I reject the Iron Ring

Upon graduation every engineering student (in Canada) is encouraged, nay expected, to partake in the “Ritual Calling of the Engineer.” At this ceremony, overseen by the Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc., these graduates receive the famed “Iron Ring.”

The ring has much lore and history and most engineers look forward their entire degree to getting this symbol of their commitment to the profession of engineering.

While not required of engineers, the ceremony is attended by the vast majority of graduates, and the faculty and peers highly push students to partake in the event.

Today I took a stand and rejected the Iron Ring.

Some background: The ceremony originates from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It continues what the overseers find to be “traditional” wording and the obligation (see slide 26 of this presentation) all Iron Ring wearers take contains the following that I object to.

…I will henceforth, not suffer or pass, or be privy to the passing of, Bad Workmanship or Faulty Material in aught that concerns my works before mankind as an Engineer, or in my dealings with my own Soul before my Maker.

This passage I could let pass as I see the intent behind it, but the following (which is at the bottom), which they refused by request to strike out, was the dealbreaker:

Upon Honour and Cold Iron, God helping me, by these things I propose to abide.

They claim to have debated this wording before but have decided to stand firm and reject calls for change. As such I reject the calling and urge you to as well (or at least ask any friends you have in engineering).

If I can take a stand for the convocation at the University of Alberta, I will take a stand here.

Update (23/07/2013): I’ve closed comments on this post. If you really want to express your frustration, inability to understand the above, or better if you agree, email me. If you think this post was a waste of my time and yours, get on with your life.

100 thoughts on “I reject the Iron Ring”

  1. As an agnostic and an engineer, it is disappointing to see you’ve chosen to take a stand on this matter and rejected the ring. I took part in the ceremony years ago and don’t even remember what the words of the obligation were. I do remember that I swore, to myself at a minimum, to understand the implications of “bad workmanship” et al and the ring on my right hand is a constant reminder.

  2. As the previous comment shows, when one is mindlessly reciting religious rituals, the words don’t mean much to any but the religious. In that case, the words one says to oneself are what’s important.

    It would be nice if they had words to go along with the iron ring which rang true for everyone and didn’t require belief in a supreme being to make sense of them. Good for you, for taking a stand. It is only by people standing up that anything changes. My (outsider) impression is that engineering in Canada hangs on to rituals and so I wouldn’t expect change to come easily or quickly.

  3. I’d never seen the actual text of the ceremony before, though I had heard complaints about it before. To me, ritual is usually pointless: I only attended my own graduation because my parents really wanted to see me cross the stage. If the Iron Ring is such a reminder against bad workmanship as Mark suggests, issue it after a legal contract, to back up that pledge with more than just “scout’s honour”. If it’s a moral reminder as the ritual suggests, then condemn any engineers working to destroy our future habitable climate through carbon-based industries (obviously their moral-reminder rings were faulty). And if it’s just a symbol, why have the oath at all? Just pass the rings out with the degrees.

    Good on you for standing, Ian.

  4. Brian hit it right on the money. I didn’t go to my high school grad banquet (but I went to the party afterwards) and I don’t plan on going to convocation unless I really have nothing better to do. I have my degree, now let me use it (or in my case, switch disciplines). The only reason I’m going to the Iron Ring ceremony is because my parents really want me to get it, plus going there and getting the stuff done that sets me up as an EIT is always a good path to keep open.

    Do we have to recite the oath individually? I don’t think each person recites it in turn to get the Ring because that would just take too long. If it’s just a group thing then what does it matter? Just don’t say the oath, or at least the parts with which you disagree. That’s my plan, but if they make us say it individually I may just have to make a fuss.

    1. While we probably don’t individually recite the oaths aloud, we individually sign the obligation. That’s what I take offence to, and that’s what I won’t sign (and no signature = no tickets to the ceremony = no ring).

      1. I think I’ll just ask them what happens if I sign it, but then happen to break it at some point in the future (e.g. twenty minutes later).

