Bible Verses on Military Guns?

Guns.jpgDid you see this? A student sent this link to me, I read the article, was amazed. Here’s a clip of the article…

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States 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.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://joeyspiegel.wordpress.com Joey

    I’ve got an inscription for them: ISA2:4

  • joanne

    This concerns me… I feel sickened that verses about the light of Christ and the truth would be imprinted on guns. To me this reveals how great our own darkness really is.
    It is one thing to go to war to defend one’self, it is quite another to add God and the bible to an agenda, call it truth and light.
    I do not believe in a completely just war. War is either more just or less just because the line of good and evil runs through every human heart.

  • BradK

    It should be noted that this issue has already been settled in that the manufacturer will remove the Biblical references from all future sights delivered to the Army and will provide kits for removal of existing sights.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/22guns.html

  • R Hampton

    Yesterday, General Petraeus (head of U.S. Central Command) told a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
    “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. This is a big concern to the Army and the Marine Corps, who have contracted for these particular sites. It is disturbing to us, frankly, that this was done.”
    That same day the manufacturer, Trijicon Inc, said it offered to voluntarily stop adding scriptural references on products for the U.S. military. They also agreed to provide the U.S. military 100 kits to remove the plates with the references, and would provide for foreign militaries the same kits.

  • Mike Mc

    #2 Joanne-The biblical references are on the sights for the weapon not the weapon itself.
    The references were used to remind the warrior/soldier of their faith and that is a God. I am outraged that a Christian company would dare to tell anyone of the good news. They should leave that up to the professionals. I cannot believe that any weapon accessory manufacturer would but such thing on a weapon that is used to promote self-defense.

  • Aaron S

    #5 Mike
    Putting a coded scripture reference on a gun sight is not telling anyone the good news. This is a code, which by definition requires some searching or the key, i.e. a certain knowledge of the bible to be able to figure this out. In addition, it’s on an ACOG scope, which allows the user to “hit fast in any light” The references to light are references to the fiber optics in the scope. In short, they are claiming scripture as a basis for killing. It’s not like this is the first time that Christians have used out of context scripture as a justification for killing.

  • michael

    And we wonder why the world hates the US and hates Christians?
    But what’s the difference between a Christian pulling the trigger and a verse reference on the gun? Which is actually a greater violation of the Jesus Creed?
    I wonder if a parable might begin, “You have heard not to misuse Scripture, but I say unto you, do not misuse your life.”

  • http://blog.emergingscholars.org/ Mike Hickerson

    Isn’t this sort of thing pretty common among small Christian-owned companies? Maybe it’s because I grew up and live in the Bible Belt, but I’ve seen random Bible verses on all sorts of different things: pest control trucks, coal mining company walls, computer tech’s business cards.

  • Jordan

    @michael
    I don’t see much of a difference, that’s part of why I don’t really see a problem with having a discreet verse on the gun sight. I thought it was kind of neat how all the verses talked about light considering it is a fiber optic scope. On the other hand, I can also understand the military’s position of wanting to be crystal clear that the war isn’t about going after Muslims. It just seems like a storm in a teapot to me, but I’m not much of a pacifist so that might explain it. It’s not uncommon for businesses to do this sort of thing. They’ve responded appropriately when objections were made.

  • Jeff Doles

    Much ado about nothing, seized upon by people who like to be scandalized and/or have too much time on their hands.

  • michael

    @ jordan #9
    I think you misunderstood my post. I’m aghast at Christians owning a business manufacturing items destined for the primary purpose of killing people created in God’s image AND misusing scripture references on those instruments of destruction.
    But even more troubling is the misuse of our lives who are called as followers of Jesus to be about redeeming and restoring this broken world and instead, Christians make it more broken by going off to war and killing people. that’s the misuse of life I’m talking about.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    “Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is “not Christian.”"
    Leaving aside whether or not the practice is appropriate, I fail to see how this is considered any sort of defense whatsoever.

  • angusj

    @ michael (#11)
    If we take you statement (inferring guns are evil) and follow it to it’s logical conclusion then there should be no guns at all and the military should be unarmed. While I’m personally very ‘anti-guns’, I believe that they are a necessary evil in the hands of personnel tasked with maintaining law-and-order.

