Tuesday, January 19, 2010

U.S. weapons revealed to have secret Biblical messages

This is stunning, really, until you realize this is the U.S. we're talking about, the U.S. military, which is heavily Christianized, until, that is, you grasp the connection between U.S. militarism and Christian theocratism, both of which are central to a certain interpretation of the the American project.

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.


One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference 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."

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as "the light of the world." John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Trijicon confirmed to ABCNews.com that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian." The company has said the practice began under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.

Actually, "U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious 'Crusade' in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents." But let's face it, some rules are more honour'd in the breach, as they say (and, yes, I realize that's not really what Hamlet meant).

No, this is not to say that the U.S. military, or the U.S. government, actually condones explicit Christianism with respect to its missions, though there is undoubtedly a significant fundamentalist and theocratic Christian element in the military, and no doubt many in the military see what they do in those terms, that is, as fighting for "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," or however they might put it.

But why is this only coming out now? Was this essentially condoned, and even approved of, by the military brass and kept quiet?

Andrew Sullivan: "This is such a great idea in a war where we are supposed to be fighting for democracy, not one religion's supremacy over another. But one also wonders how on earth the teachings of Jesus could find their way into a gun. Or, for that matter, find a way to justify the torture of prisoners. But, hey, that's the Christianist version of Jesus: a war-making torturer of Muslims."

How? Well, ask Trijicon. Ask the U.S. military, which procured these sights. It seems to me that answers are desperately needed. Answers, and an explanation, and an apology, and a guarantee that it will never happen again.

Is it any wonder the U.S. is so despised by so many around the world? And is it any wonder there is so much skepticism of U.S. intentions?

Specifically, is it any wonder Muslims doubt America's supposed commitment to liberty and democracy -- to put it nicely?

I realize that Muslim jihadists are waging a war on their own religious terms, but that doesn't justify American Christianists waging a war on their religious terms.

America is supposed to be different, isn't it?

Well, maybe not.

(For more, check out J. Thomas Duffy's post below.)

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  • I would bet the military has no idea. I have actually gotten to handle Triicon optics when I worked for the military. They are very nice weapon optics. I expect the military was just looking for something that did the job they needed it to do. Its sort of like how most people don't know that In-and-Out does the same thing with their cups.

    Now, of course, that is very different, and it is bizarre that someone would put Bible quotes on a rifle optic. I doubt the military had any idea. They probably never even noticed it, just like how we don't notice it on the In-and-Out cups.

    By Blogger Jonathan Breese, at 10:47 AM  

  • You know, of all the industries that Jesus might have been involved in, if he lived in the present day, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be any kind of munitions. Period

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 PM  

  • Muslims doubt America's alleged 'commitment' to democracy because America has a habit of destroying democracies that don't ask 'how high' when America says 'jump.' See Iran, the Palestinian Authority, Haiti, Chile and Argentina, to name a very small set. Biblically inscribed scopes are way down the list of reasons to mistrust American motives.

    By Anonymous Curmudgeon, at 4:10 PM  

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