        1. Having gone through the cerimony I can tell you that you there is no signing of anything. Also, at the very beginning of the cerimony, they specifically say that the cerimony IS NOT AT ALL RELIGIOUS and although it may seem to be, the words should be only regarded for their poetic beauty. Stop being so righteous and get your ring.

          1. Having also gone through the ceremony, you do have to sign the obligation. Maybe they missed it in yours but in Vancouver, you do.

  5. …not to mention that the text is just ridiculously outdated. Engineers nowadays don’t just work with materials (“Faulty Material”), the prime example being computer engineers/software engineers. Even the nano realm isn’t particularly applicable to this overly traditionalized definition of an engineer.

  6. I have been wearing the ring for 24 years. It wasn’t a concern to me then and it sure isn’t today.

    Do you ever go to the US and use their currency with the words “in god we trust”?

    Forget the word for now even though it is offensive. Just think it is the FSM you’re worshiping.

    It is more of being a Canadian Engineer and you are now an ethical engineer taking responsibility for your work. What are you going to do when your future employer asks you during the interview why are you not wearing a ring? Did you not a qualified engineer to get a ring?

    Hell, I got married by a religious fanatic to get money from all those in attendance!

    Suck it up for a few minutes.

    1. I have not used American money in recent years.

      Further, I am not planning to work in engineering and if asked why I don’t have a ring, I’ll be honest and frank. I will not cross my fingers for part of the Obligation, as it violates my principles, and it should violate every engineers. If I can betray my beliefs to sign that document, then what value do the rest of the words on it have?

      I will not sign or attend the ceremony in their current state.

      1. I haven’t read any of your other blogs so I don’t know you so I don’t get why you took engineering physics if you didn’t want to be an engineer. Even with a post graduate degree in law or MBA, it is nice to be recognized as a Canadian Engineer by fellow engineers that toiled hard through those 4 (or 5) years.

        I got my ring at camp 1 BTW.

        PS, I would be a prouder Engineer if I got paid more! Damn government!

        1. Anyone who’s actually thought about American money knows it isn’t based off of trust in God, but rather trust in the banks. Thus, “In God We Trust” is not only sectarian, but dishonest as well.

          You seem to equate symbol with substance. A person can be an engineer without a piece of iron on their finger. It’s the education that matters, not some pledge. And that education is easier to transfer (particularly in more science-related engineering disciplines, like Ian’s engineering physics) to careers outside of “engineer”. Thus, Ian’s statement “I am not planning to work in engineering” is completely consistent with remaining an engineer by training.

          This symbol-minded thinking is rather odd, given how you say that the oath “wasn’t a concern to me then and it sure isn’t today” — a viewpoint consistent with recognizing that the ring and everything around it isn’t important, and directly countering claims from those like Mark who say that it actually matters.

  7. Archaic sayings, written by a religious poet from 90 years ago, should be of no major concerns to modern engineers. It is only left out of tradition. I assume most of the Wardens are atheist, agnostic, or non-practicing.
    The ring is entirely about responsibility, not some religious cult.
    As a general agnostic, I understand your spite against the word “god”, but let’s consider the environment in which the Calling was written. It is a little childish to be so offended by such a petty word.

  8. If you’re so easily offended by a religious reference from 90 years ago, then perhaps you should question your dedication to your attitude toward religions. After all, except for a few crazed fanatics, you don’t see Christians rejecting secular ceremonies/rituals out of religious conviction. Why are you more worried about your “faith” in whatever you believe in than the Christians, who are under constant attack from the society around them?

    1. Of course the religious don’t reject secular ceremonies because, secular is not equivalent to atheism. It’s a value-neutral worldview.

    2. It is meant to be a pledge you take that reminds you of your obligations as an engineer. It is meant to be taken seriously. It is not a matter of offense, it’s just that if they expect it to be taken seriously and guide people’s actions, it can’t also conflict with their beliefs.

