19 January 2010

Bible passages coded onto gunsights

A contractor supplying guns to U.S. and British military personnel has been inscribing references to Bible passages on the gunsights.
The markings include "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", relating to verses in the books of Corinthians II and John.  Trijicon, the US-based manufacturer, was founded by a devout Christian, and says it runs to "Biblical standards".

But military officials in the US and UK have expressed concern over the way the markings will be perceived.

The company has added the references to its sights for many years... "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.

The issue has been thrust into the spotlight by the US Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) - an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.  On 14 January, the MRFF received an e-mail, purportedly from a Muslim US Army infantryman, complaining about the markings.

"Many soldiers know of them and are very confused as to why they are there and what it is supposed to mean... Everyone is worried that if they were captured in combat that the enemy would use the Bible quotes against them in captivity or some other form of propaganda."
The cited passages from  II Corinthians II don't seem to be war-related.  There are many more bellicose examples they could have chosen, such as Luke 19:27 or Isaiah 13:15.


  1. They have no place on the guns, especially in a Muslim country. Captured soldiers could be accused of prosetylizing, which is punishable by death.

  2. 1. The quality and suitability of the optics should be top priority.
    2. The only theaters of operation are NOT "Middle-East" and "Afghanistan."
    3. Since we have no recognized nations with which we're in a declared state of war, one could say that "captured soldiers could be accused of murder, which is punishable by death."
    4. If the DoD doesn't like it, they can change the milspec.
    5. If anyone who thinks rationally actually believes that two Roman letters, a colon, and some Arabic numbers, at the end of a string of other Roman letters and Arabic numbers, could honestly be seen as "proselytizing," boy oh boy, I'd like to hear your definitions of a great many other things.

    I'm a devout non-believer. Seriously, this shouldn't be an issue at all. We have so many more important things to worry about. Why is this important?

  3. Nathan, it's important because it's against federal law, not to mention a royally stupid idea. And, if the US government was indeed buying these sights in ignorance of their religious "code," then the company selling them was knowingly putting our government in a terrible position. The news of this has already gone worldwide. One can only imagine how much mileage the jihadists are getting out of it.

  4. This is NOT a crusade. Ahem. Move along, nothing to see here. Ahem.

    RE Nathan:
    1. Agreed. And putting abbreviated bible notations on the sights does nothing to improve their quality and suitability.
    2. What's your point?
    3. OK
    4. I assume milspec means the contract requirements. I doubt the contract included any language one way or the other about bible notations.
    5. If it isn't proselytizing, why is it on there?

  5. @Fletcher - please back up your statement that putting a reference to a biblical verse on a product sold to the US government is against US Federal law. Or did I misinterpret you? Also, could you elaborate on why it's "royally stupid?" Or do you just not like it? Jihaddists didn't need this piece of "news" to get mileage, and it probably won't matter to anyone except those who are concerned with offending other cultures. Frankly, if they don't want us there anyway, we ought to leave.

    @Pete - Point #2 is in answer to Barbwire's point about Muslim countries - we have soldiers using ACOGs in other theaters now, and will likely in the future. As to why the reference is on there, it is common among Christian business owners to give a little hat-tip to their faith. Mr. Bindon, the founder of Trijicon, apparently subscribed to this practice as well. He was killed in an accident several years ago, but the company still continues his to follow his lead.

    I challenge you to find a rational, actual reason that this is a bad idea, and not just something that offends you. I own an ACOG, so I'm clearly biased - it's the best scope I've ever owned, hands down. I'm not religious, and I rolled my eyes when I figured out what that part of the model/serial number string meant. But really, it doesn't matter.

    If you can give an objectively good reason why this is a bad idea, I'm all ears (or, well, eyes, I guess).


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