What Would Jesus Do? Probably not quote himself on a weapon used to kill an enemy.

Oh the irony.

Whether they knew it or not, American soldiers have been displaying Biblical messages on their weapons. A Michigan company, Trijicon, has been inscribing New Testament verses in code on their high-powered rifle sights.

Seen here is a coded reference to John chapter 8 verse 12: "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." (photo from ABC News)

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.

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.”

“We believe that America is great when its people are good,” says the [Trijicon] Web site. “This goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our history, and we will strive to follow those morals.”

“It’s wrong, it violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal laws,” said Michael “Mikey” Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.

“This is probably the best example of violation of the separation of church and state in this country,” said Weinstein. “It’s literally pushing fundamentalist Christianity at the point of a gun against the people that we’re fighting. We’re emboldening an enemy.”

(source)

I realize that Trijicon is a private company that can basically do what it wants with its numbering systems. However, their products were sold to the secular government of the United States. By placing proselytizing messages, even in secret, on their products, they are endangering the delicate balance we hold here at home with the separation of church and state as well as the crumbling image we hold abroad. Especially after the reign of George W. Bush and his Jesus-is-coming-let’s-bomb-the-fuckers attitude, we are seen (even more so than usual) as a bullying Christian nation that will kill in the name of Jesus. These secretive methods just hammer home the antagonistic, anti-foreign-anything image we need to shed.

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7 thoughts on “Jesus Loves You… with a Bullet In Your Eye”

godlizard (aka dotlizard) · January 19, 2010 at 2:08 am

How better to fight wars against terrorism rooted in religious extremism, than with godly weapons?

Particularly painful irony, isn’t it?
.-= godlizard (aka dotlizard)’s last blog ..pet peeve =-.

    GG · January 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Fight fundies with fundies, eh? Seems like the way wars often go these days :/

RoofWoofer · January 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

LOL. Not particularly effective if no one ever knew it was on there.

    GG · January 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I think that would be the basis of the company’s defense. If nobody *knew* it, why is it a big deal to have it on military equipment?

    What do you think?

Chaoticwhizz · January 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Very good article. I agree that it is horrible that this happens. Even if it was meant to be secretive, its eventual discovery just makes us look worse then we already are. When I was in Iraq in 2003, we were already seen as oppressors. What’s worse, some of the reasons they gave were valid…
.-= Chaoticwhizz’s last blog ..Chaoticwhizz: @LifeFaker extremely tempting. =-.

CrazyCrazyXtian · January 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

While I appreciate the desire and need for strong Christian messages of peace to our troops during a time of hatred, anger and temptation (I say this as a former soldier and supportive military wife), from a Christian perspective it seems downright laughable to put such messages on a weapon. That’s before the constitutional sensibilities kick in and I’m left feeling violated.

On a side note, this Christian is very much enjoying reading your blog and appreciates your perspective.

    GG · January 20, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Thank you for reading! and thank you (and Chaoticwhizz) for your service. It’s much appreciated!

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