by Matt Lacy –
While a group of Republican lawmakers is urging the Air Force to put the word “God” back into a service patch, one retired officer says he believes the new motto still references the divine and is actually better.
The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Force expedites the development and fielding of select Department of Defense combat support and weapons systems. The unit patch said, “Opus Dei Cum Pecunia Alienum Efficemus”, or “Doing God’s Work With Other People’s Money.”
The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers protested the reference to God on the pledge, and the Air Force capitulated, changing the phrase to, “Doing Miracles With Other People’s Money.”
Following the decision by the Air Force, several lawmakers have protested the decision and have asked the Air Force to reconsider its decision.
A letter signed by 35 lawmakers and led by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) was sent to Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley.
Forbes wrote, “The action taken by the RCO suggests that all references to God, regardless of their context, must be removed from the military. As we are confident that your legal advisors would not suggest that censorship is required for compliance with the First Amendment, we ask that you reverse this perplexing decision.”
It’s interesting that atheist groups appear to have no problem with the word “miracle,” even though the word connotates a supernatural intervention of some sort.
Larry Petrash, writing for the Times Record News, points out that the new phrase not only maintains a reference to God but also more accurately describes the unit’s mission.
Petrash, who is a retired officer, says the old phrase taken by itself doesn’t really describe what type of work is being done, but the new phrase does.
“What the Air Force changed the motto to; ‘Doing Miracles with other People’s Money’ is really more descriptive. And what is a miracle? According to Webster, a miracle is ‘an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.’ And what is divine?”
He continued, “Divine, according to Webster means ‘of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God.’ The revised motto means the same thing, in essence, as the original wording, but is stated much more clearly. So it has a very practical application.”
Petash said he actually supports lawmakers who are fighting for the rights of Christians, but in this case he feels the change makes the phrase better.
Tags: Air, Air Force, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Force, case, decision, First Amendment, God, Larry Petrash, letter, Matt Lacy, Michael, officer, Opus Dei Cum Pecunia Alienum Efficemus, problem, Randy, Randy Forbes, RCO, Times Record News, unit, word