  • kenneth

    The practice had to stop because it will undermine our war effort, pure and simple. We wouldn’t, I hope, do a $660 million business with a company that pledged to set aside a portion of profits for an Al Queda recruitment campaign on TV and radio, yet that’s exactly what will happen if these sights continue to be produced and used in this fashion. We’re not paying Trijicon to proselytize, and we shouldn’t be sacrificing 20-year olds to protect Jesus profiteering.

  • http://amightystream.blogspot.com Jonny

    To be honest, I don’t care what the government does, I care what Christians do. If the government is buying guns and scopes, that means nothing to me. Jesus’ idea of loving ones enemies doesn’t apply to the government, but it certainly applies to the Christians of the world. How can we love our enemies through Jesus guns? How can we truly spread the news about the “light of the world” when we’re helping extinguish the lights of so many people that we’re supposed to love.
    http://amightystream.blogspot.com/2010/01/jesus-guns.html

  • Ken

    Maybe this is just the endpoint of a phenomenon whose time should end–loading every product imaginable with an isolated text which is supposed to convey the biblical message. Undoubtedly another unfortunate by-product of modernity, I suspect. Isn’t it more than time to let our gospel-shaped lives do the evangelizing?

  • http://godnarrative.blogspot.com Ken

    (see above)

  • Joshua

    Mike Mc @ #5: As far as Marines and soldiers are concerned- if it’s on the rifle, it’s part of the rifle. Fiber-optic scopes aren’t flashlights, they’re specifically made to be mounted on rifles. To reiterate- if it’s mounted on the rifle- then it’s part of it.
    Furthermore, the scopes sent are not sent for ‘self-defense.’ That’s a cop-out, through and through. The rifles that servicemen carry are for killing people, and they would say the same thing. My two brothers and several of my friends are Marines, have been to Iraq, and they have told me: weapons are not used to “save people’s lives” like so many people have said-they’re made to take people’s lives. They are not used for “self defense”- they are used for “offense”.
    If a Marine or soldier wants or needs spiritual encouragement, then they can bring a Bible themselves, or they can go to the Chaplain- they don’t need it inscribed on the side of a weapon that is used for killing people. Finally: putting a Bible verse on the side of a rifle is not sharing the good news- it’s sharing one verse of it. Telling people who Jesus is without informing them how he lived and how he expects his followers to live is not the good news. Telling them that Jesus is “the light of the world” without teaching them the Sermon on the Mount (emphasis on Matthew 5:38-48).
    Jonny @ #15- you’re right-on: I don’t care about what the United States does- I care about what disciples of Jesus do. It’s true that putting verses on the side of rifles is detrimental to the mission of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq, but that’s besides the point! Surely it’s much more detrimental to the redeeming, reconciling mission of God in this world through Jesus! It’s the ultimate irony- putting verses about Jesus on weapons, while neglecting what Jesus commands; desiring to spread the gospel and, in-so-doing, they hinder it.
    Mark @ #12: Agreed- what does that comment have to do with anything? As though it’s only non-Christians who would be irritated by this! I think this is the real problem: the folks at Trijicon need to get out more, and see the world through other people’s eyes. Not-to-mention, they need to adopt a more holistic hermeneutic for reading the Bible.
    Angus @ #13: I think you missed the point that Michael was trying to make. The point is not whether or not the United States should buy and use weapons for whatever purposes. Indeed, it’s a power of this world and must operate by the standards of this world if it is to even exist. But Jesus said, “my Kingdom is not of this world.” And as Christians, we are called to be “in the world but not of the world.” In other words- America can buy weapons, but that does not mean Christians should. America can fight wars, but that does not mean Christians should. War may be the lesser of two evils, but Christians are not called to engage the world IN THAT WAY. Though we are definitely called to engage this world, we are called to engage this world in a way that is radically different than anything the world has ever known or seen before, so that when they do, they can praise God on our account.
    Mike @ #8: There’s a difference between In-and-Out Burger putting Bible Verses on the bottom of their cups or putting a Bible verse on a pest control truck versus putting Bible verses on fiber-optic scopes that are then mounted on weapons in order to help Marines and Soldiers KILL PEOPLE, don’t you think?

