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Christianist Values: Jesus on a Sniper Scope!

19 January, 2010

Trijicon  is, by most accounts, a reputable member of the national defense establishment and the NRA.  I know that they produce excellent scopes for rifles — for hunting trophies, for meat, and for hunting humans (real quick caveat:  I do not hunt but I have no real problem with most hunters;  I also understand the ethics and efficacy of military sniping — neither is the point of this post (not that that will stop some, but . . .)).  It would appear that they are, at some level, full-blown Christianists looking to ‘save’ the Middle East (after all, those ragheads are worshipping the wrong misogynistic psychopathic ‘god(s)’) for the greater glory of the eternal paradise of  . . .   Sorry.

This company supplies low-light and long-range sighting devices for observation and snipers.  They also decided to (I guess?) protect the troops by engraving messages from the great arms merchant the Bible on the scopes.  (from ABC):

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the U.S. military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.

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.

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which 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.”

//

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as “the light of the world.” John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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.

Are these people fucking insane?  Are they aware that the mere rumour that pig fat was used to grease the cartridges issued to the Muslim troops in India in the 1860s caused the Sepoy rebellion?  Do they know enough to not piss off the people we are killing for peace?  Are they aware that this violates U.S. Military regulations?  (from The Reaction (citation needed on the quote)):

“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.”

But Trijicon has values:  right on their website it states: 

TRIJICON’S VALUES 
• Honesty/Integrity
We will be honest, dependable, trustworthy and fair towards each other, our employees, our customers and our suppliers.
• Teamwork/Dedication
We will work together as employees, customers and suppliers, valuing the unique contributions of each, to produce optimal aiming solutions.
• Customers
We desire long-term relationships with our customers. We will listen and continually improve our products to meet their needs.
• Quality/Innovation
We will strive to attain a zero-defect rate in all our processes. Our products will be made to maximize durability and service life. We will continue to lead our industry by encouraging creative solutions.
• 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. 
 Note the last section:  Morality.  Biblical (which Bible) standards (standards from which part of the Bible) throughout (prove it, using citations and verifiable quotes) our (whose?) history (I wonder what school of history?  I’m guessing either Christianist or Dominionist).  Please note that in no part of their ‘values’ statement do they say anything about the principles set forth under the United States Constitution, specifically the parts dealing with religion and government, or anything about the regulations of the parts of the US Government with which they deal?  But I guess obeying law and regulations is for non-Christians.  The ones asking Trijicom to obey the rules.

 I do admire their chutzpah, though (in the same way I admire, say, Romo’s quarterbacking ability or Cheney’s disdain for the truth).  They argue that they have ‘always done it’ so it has to be legal (heard that one about a hundred times), the issue was raised by ‘non-Christians’ (heard that argument, too), and it was begun by the founder who is dead.  And was a devout Christian.  So the rules don’t apply.  Nor does common sense. 

I’m starting to wonder which is worse:  Christianists in government or Christianists in the military-industrial complex?  Or is there a difference?

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13 comments

  1. Seems a bit pointless if the infidels never get to see the message. Surely they should be inscribing Bible verses on their ammo? That way, when your unfortunate target digs the bullet out of their hemorrhaging thigh with a rusty spoon, they’ll be inspired by the uplifting words of John 3:16 to convert.

    Of course, you’d have to use a really small typeface…


  2. Wow. Chrisianity continues its accelerating slide back into the Middle Ages. Magical charms and amulets to help protect the troops. What’s next? Mass produced pieces of some saint’s thighbone to wear with one’s dog tags?


  3. There is a mentality…forty some years ago I was a scout/sniper and there was a chaplain who insisted on blessing our ammunition when we went out.

    I guess it was sort of the same thing, he used holy water and a Latin incantation rather than a gourd rattle and gibberish (well maybe the words in the last would have equated with the Latin incantation)
    But the intent was the same.

    And he would end his “benediction” with the words, “Good hunting”!

    My sources in the current situation tell me things really haven’t changed that much, to them (as us) it’s just another little drop of insanity of the river of craziness you’re trying to swim in and get out the other side.


  4. Look, it’s good for business. If you’re selling guns, war is great! You don’t want the gravy train to end. If anything, you want it to grow, so promoting these “Jesus guns” is great for business. It helps Islamic extremists recruit, meaning a need to keep fighting. And let’s not forget that if your career is with the military, you need wars, too. That’s why this shit is great, Christian bibles in Arabic to distribute, flushing Korans in toilets and posting videos of that on Youtube, and whatever else you can cook up is just good for business. Hoo-RAH!


