Rifles used by U.S. troops include Bible verse inscriptions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Combat rifle sights used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops. Military officials said the citations don't violate the ban and they won't stop using the telescoping sights, which allow troops to pinpoint the enemy day or night.

The contractor that makes the equipment, Trijicon, said the U.S. military has been a customer since 1995 and the company has never received any complaints about the Scripture citations. "We don't publicize this," Tom Munson, Trijicon's director of sales and marketing, said in an interview. "It's not something we make a big deal out of. But when asked, we say, 'Yes, it's there."' The inscriptions are subtle and appear in raised lettering at the end of the stock number.

Trijicon's rifle sights use tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, to create light and help shooters hit what they're aiming for. Markings on the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, which is standard issue to U.S. special operations forces, include "JN8:12," a reference to John 8:12: "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,"' according to the King James version of the Bible.

The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: "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," the King James version reads.

Photos posted on a Defense Department website show Iraqi forces training with rifles equipped with the inscribed sights. The Defense Department is a major customer of Trijicon's. In 2009 alone, the Marine Corps signed deals worth $66 million for the company's products. Trijicon's scopes and optical devices for guns range in cost from a few hundred dollars to $13,000, according to the company's website.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says the biblically inscribed sights could give the Taliban and other enemy forces a propaganda tool: that American troops are Christian crusaders invading Muslim countries. "I don't have to wonder for a nanosecond how the American public would react if citations from the Koran were being inscribed onto these U.S. armed forces gun sights instead of New Testament citations," Weinstein said. The foundation is a nonprofit watchdog group opposed to religious favoritism within the military. Weinstein said he has received complaints about the Scripture citations from active-duty and retired members of the military. He said he couldn't identify them because they fear retaliation.

A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which manages military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the inscribed sights do not violate the ban on proselytizing because there is no effort to distribute the equipment beyond the U.S. troops who use them. "This situation is not unlike the situation with U.S. currency," said the spokesman, Air Force Maj. John Redfield. "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."

Capt. Geraldine Carey, a Marine Corps spokeswoman, said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement that "we are aware of the issue and are concerned with how this may be perceived." Carey said Marine Corps acquisition officials plan to meet with Trijicon to discuss future purchases of the company's sights. The statement did not say what the nature of those discussions would be. Gary Tallman, an Army spokesman, said the service was not aware of the nature of these markings and its acquisition experts are investigating to determine if Trijicon violated any procurement rules. Munson, Trijicon's sales director, said the practice of putting Bible references on the sites began nearly 30 years ago by Trijicon's founder, Glyn Bindon, who was killed in a plane crash in 2003. His son Stephen, Trijicon's president, has continued the practice.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Truth is undoubtedly the sort of error that cannot be refuted because it was hardened into an unalterable form in the long baking process of history... Michel Foucault Hope begets many children illegitimately and prematurely. Allie M. Frazier Beware the terrible simplifiers... Jacob Burckhardt

Original Post
What the problem is?

They are U.S. guns owned by the U.S. Government and given to American soldiers, the majority of whom are Christians.  If the soldier who it's issued to isn't complaining ... why should somebody else?  And why should somebody care if they do? 
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What the problem is? They are U.S. guns owned by the U.S. Government and given to American soldiers, the majority of whom are Christians. If the soldier who it's issued to isn't complaining ... why should somebody else? And why should somebody care if they do?
Okay ER, it is late, and my ironic sensors have been on the fritz lately, so just to clarify, you do not have a problem with Biblical inscriptions on weapons?
No, I don't have a problem with it at all.

And I don't understand why anybody else does either? 

Care to explain?
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Combat rifle sights used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops. Military officials said the citations don't violate the ban and they won't stop using the telescoping sights, which allow troops to pinpoint the enemy day or night.
It's a bit disturbing that a sense of religious righteousness is being instilled as our soldiers blast the people to smithereens...with...God's Guns


and a bit disturbing that the government which should not be endorsing a particular religion or establing a state religion, did not insist that the contractor stop this practices.
Okay ... I can understand "a bit disturbing" ... but, I don't see it as illegal or wrong or anything like that. Maybe a little bodacious or arrogant .. but, that can't be surprising .. we're talking about the U.S.!!  I think that's its middle names! 

So ... unless a Muslim American soldier who is offended by the scripture being on his gun is the one doing the complaining ... I still have to ask ... what the problem is? 

'Cause I just don't see it.
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Maybe a little bodacious or arrogant .. but, that can't be surprising .. we're talking about the U.S.!! I think that's its middle names!

Hmmm....

A second ago you were defending or excusing the " bodacious or arrogant" in the name of Christianity.

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They are U.S. guns owned by the U.S. Government and given to American soldiers, the majority of whom are Christians.

