Thank you all much for your input. I really appreciate it. Bizzaam, I thought your idea was good enough that I used it, and much the same as you, I put my hand down and smiled. There was a few seconds of silence until the Major administering the oath realised I wasn't going to say the last part. In the end it all worked out anyways because like VonDeth said, my signature was already on the contract. Anyways, again, than you all for you input.

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#310447 - 02/28/08 06:10 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Mister Breaker]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
GIVE 'EM HELL!

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#310478 - 02/28/08 07:22 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Colonel Kurtz]
Hixem Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 100
Loc: North Carolina
When I reenlisted (US Army), I spoke the words but didn't really give them must thought. I didn't feel that I was swearing fealty to God. To me it was just the comfortable trappings of ceremony that is so familiar in many military functions.

A close friend of mine, who is a charismatic Christian, asked the officer performing his reenlistment to omit the "so help me God" phrase at the end of the oath for religious reasons. To him, it seemed blasphemous to use God to affirm an earthly promise.

The officer performing the ceremony had no problem dropping the last bit. The ceremony is really for the enlistee and the unit. It is more esprit de corps than a contractual requirement. Your signature is what the Corps is really concerned with.

If you're concerned with exposure, simply ask to officer to drop the clause because, for religious reasons, you don't think its appropriate to use God's name that way. Let him interpret that as reverance for God if he wishes. You'll have the ceremony celebrating your commitment to service for another hitch without any of the conflicts of conscience, and it shouldn't really raise any red flags causing undue scrutiny to your religious beliefs.

And thank you for your service.
_________________________
Be the White Rabbit.

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#310483 - 02/28/08 07:39 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: Colonel Kurtz]
RaSc Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 484
Loc: PA
My policy is to play Devil's advocate from time to time.

I never thought about just smiling and not saying anything. That's a good idea - not fun, but effective.

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#310493 - 02/28/08 08:15 PM Re: Armed Forces and the Oath of Enlistment [Re: RaSc]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
"And now you know! And knowing is half the battle!"

(This was typed with the G.I. Joe theme song Playing in my head)

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