  9. I am considering doing the same. it is just some nonsense that I can not bear. I have been a registered engineer and practicing with no ring for the last 5 years, for some reasons I never got into contacting warden to collect my ring. I started checking it for the first time last week and found this nonsense oath… I have practiced 5 years with no ring, I can do the same for the rest of my career… you have done a great deal of a decision, cheers.

  10. Just in case any other young graduating engineer reads this and is thinking along the same lines as terahertz, here are some thoughts. The ceremony is a tribute to yourself and your classmates; to your collective as well as personal ideals and goals in entering the engineering field as a professional. This is not an “Oath”; it is a statement of Obligation taken in the presence of your friends and peers who suffered through and achieved with you similar experiences and trials of engineering school. The ring is a reminder of them and the camaraderie of your experience in the first steps of becoming a professional engineer. It is also a reminder of your personal goals and ideals of becoming an engineer in the first place.

    The words that terahertz and others find to be unacceptable may be taken as irrelevant or a reinforcement depending on each participant’s beliefs. The words are not essential to the core meaning and spirit of the ceremony. READ THE OBLIGATION – Whether a participant believes in “Soul” or “Maker” or “God” is simply not relevant to the statement of professional ideals by which he or she proposes to abide.

    I still well remember my ceremony and my friends, peers and betters that were there and the signal pride of all my classmates of earning and wearing our iron rings. Many times around the world I have been asked the significance of my iron ring and without exception, clients and especially other engineers have only admired and envied the personal commitment and professionalism symbolized by the ring and ritual. I urge young engineers not to miss out on this opportunity to share in celebrating your achievements and professional ideals with your friends and classmates and gain a ring that will remind you of them long afterward.

    1. If “ The words are not essential to the core meaning and spirit of the ceremony” then I should be allowed to take the obligation without pledging it “God helping me.” The words do matter, so I can’t sign it and be honest to myself.

      Understand that I didn’t arbitrarily decide to do this on a whim. I recognize the importance of the symbol, but it’s because of that importance that I want it to have some meaning to me or else I can’t sign it without being a hypocrite – not the way to start my professional career.

      1. There is nothing to sign, and the oath is said by the entire class all at once. If there is something you don’t like…just don’t say it. The Ring and the oath are only a reminder of the quality of work you need to provide to the public.

          1. I only initialed that I had my ring sized. I did not sign an obligation. There is no obligation to sign.

          2. In Vancouver, you have to sign an oath, so I’m assuming you do universally also.

  11. I am currently an atheist, but I was an evangelical Christian when I became an Obligated Engineer, nearly 30 years ago. I got my engineering degree at a US university, so I ended up participating in the Iron Ring ceremony with my then fiance at Queen’s University (having received our iron rings together, we then exchanged gold rings a few weeks later). It is rather ironic (no pun intended) that some of my Christian engineer friends were themselves concerned about the religious (bu non-Christian) nature of the ceremony – there are a lot of Masonic elements in there (not surprising, since as Kipling was a FreeMason). A couple of years ago, my husband and I were invited by my son’s partner to her iron ring ceremony, which we were honoured to attend. The ceremony was prefaced with a disclaimer in which they apologized for the lack of gender inclusivity and other idiosyncrasies of the text, and I personally lumped the God parts in there too. [I also have no problem with the days of the week (named after Norse gods), and I often say “good bye” (a contraction of “God be with ye”).]

  12. I graduated 8 years ago and practiced for almost 5 years before I moved on and got my MBA and I now work as a banker. Nevertheless I still wear my iron ring. It is not a religious symbol but rather a reminder of your responsibility as an engineer with regards to ethics and workmanship. It means a lot more to me but that is up to each individual. Not wearing it means nothing either, noone will ask about it, it is not a requirement to practice or pursue a career in engineering and it is not compulsory so if you feel so strongly about it you really don’t have to wear it or participate in the ceremony. The religious symbolism is just part of tradition dating 90 years ago. Rather than get stuck on the literal meaning on what it is recited, why not focus on the spirit of the ceremony?

