Waymon Hudson

Unholy Crusade: More on those Bible Verses on our Military's Guns

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 20, 2010 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Politics, Politics
Tags: Afghanistan, crusade against the gays, guns, Iraq, military, religion

There's more coming in surrounding the shocking story I blogged about yesterday in which ABC News revealed that our Military is being armed with rifle scopes that have Christian Bible Scripture imprinted on them. These guns are not only being used by our military in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, but also being used to train the Iraqi and Afghan soldiers that are supposed to be our allies in these Muslim countries.

Screen shot 2010-01-20 at 10.16.50 AM.pngThis has caused huge concerns not only because the Military specifically prohibits the proselytizing of any religion, but also because it could further enflame the idea that the US Military is on a Christian Crusade in Muslim countries.

Now the Marine Corps has announced that it will be meeting with the Michigan-based optics maker, Trijicon Inc, to discuss the verses and the multi-year deal worth up to $660 million, saying:

we are aware of the issue and concerned with how this may be perceived.

You think? Well, it seems Trijicon doesn't really care because we are a Christian Nation and wishes all you heathens would shut up. Their response after the jump.

In a new statement just released, the company explained:

For two generations our Michigan-based family owned business has been working to provide America's military men and women with high quality, innovative sighting systems for the weapons they use. Our effort is simple and straightforward: to help our servicemen and women win the war on terror and come home safe to their families.

As part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon has put scripture references on our products for more than two decades. As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation.

This of, of course, comes after their earlier response:

anybody who complains is not a Christian.

I'm glad they have their faith, which is their right, but to stamp it on weapons that are used by our Military? And for the Military to "not be aware" of the potentially damaging and dangerous consequences of how it is perceived and used as propaganda in the Muslim world? Not mention how generally creepy it is?

That's more than an oversight.

Don't think this a big deal? Here are some of the inscriptions.

"JN8:12," a reference to John 8:12, a Christian gospel reference:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

"2COR4:6," which refers to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads:

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

More disturbing is the revelation from Michael Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that commanders have referred to weapons with the sights as "spiritually transformed firearm[s] of Jesus Christ."

Sounds a lot like proselytizing to me. Great "suck it up, sinners" attitude, huh?

And I won't even get into the problem with "glorifying God" at the end of a gun. How very Christ-like.

For those of us who already see the insidious way Christian Evangelicalism has seeped into every part of our government, this is yet another red flag saying that we need to restrengthen those "separation of church and state" walls.

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Judas Peckerwood | January 20, 2010 6:33 PM

A clear violation of separation of church and state, perpetrated by a military contractor that knew exactly what it was doing. The federal government should sue the company for the cost of replacing all of the equipment, and permanently bar it from receiving federal contracts.

Not really surprised that military contractors are conservative Christians who think that we're in a Holy War with Islam.

The separation of church and state is one of the issues here, but it's not the only one. I'm not very religious – while raised as a Christian, I don't remember when I went to church other than for something like a wedding or funeral – but the whole idea makes me want to throw up just a little. Quotes that are ultimately about unconditional love, written on weapons?

And not all serving members of the armed forces are Christian, so that's helpful, too.

Oh, and apparently these people are supplying the British forces. The MoD (Ministry of Defence) is looking into this, and considering either ending their contract or filing off the numbers now they know they're not just serial numbers. And in our country, a form of Christianity is the OFFICIAL religion.

In fact, though the Queen, as supreme head of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, has made no comment, a spokesman for the Church of England said:

""It would be unfortunate if this practice by an arms manufacturer undermined the military effort in areas of the world where our forces are trying to bring long-term stability. People of all faiths and none are being killed and injured in these ­conflicts, on all sides, and any suggestion that this is being done in the name of the Bible would be deeply worrying to many ­Christians. The meaning of the Bible is to be found in reflective reading and prayer, not in sloganising and soundbites." [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/21/gunsights-military-code-biblical-reference]

We're all terribly impressed over here, I can tell you.

wait. wait wait wait.

I'm a total heathen. Like, I laugh at the idea of revealed religion (no offense to those who believe in religion, I in no way desire to tell you how to feel).

And I guess I'm confused about where on these guns it actually says "believe in jesus christ" or "my gun shoots true because I preach the gospel of jesus."

It says things like "JN8:12" and "2COR4:6." Yes, that's a reference to biblical verses, but the fact that it's taken this long to notice it is indication that it really hasn't made a difference!

I'm so on board with ending this company's contract because of the comments they've made AFTER the fact. But I just don't get why these cryptic phrases (maybe less cryptic to those raised Christian) are getting us so upset!

It's just a little inconsistent to get upset about this and not get fired up about the chaplains in the armed forces, whose services DO contribute to feelings of religious and cultural superiority in soldiers.

Just my 2 cents...

Actually- the military (soldiers and brass) were aware of the verses. The soldiers referred to the guns as "jesus rifles" and some commanders called them "spiritually transformed firearm[s] of Jesus Christ." So the only ones who didn't know were the American public.

One would assume that if the soldiers knew and called the guns "jesus rifles", then the Iraqi and Afghanistan soldiers being trained with these weapons knew their religious connotations and references as well. That's the problem.

And I completely agree with the huge problem of the evangelical movement seeping into the military through programs at military training camps and in the field.

Thank you for the clarification, it now makes sense!

I should read more carefully before posting, perhaps.

I probably should have made that point clearer in the post. It's an important factor in the anger over the guns.

Thanks! :)

The soldier who lent me his ACOG o look at had no idea that the verse was there. He thought that it was a quartermaster's reference number

Welcome to KRA-Z RADIO, Hey, remember those golden hits of yesteryear like "The Crusades" by Holier Than Thou...or "The Inquisition" by Nine Inch Crucifiction Nails?

Join us now, as we step back in time to a saner day when we could burn witches and heretics without all this criticism from atheists and freethinkers stinking up the place. What this country needs is a revival of religious motivated, hate inspired violence. C'mon fellas bring those white robes out of the closet, dust 'em off and let's go git us some Bibles so's we can read to them perverts while we light those faggots up real good.

Coming up on KRA-Z RADIO a little later, a new little game show we call "Fabulously Violent Bible Verses" where teams of contest-believers come together in little mini-prayer groups to vote on which Biblical quote Jesus would favor on his automatic weapon of choice that he uses to kill them Heathen.

Right now here's a public service message on "666 Ways: How to make Religious Fanaticism Profitable"


At least the Marines are looking into it and having meetings. Now that the cat is out of the bag they may have to stop putting this on the sights.

One can only guess how the Muslim and Jewish members of the military feel when their commander refers to one of these things as his "Jesus rifle" --- and imagine the chaos that would ensue if a Muslim servicemember referred to his weapon as his "Mohammad gun" or his "Allah rifle".

Footnote: I don't have a problem with the military having chaplains, since they also have rabbis and, in recent years, even imams. (Never heard of military having Buddhist monk chaplains, but maybe they do?) As long as all major religions have an equal footing, and nothing in the religious arena is mandatory.

However, once again, this notion that America is a "Christian nation" in any official sense is subversive to the US Constitution, specifically the First Amendment, and we cannot be shy about saying so. An official religion can only lead eventually to the persecution of competing religions.

battybattybats battybattybats | January 21, 2010 11:24 PM

It turns out they have been bought and used by the New Zealand and Australian forces too. New Zealand is intending to remove the references from the sights.