Tuesday, January 19, 2010

136: Jesus, Guiding Light of American Bullets

2 Chronicles 21-24
The account of his sons, the many prophecies about him, and the record of the restoration of the temple of God are written in the annotations on the book of the kings. - 2 Chronicles 24:27

Same old same old today. We're down to 4 more days of 2 Chronicles. I'm sure you're tired of hearing me bitch about 1/2 Chronicles, but here I go again. I've never been a fan of defacing books, no matter what they are. But I think I would be doing the world a favor if I ripped out 1/2 Chronicles, shredded the pages, and burned the shreds to make sure nobody could piece them back together.

What happens today? More of the same kings from the book of Kings. I know I complained about the genealogies, but at least they had a point (sort of). This is just more of the exact same stuff. It's even largely worded the same. If someone can find something useful in this section that wasn't mentioned in Kings I congratulate you.

The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG), which gained recognition (at least for me and the general public) in the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, is embroiled in a controversy. A biblical controversy.

Trijicon, the company that manufactures these advanced gunsights, also stamps biblical passages under the serial number. The raised print reads "JN8:12" (referring to John 8:12).
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12
Why would you put a quote from Jesus on a device whose sole purpose is to assist in the destruction of human life?

Trijicon ACOG Scope

"Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." For those who don't follow Jesus, you're probably at the wrong end of that scope. Are we allowed to put verses from the Koran on our weapons too? Maybe they should put the "love your enemies" quote on their gunsight too, since they seem to be trying to be as hypocritical as possible.

I think Michael Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation says it best:
This is probably the best example of violation of the separation of church and state in this country. It's literally pushing fundamentalist Christianity at the point of a gun against the people that we're fighting. We're emboldening an enemy.
(via ABC News)

[Edit: Trijicon is voluntarily (by voluntarily I mean, their #1 customer the government told them to) removing their references to the bible. They are also providing, free of charge, a kit to remove the bible references that are already there. I think for the first time on this blog a news story has a happy ending.

(via The Washington Post)]


  1. It's been a long time since I've commented on here. Holidays have been busy for me and all. I just spent the last hour or so going back through your posts to see what I missed. Apparently not much. Someone should just rename the book of Chronicles as "The Book of Lists"

    Glad to see you're getting a lot of comments and discussion building up on your posts.

    On a side note, I'm using the ACOG scope on C.O.D Modern Warfare 2. And the light of Jesus certainly isn't helping. My scores are terrible. I wonder if Satan inspired the holographic sight. Might pick my game up a bit.

  2. I'm not a fan of the ACOG for MW2. I use the red dot sight, simple and uncluttered.

  3. Um, how is putting an obscure reference to a bible verse pushing fundamentalist Christianity? The maker of these sights happens to have been founded by a Christian. The company still claims to follow "Christian" values (of course, they're actually following capitalist values while at the same time being completely hypocritical to the Christian values, I agree).

    The government is not purchasing these sights because they have a couple of extra letters and numbers at the end of the serial number - which, unless you were looking for it and knew the back story, you wouldn't have a clue as to what it represented. The government is purchasing these sights because they are providing a superior advantage to our troops. Despite the poor representation in your video games ;)

    Please don't mistake me for a Christian apologist or a communist/socialist. But I think Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF may be imbibing a bit of the hyperbole punch. Is this really the "best example of violation of church and state in this country"? I'm sure we can come up with a few to top that. How about atheists being prevented from serving in public office as according to the constitution of many southern states? How about the ten commandments being prominently posted in court houses?

    Perhaps the MRFF has fallen victim to the Kings/Chronicles syndrome we're seeing here lately - lots and lots of material in front of them but all of it too boring to make interesting, regardless of how much spin they add.

  4. @Jack
    I was going to respond to your comment, but the company is removing the biblical references (see the edit to the post). So there is nothing more to talk about ;D.

  5. @Bryan -

    Pretend they're not removing them. What would have been your response? The initial point being moot doesn't automatically make the reaction by the MRFF or the discussion in general moot. If you have the time, of course. Thanks.

  6. Sorry - that last comment should have come from Jack, not Dead Centre Brewing. The submitter picked the wrong account.

  7. Ok, hypothetical situation (that I believe the MRFF was under the impression was actually happening): the US military found out that there were bible verses on their weapons, and they decided to do little or nothing about it.

    It's not that the military originally bought scopes with hidden bible verses, that's not what the MRFF is calling an infringement on separation of church and state. It's that when the military found out, they didn't do anything about it (they did). The military should be making an effort to find an alternative company if Trijicon wants to keep bible verses on their scope (they did). They should also make an effort to remove the verses from existing scopes (they did).

    Any resonable person looking at this situation realizes that having our weapons have the reputation of being "Jesus rifles" undermines everything we're trying to do. Whether you think the reference is obscure or not doesn't matter. It's the perception of the people being shot with the weapons. If someone shot me with a "Muhammad rifle" I'd probably think "jeez, I bet these people wouldn't have shot me if I were a Muslim". That is pushing religion.

    That being said, everything that I thought should have been done, was done. Trijicon has removed the references and the text is being filed off rifles as we speak. If the MRFF is still complaining, I'm not defending them.



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