  13. As a practising engineer and business owner for fifteen years, I have seen a wide spectrum of engineers. Some are less interested in the quality of their work than others. The result is a degrading of the value and diginity of the profession.
    I think the object of the cermony is simply to ask each candidate to take their obligation to the profession seriously. Don’t get bogged down by words that have a lot of emotions attached to them and loss sight of the big picture.

    Chris burgess, JP, PE

  14. I can’t think of any reason of why not to change the oath other than for purely traditional reasons. If it violates your beliefs then don’t sign it, I’m totally with you. If it is supposed to be a pledge to yourself, your classmates, and profession then I don’t see why the words can’t be changed to reflect that. Those of you who are telling him to simply ignore it are implicitly acknowledging that the words have, or should have, no real meaning – why not change it such that they do?

  15. I remember a lot of mumbling during said parts during the ceremony at waterloo ten years ago, and seeing a lot of people looking around with eyes rolling. Personally, I feel that it should be updated to have put myself and peers better at ease. I do not believe it would harm the moral obligation and reduce the alienation to many members. I think that they already know that it needs to be changed, as during the ceremony a speaker asked us after we had done it, whether there were any issues with it. I think given the importance of the day to us, none of us whom had issues were willing to speak up.

    Also, regarding the comment of not wearing the ring: I stopped wearing mine for a while after it was lost. While I was working my manager questioned the legitimacy of my degree and sent someone to waterloo an hour away to verify. Interestingly, said company included a lot of racist people whom were engineers that openly made racist comments during engineer meeting and throughout the office. I think the obligation is more of a personal moral and ethical thing as I don’t feel particularly bound to these sorts of people nor to their god. There are good and bad people in all occupations and the having taken the obligation, does not mean that all people need comply with it. It is however a good exercise for the more morally inclined.

    I now were the ring out of fear that I’ll be unduely questioned again. As such, I have much respect for those willing to stand up and push for it to be changed.

    Please appreciate that I feel my morals and values are highly intact, and that I still feel the moral obligations from that day. However, I don’t feel that it was good for me or my friends to feel compelled to swear some god that we did not believe in.

  16. hi, Ian.
    Just came across you blog now but i wish i came across it sooner. i.e. before the ritual.
    I, being atheist/toothfairy agnostic myself, had a quite a bit of personal conflict about whether to attend. All my classmates and friends thought i was crazy for objecting to the oath, and long story short, i went with the flow.
    I think i might have a bit more strength to defy that tradition had i known i am not the only one to find that oath objectionable.
    I personally feel like i lacked principal in this matter.

  17. …I personally think the particular stand you’re taking is rather unnecessary – and a little obnoxious -, but to each their own, I guess.

    Do you refuse to sing our National Anthem, too?

    1. I can say the exact same thing about your comment too.

      I sing “all of us command” rather than “thy sons” and “We’ll keep our land” rather than God.

  18. You are doing the right thing Ian. Don’t mind the rest of these sheeple. They have been reciting stuff they claim not to believe in for years and will continue to do so just to fit in. I just won’t to know how some of these people claim to be honest when they can’t even be truthful with themselves. You don’t need a piece of metal on your pinky finger to validate countless hours spent in libraries for over four years. That is what makes an engineer, not jewelry.

  19. While I admire your moxy for taking a stand; I feel you’ve blown the whole thing out of proportion. Yes it would be nice if they had a different version of the oath to suit agnostics and atheists, but do you really feel it’s worth denying yourself the honor to participate in one of the few rituals that tie Canadian engineers together just to make a pseudo-political stand that likely noone will notice?

    God is a very subjective matter anyway.

