This post is courtesy of Ron Gold.
Bowing to Pentagon concerns and an international outcry, a Michigan arms company said Thursday that it would immediately stop embossing references to New Testament Scriptures on rifle sights it sells the military.
The company, Trijicon Inc., has multimillion-dollar contracts with the Pentagon for advanced telescopic sights that are widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trijicon also said it would provide the Pentagon with 100 free kits to use for removing the lettering on existing weapons.
For years, the company acknowledged, it has put small scriptural references near the model numbers on some products, a practice started by its founder, who was a Christian.
The references, like JN8:12 and 2COR4:6, referring to passages in the Gospel of John and in Second Corinthians, had not been widely noticed or debated until an ABC News report this week. Scopes with biblical references were also sold to the Australian, New Zealand and British militaries.
Obviously, it’s not smart for the U.S. military to shoot at Islamic militants with Christian-themed guns. Unless, that is, their goal is to start a new Crusade or give extremists some extra motivation for their next suicide bombing.
This controversy had been growing throughout the week, and Trijicon was widely condemned from both sides of the political spectrum (though notably, Stephen Colbert came to their defense).
The military claimed they were unaware of the coded Bible passages until very recently. While this is possible, no one should have been surprised by the revelation, since the company never disguised their Christian roots. Indeed, one of Trijicon’s values statements is:
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.
Considering how religious the company is, they can’t be happy about having to eliminate their beloved tradition of inserting secret Bible references. But I suppose with a $660 million contract with the Marines on the line, they have some incentive to sacrifice.
Although I’d prefer the military to find a different company for this contract, I’m just happy to see some progress. It’s comforting to know that the next time a soldier takes a shot at a Muslim extremist, it will be from a secular rifle.