Translation:  why the hell should anyone care about that idea-thingy called the Separation of Church and State or the obvious Christendom vs. Islam crusade optics of it all?  As long as the quasi-religious, religio-racist American soldiers don't have a problem with their government potentially inflaming the religious sensibilities of moderate Muslims along with the "group of treacherous, hateful, dangerous, murderers, killing in the name of religion that want to annihilate any- and everybody that isn't like them" then what's the problem?
Before this article it wasn't a big deal as I'm willing to bet (from experience) that no one paid any attention to these number/letter combos. The only number/letter combos that matter were the serial numbers since no one wanted to end up paying for used equipment you can't keep.
After this article and the flack that it has generated, I'm sure every little letter/number combo on everything will be under a microscope.


I've heard the arguements about religion in war and not using it to piss people off, and whether a gov't should step in and remain "neutral" and I disagree. Because of the nature of the business it is a necessity and it gives comfort to those that may need it to survive not only physically but mentally.
Rifles used by U.S. troops include Bible verse inscriptions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Combat rifle sights used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops. Military officials said the citations don't violate the ban and they won't stop using the telescoping sights, which allow troops to pinpoint the enemy day or night.---kresge

This sounds like 'breach of contract' to me..., if of course the engraving was place on the gun by the contract awardee.

And...if so, who approved acceptance of the guns pursuant to the contract?????????

PEACE

Jim Chester
Kresge ...

I'm assuming you've posted some kind of video that I can't see here at work (all I see is your name and then a blank space!) that explains your position.  I will have to wait until I get home to look at it.

However ... I did have a "light bulb" moment this morning while getting ready for work that may explain what the problem is here!

The way the article framed the story, it's about people (either other or non-religious) being mad about what they see as forcing religion on somebody else.  About that my opinion hasn't changed!  No big deal ... and I don't understand what all the hoopla is about!    Sounds like much ado about nothing, to me!  And those who are upset need to get over themselves!  But that's just me! 

BUT .... what I can see as being a problem is that the contractor/military seem to have no problem putting religious Scripture (the word of God) on an instrument designed to KILL people!    Now THAT is something I could file under the banner of 'problematic'!!  Not surprising ... but conflicted, to be sure!

So, if that's your gripe, I'm with you 100%!!    But if its just that some people are getting mad about something that really doesn't concern them ... well, I suggest they take a number and stand in line!  'Cause there's more than enough of that to go around!
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So, if that's your gripe, I'm with you 100%!! But if its just that some people are getting mad about something that really doesn't concern them ... well, I suggest they take a number and stand in line! 'Cause there's more than enough of that to go around!
but...a "HOLY WAR" conducted in the name of the american people and in the name of DEMOCRACY would seem to be unethical at best.  Biblical inscriptions on thousands of weapons contribute to the sense of america as fighting a religious crusade...not good.
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Hmmmmm ... I guess shooting with Scripture-engraved rifle brings a whole new meaning to that phrase, wouldn't it??

Same old TWO-FACED Ebony...  In one thread she found it awfully convenient to play up all the emotions evoked by decrying "KILLING IN THE NAME OF RELIGION" but here on this thread she acts like markers of religion engraved on weapons of war are no big deal.  That level of SELF-HATRED (and self-exposure) would be remarkable if it wasn't so typical.
Okay.  I watched the video. 

I thought it was at least the whole passages.  It's just some letters/numbers.

I guess those who are upset about it know what to be upset about.  And I'm just not one of those people.  Sorry.
I heard a clip about this on NPR. It seems that the initial complaints came from some soldiers...so these complaints initially came from within the military, not outsiders.


They said that its common for soldiers to mark their weapons or engrave personal symbols (which may or may not be religious), but having the military distribute weapons with bible references already on them is totally different. 


NPR also said the British Military had bought weapons from the same contractor and were trying to figure out what to do about the situation.
Okay, but .... nobody is pissed or complaining because Christian Holy Scripture is referenced on an instrument that targets another human being to shoot and kill them? 


The main complaint is how those markings may be perceived by people who will probably never see them, not know what they are if they do, and/or others to whom these guns do not belong.


Do I have that right? 
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I have heard of equipment being prayed over while on the assembly line, when complete or once received, so I guess this is out as well.

Pretty bizarre stuff.  Now that it's known, I hope the government makes them remove the reference from this point on.  This is a company that just doesn't give a damn about important considerations, like giving the enemy a concrete reason to call the US "crusaders," and the idea of church-state separation and, yes Ebony, the fact that a bible verse is cited on a weapon designed for war.  This is just appalling, both in its stupidity and in the inferences it allows.

Time to bring everybody home and lock


the borders!!!



New Zealand Army To Remove Bible


Citations From Rifle Sights

 

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Biblical citations inscribed on U.S.-manufactured weapon sights used by New Zealand's troops in Afghanistan will be removed because they are inappropriate and could stoke religious tensions, New Zealand said Thursday.

The inscriptions on products from defense contractor Trijicon of Wixom, Michigan, came to light this week in the U.S. where Army officials said Tuesday they would investigate whether the gun sights – also used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq – violate U.S. procurement laws.