  20. If you are Agnostic/Atheist of whatever people seem to be assuming you are, then you shouldn’t be so bothered by one little word. GOD, lol but you act like it shakes you so deeply. You remind me of a little girl having a temper tantrum and refusing to go to preschool. Take your moral stand, you show that 90 year old poem who’s boss! It’s so admirable that you have the time, capacity and theological erudition! You’ve completely paralleled yourself with ALL religious radicals and have scrupulously taken said phrase(s) out of context, out of period and have molded it to suit your own melodrama. This is a sad attempt at taking a long standing ritual for a profession (to which I’m glad your not going to be a member of) object to it, to make it seem like your opinion actually matters. Don’t go to the Iron Ring Ceremony, I assure you nobody will miss you. From now on whenever I see an engineer without an iron ring I’ll think back to you Ian, and laugh.

  21. What a dick!
    I got my Iron Ring yesterday. You should understand the meaning behind it, which is of good practices when it comes to integrity and protecting the public. Taking a stance against these little words won’t do you any good. I don’t follow any religion, but the oath at Camp 12 requires us to say “God” and “Amen” in some instances, which I DID say out loud.

    The Iron Ring is a symbol of engineering and 4 years of hard work that has gone into getting this degree! To just throw it away would be a shame. It’s proudly Canadian, and you should be proud of that! (And I’m not even from Canada)

    I’ll be wearing it proudly for sure!

  22. I was under the impression that atheists did not believe in God, so you took a stand for what? I’m curious as to what principles you stand by in the first place. If you say you believe in being honest, why? Are you afraid to make an oath to a non-existent God for fear of punishment if you break it? I truly don’t understand your point of view. All I know is that if you are a real atheist you wouldn’t care if you swore an oath to God, the Devil, the moon,Toucan Sam, Captain Kirk or a sack of potatoes. Your reasoning for not taking the oath is evidence that you are not a true atheist.

  23. Ian,

    I agree with your stand.
    The iron ring ceremony is a pledge to moral behaviour and is further strengthened by having the vast majority of engineers complete it. The line “God helping me” is unfair to people of differing beliefs or lack there of. As someone that recently went through the ceremony I noticed a distinct silence amongst my peers for this part of the oath, as well as the “Amen, Amen, Amen” portion.
    The reference to God or quotes from the Bible do not offend me, since the stories were applicable to our profession and did not require belief in any particular deity to understand the importance of the story itself. Saying “God helping me” when you hold a belief that would contradict this statement, requires you to lie, or make a statement in which you knowingly will not do. If in making an oath, you are lying your way through it, then the sentiment and meaning behind it is lost. I am proud to have my ring and proud of what it stands for, but I am disappointed in the fact the they do not change the oath, so that all engineers taking the oath, can recite it proudly, and honestly.

  24. As a devote atheist, my ‘god’ is my work, friends and family. These are what i devote my time to and put my ‘faith’ in and are what i swore an oath to on friday. God is a subjective term that can be interpreted in any way you like. This ceremony is only what you want to make of it and I feel that you are senselessly depriving yourself of a great honor both as an engineer and as a Canadian.

  25. I’m not religious, and I think your stand is understandable, but illogical. I see half of all of this as a tradition, rather than an imposition of a religion upon me. Think of in terms of function rather than form. The meaning is simply: “don’t fuck up.” Forget that the word “god” is in there and simply view it as what it truly is, a reminder of the intregity that will be demanded of you. It was never really meant to be brain washing propaganda to change you into a Christian. I went to a Catholic school, i’m still not religious after having enduring that lol. I think it’s a small issue.

  26. I knew a guy who did the same as you. He didn’t take the oath or get the ring because he thought he was taking a stand. Years later, he realized that it was everyone else who took a stand.

    Everyone else stood there and faced themselves their peer and mentors, they swore that when they had people’s lives in their hands (and you might one day) that they would do the right thing no matter how hard it got.

    He sat on his ass at home and took a stand against some ritualistic language in a 90 year old poem. Yeah, that took tons of courage I’m sure…

    He still regrets not doing it to this day. I doubt you could find a single engineer alive who regrets saying ‘God’ in the ritual.