  • Your Name

    Creepy.
    Maybe they should have used Matthew 5:43-45:
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
    When Jesus said “Love your enemies” I’m pretty sure He meant don’t kill them.

  • stephen

    Joshua said…”If a Marine or soldier wants or needs spiritual encouragement, then they can bring a Bible themselves, or they can go to the Chaplain- they don’t need it inscribed on the side of a weapon that is used for killing people.”
    This is something I am wrestling with. A soldier’s job is to kill per the orders of his commanders, for his or her country.
    What does it matter if those verses are written on the rifle or spoken by a Chaplain? Either the Christian faith condones warfare (and the way modern warfare is waged) or it doesn’t. If it condones it I don’t see much difference between having Bible verses on a weapon, carrying them in the Bible in your pack or hearing them from a Chaplain. In all cases they are meant to give you “spiritual encouragement” to perform your task. Which is killing people.
    This is a tough question because it gets to the heart of how we are to follow Jesus and witness to our faith, and how the world comes to know Jesus through our actions.

  • R Hampton

    stephen,
    You might find this to be of some help to you: SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER – A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence

  • http://communityofjesus.wordpress.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    Very sad. Tragic.

  • Emily

    I think what is offensive about putting Bible verses on military rifles is that such rifles are used to kill people. Even is a war may be justified (and some of our recent wars are certainly NOT by any traditional Christian standard), I can’t believe that God is pleased when people kill each other. War is the result of human sin, and therefore is always marred by evil. It was never God’s plan for us to kill each other. It’s just murder on a grander and state-sanctioned scale.
    So even if we as a society justify the killing of our enemies in war, it doesn’t change the fact that soldiers kill other people.
    We honor and celebrate our soldiers so much because they are willing to take on this tremendous burden of killing other people and destroying their property to defend us. They are willing to do actions that under normal circumstances would be considered completely immoral and wrong. And we are grateful to them that they do it to protect us.
    But to God, it is still wrong to kill others and destroy their property (turn the other cheek, anyone?) And a “Christian” company should not be in the business of producing weapons to take other’s lives. Or at least should have the humility not to put Bible verses on their weapons.
    PS. It is my opinion that the war in Iraq was completely unjustified, and no amount of Bible verses on weapons can change the false premises we went to war under.

  • http://www.thefaithlog.com Jeff Doles

    Seeing that God has appointed governing authorities to bear the sword (Romans 13:1-4), then should Christians not be involved in government?

