Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got into a heated exchange with an atheist activist during Wednesday evening’s broadcast.
During a “Kelly File” segment on a campaign to remove the phrase, “so help me God,” from the U.S. Air Force Academy’s honor oath, guest Mikey Weinstein thanked the host for inviting him into “Fox world.”
The former Air Force officer and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation argued that the phrase violated the Constitution’s establishment clause and the ban on religious tests for federal employees.
Kelly asked Weinstein several times why the phrase couldn’t remain in place but make it optional for cadets who recited the oath, and the host and guest began to talk over one another as they each tried to make their points.
A frustrated Weinstein told Kelly he’d put his answer into single-syllable words as the host asked why the phrase should be considered illegal, if it was included in the presidential and vice presidential oaths of office.
Weinstein attempted to make a point about John Quincy Adams when Kelly interrupted.
“Mikey, chill, chill,” Kelly said, before backing off and allowing her guest to continue.
“John Quincy Adams put his hand on a book of laws, not The Bible, when he took the oath,” Weinstein said. “A very devout Christian himself, because he loved the separation of church and state, which makes our country better.”
Weinstein said a poster at the academy showing the oath had been brought to his attention by a reporter in Colorado Springs, and he asked Air Force officials to remove the poster and the phrase that he says violates the law.
The academy’s honor review committee met Tuesday to discuss the request, which will be decided by the academy superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson.
Weinstein compared academy officials to “the Keystone Cops” because, he said, the oath shown in the poster did not list the prohibition against cheating to which cadets must swear.
“They forgot to put the word ‘cheat’ in the code, so it had to come down for that reason, anyway, besides the fact that it obnoxiously violated the U.S. Constitution,” Weinstein said.
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