ABC News reports that Trijicon, makers of rifle sights for the United States Army (Trijicon slogan: “Brilliant Aiming Solutions”), has been adding references to Biblical passages to the model numbers of their Advanced Combat Optical Guides (ACOGs). The Army and Marines both acknowledge use of Trijicon ACOGs, but deny knowledge of the references. The article mentions US military rules which “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.” The fact that these sights are part of rifles being used to train Iraqi and Afghani soldiers does seem a bit odd.
The story is, in a mild sense, both amusing and unnerving. Go read it if you like. But I don’t want to talk about the general situation. Instead, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the verses chosen. I must note that I am not Christian, though I have tried to educate myself on the basics of each major religion (and select smaller ones).
2COR4:6 (2 Corinthians 4:6): For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
I assume the intended message is that the US troops are the forces of light come to shine upon the darkness caused by the Freedom Haters in Iraq and Afghanistan (surely those sights aren’t being used anywhere else, though, right? Right?), and that by saving the countries (that’s what we’re doing, right? Right?) we are giving the light of the knowledge of the glory of God to them. One things’s for sure, though: if a soldier had a big fucking gun in my face, it wouldn’t be the glory of God I would be focused on.
JN8:12 (John 8:12): Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Cause, you know, guns are really effective at making sure people continue to have the light of life.
Unfortunately, those are the only two passages mentioned. Too bad, I was enjoying that.
Since I started this post, though, I have found a followup article on ABC News’s site. Here’s a quote: “‘The perfect parallel that I see,’ said Maj. John Redfield… told (sic) ABC News, ‘is between the statement that’s on the back of our dollar bills, which is ‘In God We Trust,’ and we haven’t moved away from that.’”
Yeah, a perfect parallel, except that we don’t shoot people with our money (at least not literally).