Australia also said Thursday its military used the sights and was now assessing what to do.

Trijicon said it has had such inscriptions on its products for three decades and has never received complaints about them before. The inscriptions, which don't include actual text from the Bible, refer numerically to passages from the book.

New Zealand defense force spokesman Maj. Kristian Dunne said Trijicon would be instructed to remove the inscriptions from further orders of the gun sights for New Zealand and the letters would be removed from gun sights already in use by troops.

"The inscriptions ... put us in a difficult situation. We were unaware of it and we're unhappy that the manufacturer didn't give us any indication that these were on there," Dunne said. "We deem them to be inappropriate."

The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight rifle sights used by New Zealand troops, which allow them to pinpoint targets day or night, carried references to Bible verses that appeared in raised lettering at the end of the sight stock number.

Markings included "JN8:12," a reference to John 8:12: "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,'" according to the King James version of the Bible.

The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: "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," the King James version reads.

Dunne said New Zealand's defense force has about 260 of the company's gun sights, which were first bought in 2004, and will continue to use them once the inscriptions are removed because they are the best of their kind.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the government was not aware of the inscriptions when the defense force bought the equipment.

"Now we are in discussions with the company in the United States who will ensure the inscriptions are removed, and we wouldn't want them on future sights," he told reporters.

Earlier, Defense Minister Wayne Mapp said with New Zealand soldiers in Muslim countries, the Bible references could be misconstrued.

"We all know of the religious tensions around this issue and it's unwise to do anything that could be seen to raise tensions in an unnecessary way," he said.

Trijicon said it has been long-standing company practice to put the Scripture citations on the equipment. Tom Munson, Trijicon's director of sales and marketing, said the company had never received complaints until now.

"We don't publicize this," Munson said in a recent interview. "It's not something we make a big deal out of. But when asked, we say, 'Yes, it's there.'"

Trijicon said biblical references were first put on the sites nearly 30 years ago by the company founder, Glyn Bindon, who was killed in a plane crash in 2003. His son Stephen, Trijicon's president, continued the practice.

The references have stoked concerns by critics in the U.S. about whether they break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops. But U.S. military officials said the citations don't violate the ban and they won't stop using the tens of thousands of telescoping sights that have already been bought.

The Australian Defense Department, which with 1,550 troops in Afghanistan is the largest contributor to that campaign outside NATO, said Thursday that it also used the sights but had been "unaware of the significance of the manufacturer's serial number."

"The Department of Defense is very conscious of the sensitivities associated with this issue and is assessing how to address these as soon as practicable," the department said in a statement

LOL ... this is starting to turn into some kind of reality sit-com or something!!    Kinda like an "Ugly Betty" episode or something like that! 


Daaannnggg ... Where's the popcorn guy when you really need him?

Petraeus calls gunscope inscriptions "disturbing"

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. General David Petraeus said on Thursday it was "disturbing" that a manufacturer had embossed biblical citations on rifle scopes sent to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the firm announced it would voluntarily halt the practice.

"This is a big concern to the Army and the Marine Corps, who have contracted for these particular sites," said Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, noting the religious sensitivities American forces face in the two Muslim countries.

"This is of serious concern to me and to the other commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan because, indeed, it conveys a perception that is absolutely contrary to what it is that we have sought to do," Petraeus told a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"It is disturbing to us, frankly, that this was done," he added.

President Barack Obama has sought to convince the Muslim world that the U.S. fight against al Qaeda militants should not be viewed as a war against Islam.

Former President George W. Bush heightened those concerns shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington when he referred to his war on terrorism as a "crusade," a remark critics warned raised images of Christian knights attacking Muslim cities during the Middle Ages.

The biblical citations on the scope data plates had largely gone unnoticed until they were publicized last week by Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. A photo on the group's Web site shows a data plate with the citation 2COR4:6.

That citation refers to 2 Corinthians 4:6, which in the King James Bible 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."

'RECRUITING TOOL'

The company that makes the scopes, Trijicon Inc of Wixom, Michigan, said on Thursday it had voluntarily offered to stop putting scripture references on products made for the U.S. military.

The firm agreed to provide 100 modification kits to enable the Pentagon to remove the plates on weapons already deployed. It also said it would offer the same remedies for foreign militaries that had purchased its scopes.

"Our decision to offer to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and appropriate," Stephen Bindon, the president of Trijicon, said in a statement.

He said the company "will move as quickly as possible to provide the modification kits for deployment overseas."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomed the company's decision. The group, the largest U.S. Muslim advocacy organization, warned on Wednesday that the gun sights were a "potential recruiting tool for anti-American forces."

Petraeus, who said he had only learned about the inscriptions on the sights a day earlier, said, "I can assure you that there is much greater sensitivity among our troopers about this kind of thing than, apparently, there is in whatever contractor produced those sights."

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

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