  • Joshua

    Stephen @ #20,
    Stephen, thanks for you post. In fact, I entirely agree with your concerns, and this is something that I’ve been wrestling with myself. I come from a strong patriotic family with deep ties to the military. Both of my grandfathers have served in the military, one fought in World War II as a PBY pilot and the other served as an infantryman in Korea. My father is a retired Marine Ch-46 pilot, and my two brothers are currently serving as infantrymen in the Marine Corps- both have been to Iraq and one is gearing up for Afghanistan sometime soon. My sister is gearing of for Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps, many of my friends from high school are now Marines, and the Senior Pastor of my church back home is a Navy Chaplain serving with the Marines. So I think I’m justified in saying that this an issue that is deeply personal for me. Nonetheless, my convictions as a Christian go against everything that I was surrounded by growing up. Namely, this fusion of Christian life with the interests of the state, including putting a halo on our military and servicemen as heros and patriots- as though they aren’t killing the people that we are called to love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us! Especially because they are enemies (although a good case can be made that they are not, in fact, enemies).
    I agree with your post, but my concern was more to do with the more obvious hypocrisy of the Bible verses on the rifles, and the immediate effects that would have NOT on Americans, but on the church, both here in the United States as well as abroad. Certainly it isn’t only Muslims who will take this harshly, but what about non-believers in the United States who see the actions and response of this corporation- what will they think about Christianity as a radical, counter-cultural way of doing life? Instead, I fear many will see that the church is only an institution that sheds her blessings on the powers that be in an attempt to gain hegemony or to bolster its own legitimacy and world-standing as a dominant influence in the Unites States and abroad. I am confident that many Christians are more concerned with appearing to be culturally relevant and supportive of the traditional institutions than they are with listening and living out the words of Jesus in the here and now, regardless of what people think. Are we concerned with popularity and agreeableness, or discipleship?
    To be sure, all of it (I believe) is a certain hypocrisy, and a clear oversight of the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount- a Christian servicemen should be considered an oxymoron, but sadly isn’t. The standard for Christian living is, for the most part, made quite clear. The question is whether or not we will actually live them out. I think that some leeway should be given, however, to the role of the Chaplains in the military. The military, in my experience as a close observer, is a mission field like any other (with many distinctions as well). Many of the servicemen are young (18-24), unguided or misguided, and non-Christian. It is a valuable witness (and for some, perhaps the only witness) that they will experience under harsh and at times, life-threatening (and life-taking) conditions. If it is an evil to have chaplains, than I have to say that it is an unfortunate but necessary evil (just like our military is an unfortunate but necessary evil). So I agree, but the world is not so black-and-white, especially when it comes to warfare. We need to engage this world somehow, and that may mean putting chaplains alongside men who are commanded to do things we believe are wrong; but we should also remember that Jesus exalted a Roman centurion- a soldier- for his faith (see Matthew 8:5-13). So we should at least have grace with our servicemen- lest men perish without even ever hearing the words of Jesus. For others, maybe they will hear Jesus’ call to discipleship, ‘lay down [their] sword[s] and shield[s] down by the riverside, and [refuse] to study war no more’. Instead of seeing Chaplains as men who are only perpetuating a cycle of hypocrisy, perhaps we should see past that and view them as necessary missionaries in the mission field that is our military.
    All this aside, I look forward to the Day when war, like death, will be only a faint memory.

  • angusj

    Joshua (#18), I guess following your line of reasoning, there should be no Christians in the (or any) army.

  • Drew Strait

    @ #19 Amen!
    I do wonder what would happen if they put “blessed are the peacemakers” on the rifle scope. This whole incident is deeply troubling and indicative of many who still believe that the US Army is an extension of Jesus’s mission to the world. I am hopeful that our next generation will stick with the politics of Jesus–that is, unarmed radical love of our enemies.

  • Jeff Doles

    Was God wrong in appointing governing authorities to bear the sword? That’s not Old Testament but New – Romans 13. That’s *after* Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” And yet, here was God still appointing governing authorities to bear the sword.

  • Kathy

    How could Trijicon forget these important Bible verses? You know, the one where Jesus says “KILL YOUR ENEMIES.” Or how about one of the Ten Commandments — “THOU SHALT KILL.”
    Obviously, this company wasn’t using the same Bible as the rest of us.

  • Dave Leigh

    How different from the weapons factory that Oscar Schindler ran! If American Christians and the Trijicon workers today were half as righteous as that man and his factory workers, I wonder how different the world would be. What a disgrace!

  • Rob the Rev

    http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/trijicon/index.html
    Congratulations to Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation for exposing this violation of the 1st Amendment and the separation of the church and state as well as military regulations and on their victory over the dominionist theocratic un-American fundamentalists who would use the lethal weapons of the U.S. military to enforce their theocratic vision upon us all. Talk about conversion by the barrel of a gun.

  • Jeff Doles

    Wow, that is an over-the-top and beyond-all-proportion reaction, Rob. First, the use of these gun sights is not a violation of the First Amendment. It does not in any way constitute the establishment of religion. The gun sight manufacturer is within his constitutional right to encode Scripture references on his product, and the military is within its rights to use them.
    It is also tremendously silly to suppose that this is anything like “conversion by the barrel of a gun.”

  • Jeff Doles

    The discussion about pacifism and “just war” issues is an important one to have. But when a mountain is made out of a mole hill — in this case, heaping contempt and parading scorn over a manufacturer who wanted to encode Scripture references (not the full verses, mind you, or even the full references, just abbreviations) on his product — then it trivializes a discussion that is considerably more important.

