Trijicon makes the ACOG sight which is considered by many soldiers to be one of the best sights purchasedby the government. They have been putting serial numbers on them consisting of standard biblical reference numbers. This has been known for years by soldiers out in the field, even though the US Army and Marine Corps have said they were unaware of this.
Looking at Trijicon's website, there is this curious statement "• Morality - We believe that America is great when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals." They don't seem to realize that the founding document for the United States, the Constitution, has no references to God or the Bible in it.
Go here for the ABC Niteline news report on the story.
Here are a few examples of the serial numbers on the scopes, more images are located here:
Trijicon's Reflex scope, which according to the company, is "the fastest, most user-friendly gunsight in the field." According to Trijicon, "the U.S. Special Operations Command has designated the Trijicon Reflex as a vital part of the…Accessory Kit fielded by all Special Operations Forces. This scope is imprinted with the marking "2COR4:6", a reference to the second book of Corinthians in the New Testament, Chapter 4, Verse 6. The verse 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." (King James Version) (ABC News)
At the end of the scope's model number, you can read "JN8:12", which is a reference to the New Testament book of John, Chapter 8, Verse 12, which reads: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (King James Version) (ABC News)In addition to the above images ABC News also shows Iraqi soldiers training with the scopes. What do they think of this? And wouldn't this further inflame tensions in the area and give AlQaeda more ammunition for claims that the US is on some sort of religious crusade? It seems that religion has blinded the company management of Trijicom to common sense. Since these scopes have been in use for sometime, how can the US military not know this has been going on? And what about reports of Christian commanders in the US Army bragging that the weapons are "spiritually transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ"?
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.Why should it matter that the group, MRFF, that has been raising this issue along with a host of other more egregious problems is "not Christian"? Don't non-Christians have the same rights to speak and raise complaints as Christians" Are Christians some how more human or superior than non-Christians? What a bigoted jerk. According to Rob Boston of Americans United, it depends upon who is doing the speaking for the US military if there is a problem or not.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. These Christians at Trijicom are so blinded by evangelical fervor, they cannot see the harm they are doing to the soldiers they claim they are interested in protecting.
I was shocked, however, to read the military's response to the matter. Air Force Maj. John Redfield, the spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, told the News, "This situation is not unlike the situation with U.S. currency. Are we going to stop using money because the bills have `In God We Trust' on them? As long as the sights meet the combat needs of troops, they'll continue to be used."
Let's be clear: This situation is not like "In God We Trust" on the money. That "civil religion" affirmation - problematic as it may be from a church-state perspective -- is not the same as a symbolic military embrace of one particular faith. When U.S. troops use weapons inscribed with passages from the New Testament, it's an endorsement of Christianity, and it sends the false message to the world that the United States is a Christian country.
Thankfully, some military officials seem to understand that there is a problem. Capt. Geraldine Carey, a Marine Corps spokeswoman, told the Associated Press, "We are aware of the issue and are concerned with how this may be perceived." Carey said Marine Corps officials will meet with Trijicon to discuss the matter.
Part 2 continues the discussion and shows an example of the harm these "harmless" references can cause.