    • @PhillyChief, capitalism as it’s finest??


      • In theory, most religions would be socialist. In practice, cutthroat capitalism. My favorite is perhaps the Christian rationales for objecting to welfare or any type of government aid to those in need.


  5. It’s not just the scopes…


  6. Yunshui: Good point. Of course, they don’t put individual serial numbers on each bullet, do they? (the religious references were integrated into the serial and/or item number).

    Nan: Of some ass jawbones.

    Sarge: Kinda makes you wonder about ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Of course, that would only apply to those who look/think/believe like you. So I guess he could get away with the ‘good hunting’ part.

    Philly: I would agree halfway on that. The arms merchants, no question, want more and more and more war to drive up sales. The military, though . . . . (and yes, I know things may have changed immensely in the almost-twenty-years since I was in). In basic, we were taught that the mission of the US Army is to prevent war. If the army fails at that, our job is to kill whoever the legal and constitutional command authority tells us to kill. Few professional soldiers (with whom I am acquainted either personally or through literature) are warmongers or hawks (though many conservatives who avoided service are bloodthirsty assholes).

    Good observation, though. I forgot to follow the money.

    Yunshui: I actually don’t have a problem with the type of blessing shown in the photo. I think it is pointless, but if it makes an untrained and frightened soldier more comfortable, from a command stand point, it may have some use.


  7. You bring up some good points about national law and Trijicon has to follow that.

    But I question your comments about Christian history. If the Bible tells us not to kill and turn the other cheek, can Christianity be blamed if its people don’t follow it?

    Likewise, if the Bible teaches not to kill or steal over 10,000 years before the constitution should the Bible receive at least some of the credit for originating the idea? It wasn’t like a bunch of people sat together a long time ago and thought, “I think we shouldn’t kill people.”

    On another note, historically most early Christians refused to fight in the Roman wars after Jesus was raised.

    You have a lot of care for this and it shows, but there is a difference between what our faith teaches and our human nature screwing it up. Just like you can’t blame democracy if its people follow anarchy.

    On the other hand, Jesus did preach forgiveness on the issue of making a human errors, where Christianity gets most of its redemption.

    I’m interested in hearing where you are thinking morality comes from.


    • Aye, it’s a fookin’ NTS argument!

      Well your Jesus character unleashed some violence at the temple, didn’t he? Apparently even messiah’s have their limits. Plus, he said he didn’t come to replace the old laws, and there certainly wasn’t much forgiveness in those old laws. But then if you read your bible the correct way, it all means something nice, only everyone has a different idea of what that correct way is, which makes those NTS arguments easy and plentiful, especially when those who claim to be Christians do bad things.


      • Didn’t Jesus supposedly say that he was here to bring the end of the world? Sounds pretty fucking violent to me.


    • If the Bible tells us not to kill and turn the other cheek, can Christianity be blamed if its people don’t follow it?

      The bible is very big on killing — in the OT, every other book seems to concern the killing of the fill-in-the-blankites. Christians (certain sects) are virulently anti-choice when it comes to abortion because of the ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ commandment. Yet that commandment is pushed to the rear when it comes to capital punishment or war. Just pointing out the hypocrisy.

      As for the bible, or any part of it, being 10k years old? Pure and unadulterated fantasy. As to your strawman regarding “. . . a bunch of people sat together a long time ago and thought, “I think we shouldn’t kill people,” it was not a conscious thought. Those who are genetically predisposed to kill their neighbors, friends, fellow hunters, and tribal members will not be allowed to live long enough to pass on he genes to future generations. The tribe cannot allow psychopaths to live or the tribe will shrink to non-existence. Nice strawman, though.

      Early Christians flat out refused to even pay lip service to the Roman state religion. The Christians introduced an intolerance of all other religions which was percieved threat to Rome. The refusal to serve in the Roman army had more to do with intolerance on the part of the Christians to the worship of Mars, the soldier’s god.

      How can faith (belief in something with no proof) be a teacher? To my view, greed and personal exceptionalism (or, in the case of Christians, group exceptionalism) is far more dangerous to democracy than any of the so-called sins of a 2,000 year old book of mythology.

      Morality question answered above. Those who do things which damage the tribe don’t breed and pass on their genes.


  8. You can run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

    Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

    Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
    My head’s been wet with the midnight dew
    I’ve been down on bended knee talkin’ to the man from Galilee
    He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
    I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel’s feet
    He called my name and my heart stood still
    When he said, “John go do My will!”

    Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

    You can run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

    Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
    Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
    But as sure as God made black and white
    What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light

    You can run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Run on for a long time
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
    Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

    Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down
    Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down



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