According to today’s news reports, the United States – the leading force in a criminal invasion of Afghanistan – is supplying New Zealand, British and other fellow invaders with rifle sights which have each been stamped with a citation from the Bible. The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights (ACOGs) are designed by Trijicon Inc. for the M16 rifle and M4 carbine, and are supplied to the U.S. Government under a $660m long-term contract.
The raised lettering on the rifle sights includes a stock number, which is then followed by the reference, “JN8:12”:
Trijicon Inc. ACOG gunsight stamped "JN 8:12"
“JN8:12” is the standard abbreviation for the Gospel of John chapter 8 verse 12, which reads:
“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.'”
The gunsight’s makers have used Jesus’ statement that he is “the light of the world” because they believe that Jesus will help soldiers see their enemies so that they can kill them:
“How many times have you lost your target because it was too dark? Or misidentified a friend for a foe? Never again, thanks to Trijicon. The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight™ (ACOG®), one of several models now standard issue for all Special Forces units, provides “instinctive” target acquisition and increased hit potential in all lighting conditions. In a close-quarter combat situation, or a firefight across a field, our revolutionary self-luminous reticle is clearly visible against your fast-moving target — in even the lowest light… The combination of fiber-optic and tritium illumination provides the ultimate in fast, transitional aiming — regardless of the lighting condition.”
– Trijicon website
Trijicon make a direct link between Jesus proclaiming that he is “the light of the world” (in Jn 8:12) and the “self-luminous” Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight. So it is quite clear that the embossing of the Bible verse was no accident. In fact, Trijicon Inc has a history of mixing Christian love and efficient killing, sponsoring a radio ministry for Christian hunters, called “God’s Great Outdoors“. The phrase in John 8:12, “Jesus is the light of the world” has long been a popular biblical quotation by Christians. So it is understandable that such a biblical passage would come readily to mind for a rifle sight-producing Michigan-based company. Moreover, Trijicon proudly affirms its “biblical” morality as part of its corporate values:
“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.”
– Trijicon’s Values, Trijicon website
And, apparently, there ain’t nothing more biblical than the killing of unbelievers. What is more, if you’re a keen Christian hunter or Crusader, you can collect the whole set of biblically encoded rifle sights. Here’s one with 2 Corinthians 4:6:
Trijicon Reflex scope with "2Cor4:6" - Jesus lights 'em up; you shoot 'em down!
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:6
As reported in the New Zealand Herald, the company have acknowledged that they included the Bible citations deliberately:
“Trijicon admitted to ABC News that the codes were deliberately added to the sights. Spokesman Tom Munson said the inscriptions “have always been there” and said the company has done nothing wrong or illegal by adding them.”
And then Munson went on the offensive. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is “not Christian“. Trijicon thinks that the problem will go away if it is pointed out that it only offends whinging unbelievers – whose opinions, obviously, are worthless.
When the biblical citations were brought to the attention of the New Zealand army, they produced their spokesperson – a man named “Major Christian”. Yes, really. Major Kristian Dunne was quick to realize that the biblical citation was a tactical error. Religiously motivated invasions should, after all, be much more covert:
“It’s put us in an uncomfortable situation. We can see how they would cause offence. We are unhappy they didn’t make us aware of it… They didn’t violate any policy but we consider them inappropriate. Everyone has freedoms of religious belief … It also could be used against us by other religions.”
Uncomfortable, huh? I’m guessing probably not as uncomfortable as a round of bullets from a M16 ripping through an Afghani body, guided by the light of Jesus. But Defence Minister Wayne Mapp merely echoed similar weasel words, describing the biblical citation as “undesirable” as they could be “easily misconstrued”: “They send the wrong sort of message. They cause the same problems as putting slogans on bombs,” he said. “We should not be doing anything that might give opponents any propaganda leverage.”
“Propaganda”? “Misconstrued?” Jeez, Wayne, when you pander to the U.S. and send trained killers to support and condone their illegal invasion of Afghanistan – an invasion which the former President and war criminal George W. Bush described as a “Crusade” – don’t you think that the other side might be “construing” the message just fine?