  • AHH

    As is often the case, columnist Leonard Pitts had some wise observations on this:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/2010867326_pitts24.html

  • Joshua

    First I have to say: Jeff- you’re right in 32. Rob- you’re exaggerating the issue considerably. A company is well within its rights to put whatever it wants on its products (even if you disagree with them, and by the way- I do). If the government does not want Bible verses on its products, then it can buy from a different manufacturer- that’s the beauty of American democracy and capitalism. In fact, an argument could be made (by exaggerating of course, as you have done) that to tell a company what it can or cannot put on its products is a violation of the 1st Amendment- think about it. This has nothing to do with separation of church and state in my mind- the government is buying from a private contractor, and if the government disagrees with something on the product- then change the contract.

  • Rob the Rev

    Joshua and Jeff. A manufacturer may put religious references on its products but NOT if they are selling those products that are going to be used by the federal government or the national military that is supposed to be totally neutral in regards to religion according to the 1st Amendment. How would you have felt if references to the Koran had been inscribed on these sites? If Trijicon thought it had the “right” to do what it did, why did they agree to cease inscribing the sites with these religious references and provide the means to remove them from existing sites already sold to the military?
    It cannot be permitted for any religious person of any belief system to have any special privilege in propagating its belief system over other belief systems using the tax dollars of U.S. citizens. To allow it is to violate the 1st Amendment that clearly states: “Congress shall MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION or prohibiting the practice thereof.” We as citizens are free to practice ANY religion we wish but we have no right to ask the government to make OUR religion the established religion of the United States.
    I suggest that you read the articles at this link and learn.
    http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/trijicon/index.html

  • Rob the Rev

    Change “sites” to “sights” in previous post.

  • Rob the Rev

    The reason Trijicon backed off on putting religious citations on their sights is because they are more committed to the worship of the almighty dollar than to their religious beliefs and didn’t want to lose their multi-million dollar contract.

  • Jeff Doles

    The First Amendment regards the *establishment* of a church or religion: The gov’t (particularly Congress) is not permitted to either establish or disestablish a church or religion. It does not mean that all religious references must be banned from public square. The inclusion of coded Scripture references on gun sights does not proselytize, evangelize, propagate or establish any church or religion, so it does not violate the First Amendment for the military to use those sights.
    As to why Trijicon would agree to cease putting those coded references on the product sold to the US military, I expect that it has to do with the desire to sell their product. For while Trijicon has the right to use those coded references in their model numbers, as they have done for the past 30 years, including the last 15 years in which they have been doing business with the US military, the US military has the right not to buy their product.
    Though it may be their desire to encode such references, it is not a religious obligation that they do so — they are free to encode or not without violating their principles or values. It is just not nearly as big a deal as so many would make it out to be, and apparently, it is not that big a deal for them to cease including those coded references on products used by the military.
    You seem to want to have it both ways, Rob, which is often what happens when people let cynicism get the better of them. You protested vociferously — over the top and beyond proportion — putting down Trijicon for including Scripture references on their product, and now you put them down for removing them.

  • Your Name

    No Jeff, I’m not putting Trijicon down. I am pointing out Trijicon’s hypocrisy.
    A gun site or any product produced and paid for by the U.S. government is not the public square.
    The 1st Amendment does not allow the U.S. Congress or any entity of the U.S. government to spend tax dollars to promote or establish any particular religion. Any religion that wants U.S. tax dollars because its own adherents will not support it is not much of a religion.
    Obviously the Army and the Marines do not agree with you that it is not proselyzing or promoting one religion over another and thus violating the 1st Amendment and the separation of church and state.
    You have still to respond to the question what if some gun sight manufacturer was to put references to the Koran on their product. You would be yelling bloody murder, no doubt.

  • Jeff Doles

    Nothing hypocritical in Trijicon’s actions. There is nothing in their religion or values which requires that they must mark their product with any symbols. Nor have they in any way suggested that it is something they must do in order to be true to their faith. It was a negotiable item. Their customer (the US military) did not desire the special coding on their scope’s, nor was it in any way required for the integrity of Trijicon’s product or of their faith and values. IOW, it was something they were free to change without being in any way hypocritical.
    The Army has been aware of the encoding for a while. They defended their use of the Trijicon scopes as not being in conflict with the First Amendment. What has changed is that it has recently come under media attention and criticism from the politically correct.

