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Keeping our faith in our sights

January 20, 2010, 1:31 pm | Posted by Kristin Ford

UPDATE: The manufacturer is now going to remove the Bible verses from the gun sights.

ABC Nightline News broke an unsettling story this weekend– apparently, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps have been outfitting their troops with high-powered rifle sights that bear Biblical inscriptions.

When asked about it, the military seemed nonchalant. A military spokesman yesterday said, “This situation is not unlike the situation with U.S. currency… Are we going to stop using money because the bills have ‘In God We Trust’ on them? As long as the sights meet the combat needs of troops, they’ll continue to be used.”

Seems to me that’s a faulty analogy which doesn’t account for the fact that the purpose of the gun, unlike a dollar bill, is to inflict bodily harm upon another human being.

While there has been a slight change of tone since then— a separate military spokesperson said, “We are aware of the issue and are concerned with how this may be perceived”– the situation still gives me pause.

Obviously Trijicon, Inc., the firm producing the rifle sights, should be allowed to put whatever inscription on their product they like. But that the U.S. Armed Forces used taxpayer dollars to pay for these sights is troubling, not only from a constitutional perspective, but especially from a religious perspective.

It sounds like these inscriptions weren’t just innocuous decorations on firearms. Michael Weinstein, a former Air Force attorney now with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said that members of his group on active duty spoke of commanders who referred to weapons with the sights as “spiritually transformed firearms of Jesus Christ.”

Regardless of one’s views on the morality of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think we can all agree that God’s messages of love and hope for the world are a bad fit for a tool used to aim a rifle at another human being.

Sign Faithful America’s petition to make your voice heard on this abuse of faith.

7 Responses to “Keeping our faith in our sights”

  1. Mary Collins says:

    Please stop using biblical quotes on weapons!

  2. The idea that the message of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is being inscribed on weapons of war is wrong on every level! This must stop now.

  3. Dolores Becker BVM says:

    Jesus came as the Prince of Peace and religious inscriptions shouldn’t be on weapons of destruction.

  4. Leon M. Brubaker says:

    Enscribing the scripture references on the scope of an assault rifle grossly misrepresents the words of writers who gave their lives to bring the love of God to a twisted and violent world.

  5. Karl Sokol says:

    Now, if there was a plowshare with Scripture across the side, that would be a different matter.

  6. Mary says:

    God is not a God of war but peace and unity. In this week of prayer for Christian unity please see onedate.org and do what you can to pass on the details to your friends and contacts. God bless all who work for peace and unity.

  7. Harry Coverston says:

    “Seems to me that’s a faulty analogy which doesn’t account for the fact that the purpose of the gun, unlike a dollar bill, is to inflict bodily harm upon another human being.”

    Clearly it’s a faulty analogy. But it also avoids the larger question – should G-d be used as a means to other ends in any case? I observe that In God We Trust appears on our money because for most Americans that *is* the god we trust. When we say “God bless America,” is it a request? a prayer? a demand? a statement of expectation? of entitlement?

    Why not simply avoid the use of G-d entirely when it comes to the nation state? The reality is that if you ask 10 people what they associate with that word, you get 10 answers. How is that meaningful?