  27. Replace the word “god” with unicorns, raspberry pie or lint. What does it make that clause? irrelevant. It becomes filler, inefficient and a little foolish, but it does not negate the oath. Since none of those will help you, it rests upon your honour and cold iron alone. Why, as an atheist, would you believe invoking “god” to mean anything more then invoking lint, unicorns or raspberry pie?

    Upon Honour and Cold Iron, unicorns helping me, by these things I propose to abide.
    Upon Honour and Cold Iron, raspberry pie helping me, by these things I propose to abide.
    Upon Honour and Cold Iron, lint helping me, by these things I propose to abide.

  28. Don’t take the ring then. Its not an obligation, or right, but a privelege. The intent is to remind you, as an engineer, to take care and consideration in practicing your profession.

    While the words of the oath may make references to God, its entirely up to you to decide which god that might be – whatever your religion or lack of it may be.

    All legal tender and coins of the US has “In God We Trust” written on it – perhaps you can lobby the US Fed to reprint and re-issue all the US currency out there.

    The Canadian anthem also makes references to God – imagine you won’t stand on guard for thee either then.

  29. Personally I always though the anthem meant you stand on guard for Canada. Which further illustrates people’s points that the words are what you make of them.

    You are ignoring the purpose of ceremony for some silly fit about whether there is or is not a god.

    The words you speak/sign bind only yourself, if you don’t take meaning from the references to god it hardly matters.

  30. The ritual itself is super old, they WARN you that it is old and has words that don’t mean much any more today in terms of religion and sexuality even. Those words don’t matter. And I don’t remember signing anything either.

    The purpose of the ceremony is far more than just the words. Its to remind you that you are an engineer and you have to uphold your responsibility to the world. Kind of like the hippocratic oath taken by doctors. It is to remind you to not fail in your engineering practices. Don’t worry about the regilion and sexual connotations, it is what you make of it.

  31. I have to agree with the majority of comments on here. What exactly are you taking a stand against? You don’t believe you have a moral obligation as an engineer? Do you sit on your butt when you here the national anthem too? Do you believe in anything?

  32. Ian, good for you. Finally, there’s someone to stand up against the ridiculous ceremony. I hardly ever wear the ring myself because it makes writing uncomfortable. But I must say that the ring design is quite stylish and unique, which is the reason why I haven’t thrown it out. All the power to you, Ian. As engineers, we should stand for what we believe and stand against evil.

  33. having just gone through the ceremony, I was wondering if you actually attended or just refused to sign the manifest completely. Reason being that before the ceremony begins, all rise and the warden says if anyone doesn’t wish to take the oath please take leave now. I think attending the ceremony and actually taking leave at that point would make a much stronger statement. Personally I am agnostic and did not recite the oath because I thought it was silly. It is recited in unison among all the engineers present.

  34. Just you pick a dumbass hill to die on…. like this one.

  35. As I will be graduating soon, and my ring ceremony takes place within the next few weeks, I would like to point out that this page has been quite helpful in understanding it. I know many engineering grads, less than half furthered their education and/or got their P.ENG., and only a few actually wear their rings. I can’t object to this ceremony, the oath, or claim this is/not how it is conducted. However, I have continued to object that engineers always seem to be the ONLY ones obligated to “not suffer or pass, or be privy to the passing of, Bad Workmanship or Faulty Material”. From personal experience, and the experience of others, the construction industry is riddled with workers, operators, foremen, supervisors, co-coordinators, inspectors, officials, software developers, etc. that are usually the causes of this “bad workmanship” and “faulty material”, yet the sole responsibility of the entire project seems to be primarily weighted on the engineer (at the end of the trial). At the same time, I have heard of incidents where engineers have neglected this “oath” and when something happens, they hide behind a veil of legal, contractual, or bureaucratic loop holes (doesn’t usually help though)… So what is the point of this ritual? It is a tradition, and is supposed to make the people who attend feel “privileged”, accomplished, or apart of some higher group of society. No less different than the Graduation ceremonies themselves.