  • Jeff Doles

    No hypocrisy there. It is not necessary to their faith or their values for them to encode Scripture references on their products; it was simply something they wanted to do.
    The US military has known about these encoded model numbers for some time and had no problem about them. They even defended them as not being in violation of the First Amendment. The only thing that has changed is that the media has presented it as a big deal and it has come under criticism from the politically correct. This is simply the military’s way of dealing with the criticism.
    It would make no difference to me if they had been verses from the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or some other religious books. It would not evangelize, proselytize, promote or establish any of those religions.

  • bck

    Rob,
    I think you have an incorrect conception of the jurisprudence surrounding the first amendment. Under your framework, it would be unconstitutional for a government worker to expense lunch at In ‘N Out Burger.

  • Brian in NZ

    How would a Muslim person interpret a Biblical reference on a weapon that is used to kill a believer in Islam? They already view ALL westerners as Christians, and believe that ALL lifestyle practices and activities are reflective of Christianity.
    I really don’t think it is a smart move to wave a “Christian flag” in this way. I for one, don’t want to be represented by this company.

  • http://blog.emergingscholars.org/ Mike Hickerson

    Joshua @ #18:
    Yes, I do think there’s a difference between rifle sights and fast food wrappers. But some people in this discussion are treating this as an unconscionable act of radical extremism, and I’m pointing out that printing Biblical references on one’s products is a well-established tradition in American Christianity.
    There’s been a lot of conversation about what the 1st Amendment allows and doesn’t allow. Surely the courts have dealt with similar issues. Does anyone have legal precedents that they can link to?

  • Joshua

    Mike @ 45: Point taken- I see what you mean, and I certainly agree with you for the most part. Regardless, I still think the reactions of the Muslims will not bode well for Christians, especially in light of the fact that they already believe (wrongly) that all westerners are Christians on some sort of crusade. We need to be undoing these stereotypes rather than fueling them. Even if there is a tradition of this in American culture, we need to have more sense in how what we do and say affects how they perceive Christians (for better or worse)- even if it is as small and insignificant as Bible verses on military scopes. What is insignificant to us as Americans born and raised in this culture might not be so insignificant for a Muslim extremist looking for every opportunity to prove that they are the victims rather than the aggressors and are, therefore, justified in responding violently.
    Rob @ 36: I agreed with Jeff because I think you blew the issue out of proportion and are seriously exaggerating the issue. You have not proven otherwise in any of your posts since then. The corporation had the verses on their weapons before they entered into the agreement with the United States. If the contract did not stipulate for them to remove them, then they’re not violating anything. In terms of the First Amendment, it’s clear by our very discussion that it is not laid out explicitly for us what this means exactly. In which case, I’m with Mike in #45- I’d like to see some legal precedents that help to spell this out better. Citing the First Amendment doesn’t mean anything, because the Amendment itself is too broad for an easy interpretation. If it isn’t broad, then I wonder why we’re discussing it over 200 years after the fact.
    Furthermore, to reiterate- I disagree that they put the Bible verses on the scopes, regardless of any agreement they had with the military. I do not agree that they thought it was Christ-like to put a Bible verse talking about who Jesus was without a full understanding of what Jesus taught. Even if they didn’t have the contract with the military, I would still disapprove of verses being put on the scopes, but for entirely different reasons than many (albeit, most) Americans. I don’t think it is wise or beneficial from a Christian perspective- this will no doubt have a negative impact on the church, both locally in the U.S. as well as abroad.

  • Rob the Rev

    Read what this Marine has to say about bible verses on gunsights.
    Hold The Hallelujah: The Perils Of Rifles And Religion
    (72) (50)
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122945924
    For former Marine Benjamin Busch, his time spent in Iraq meant fighting ideals as an American soldier, not as a Christian. Blending church and state is dangerous in any context, but in war, he says, America walks a fine line between religious extremism and zealous patriotism.

  • Your Name

    I wonder how Jesus feels about His word being inscribed onto things designed to kill people. I assume very few people would suggest that Jesus would employ his own finger to pull a trigger that kills. But somehow no one thinks that he might have a problem lending his word for the same purpose. Using scriptures about the Light of the world to kill people that will never have an opportunity to see the light is one of the saddest things I have ever heard.


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