    1. Agreed. Legally the “oath” means nothing as oversight groups like APEGGA and APEGBC are responsible for ensuring that people who call themselves engineers uphold a certain level of quality.

  36. The ceremony is not mandatory, and therefore it’s your decision to partake in or not… but the fact that you based your decision on the word GOD being included in it is ridiculous.

    It is a ceremony that is based in the past, in an era where religion and ceremony was important to people… and when the Oath was taken seriously. I loved the fact that Rudyard Kipling wrote the words – to diminish the ceremony by changing the wording, or having it re-written by someone else, merely because a few people don’t agree is stupid.

    I certainly agree with you having the choice to do it or not. But your reasoning is so self-righteous that you dismiss yourself as someone to be taken seriously.

  37. You sound like a graduate in social work. Making much adieu about nothing. If you don’t like the ceremony then don’t go. Be practical! Isn’t that what engineers are supposed to be good at?

  38. I am leaving this post as a sign of hatred you have against convocation, you have every right to express what you want. It is not about the wording or what happens, it is the principal of the matter. The ceremony is to represent all of the countless hours that you spent doing homework, the nights you got no sleep because you had a Final project due. It also represents all the time you spent drinking and partying to cool some steam off. If you look at the facts they don’t have to give us an iron ring, it could be a ring from a cereal box, it is what it represents. It like a guy saving a ball from the baseball game, (the grand slam). Sure it looks like every other ball, there are no signatures on it, but it comes down to the principal to say you where there and that you caught it. Just as the iron ring is there to represent all your work. The ceremony is a time when you get to sit with all you class mates one last time and reflect on everything that you have done in you undergraduate career and then PARTY ON! So in saying all this because i am just ranting, i believe that it is ultimately your decision on whether on not you go but, I support the system fully.

  39. It is unfortunate that you take this attitude. The ring and the words of the cermony are symbolic of the hard work, dedication and integrity that we engineers hold towards our profession. That we should never take lightly the responsiblities we have (with respect to our work) towards humanity.
    I would suggest that you never return to schooling and become a doctor as you will most certainly have a problem with their oath also.

    1. Maybe you should go back and read my statements. I understand and appreciate the symbolism enough to know that I’d be a hypocrite if I signed something that I 95% accepted, but rejected the 5% that has nothing to do with being an engineer.

  40. Dear Engineers,

    yes….we all have opinions. My view is that the spiritual content may may not be valuable to some. But let it be…. it is not hurting anyone. There may come a time in your life when you need it to keep doing what is right.

  41. Ian,

    I am an atheist as well and took part in the iron ring ceremony 2 years ago. What you have stated has actually blown my mind and I hope you didn’t go to the iron ring ceremony because I would be ashamed to call you my peer.

    You are the reason that we live in the messed up “PC” world. Why kids have to call Halloween “Black and Orange Day” and why Merry Christmas is now “Happy Holidays”.

    This oath was written almost 100 years ago and serves a great purpose and reminder to the engineering community. You should be proud to have the opportunity to take part of this ritual but instead you turned it into this religious bullshit statement.

    And I also believe that purposefully changing the words to our national anthem is incredibly disrespectful and is a slap in the face to everyone who has fought to keep this great nation as great as it is.

    1. I agree with you Shawn. Me myself, am a devoted Christian and I can say that the oath we take has nothing to do with believing in God or not. Also, I would not like to call the owner of this article “my brother,” nor would I like to work with him. I just hope he will not take shortcuts nor become greedy for money; I just don’t want a person (who hasn’t learn the essentials in his undergrad) to destroy the respect that the general public has towards engineers.

  42. WOW! I’m impressed by your nonsense, just so you can be DIFFERENT! I feel sorry for you buddy; I do. I would write more, but if 5 years did not make you understand what it means to be an engineer, than I honestly don’t think you even deserve my time nor the right to wear the Iron Ring.
    – ringed at Camp15

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