The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Killing for Christ? Bible verses inscribed in rifles

This is one of the more bizarre — and unsettling — news items of the day. Maybe the week.

From ABC News:

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.

abc_scope_100118_mn.jpgThe 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 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.

Continue at the link for more.

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posted January 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Unsettling news, perhaps, but not at all out of character for Christianity, or for that matter, Abrahamic faiths as a general matter. So much for the notion of “the good guys” vs “The Taliban.” It looks more like “our” Taliban vs. “their” Taliban. The only difference appears to be theological.

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posted January 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm

I wonder why they chose not to inscribe the rifle sights with Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder”?

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Jean-Therese Delacroix

posted January 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I know that we Catholics aren’t pacifist, but even if we argued that Afghanistan was a just war, I don’t think this would be good PR for us Christians fighting the Taliban.
I personally think that we should fight for security reasons, and not in terms of religious crusading here. Indeed, I think the company needs to remove them from the molds — it will just send bad vibes throughout the Muslim world.

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posted January 18, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I consider myself a pacifist Catholic (I hope that’s not an oxymoron to any of you) and I find it unsettling that the Word of God is being referenced on a weapon of violence. My concern is that it could be considered disrespectful to use Bible passages like that.

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posted January 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Although I believe our society needs to remember its Christian heritage, adding these scriptural references on gun sights is in poor taste. Should bombs, grenades, etc be similarly inscribed?
Although many people I know view this conflict as a war of Islam against Christianity, we cannot allow it to devolve into such a divide or the results will be far more widespread and costly both in lives and money.

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posted January 18, 2010 at 11:16 pm

This shouldn’t even be an issue in the news, except that much of the press is so quick to jump on anything that takes a swipe at Christianity.
Really though, what does it matter if the company puts a couple letters and numbers on their product? Are you really afraid of offending the enemy whom you are about to kill? Get real.
And it is a stretch to say this is unconstitutional (or violates what some term as “the separation of church and state”). The constitution proclaims that the federal government shall not establish a state religion, and obviously a private/public company putting this on their product does not dictate the user to convert to any religion, nor that the state should establish a state religion.
Come on, enough of this PC police state.

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posted January 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

It’s funny how just the Word of God puts fear and trembeling into the souls of non believers and nay sayers alike. If they did not believe the fact that Jesus is Lord this would not scare them.
So believe like you already do and humble yourself in the eyes of the one true God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Let the Word stay on the scopes it doesn’t hurt, unless you know it to be true and believe it.

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posted January 19, 2010 at 7:16 am

Hooray for the good guys!!!! Anyone that views this war with the muslims as a “security” issue is an idiot. This is and always will be a religious war that was never finished. How dare anyone chastise Christians for taking it to the enemy. It is what it is, and all the pretty prose won’t change it. Any of you non-believers have a problem with that you can always move to yemen. God bless our troops, the greatest WARRIORS on earth.

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posted January 19, 2010 at 7:27 am

There is nothing wrong with giving our troops something to bolster their faith! Being a combat vet I can say that there truly is no atheist in a foxhole! I find it incomprehensible that our Government can be bullied by a vocal minority who want Christianity to be removed from every aspect. The separation of Church and State is a progressive misinterpretation of our Constitution!

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frank burns

posted January 19, 2010 at 8:11 am

Whats wrong with shooting Muslims with Jesus rifles? This is the Holy War on Terror, after all. Probably just some atheist complainers here, trying to end the war before it can burst out into the magnificent Armageddon.

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posted January 19, 2010 at 11:50 am

Frank Burns – you have once again shown that you have yet to learn anything meaningful or useful from Father Mulcahey. Grace trumps vengeance every time.
I hope you are simply being sarcastic!

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posted January 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

The pathetic comments by so-called Christians who justify forcing their religious views down the throats of anyone shows how many secret Taliban-like Christians there are in the US, just waiting to remove our secular freedoms and impose an Iranian-like theocracy!

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posted January 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Jim wrote, “Really though, what does it matter if the company puts a couple letters and numbers on their product?”
It’s not milspec, and it’s contrary to a specific regulation. If the references in question had been to passages from the Holy Qur’an, would you still be writing that “This shouldn’t even be an issue in the news”? Didn’t think so.
My view is that, at the very least, the company should be made to replace the offending product with milspec equipment, at no cost–after which they should be blacklisted for a period of, say, five years.

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posted January 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I have not posted here before.
I have been lurking for about one year. In general, I have enjoyed the posts from Deacon Greg. I have especially enjoyed viewing going’s on on the right coast (I am WAY on the Left Coast).
But, the recent tenor of the comments in many of the threads has turned both anti Catholic and anti Christian.
While I am all for discourse and conversation, in general those anti Christian comments are not in the interest of understanding and add nothing but vituperation. I sincerely hope that Deacon Greg will reconsider allowing these posts to continue. It takes much away from this site and lessens my personal interest in coming here.
Isn’t this the Octave of Christian unity?
Best wishes…

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El Duce

posted January 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm

If the refferances have been there for a long time, why has it taken so long for anyone to notice? If the person holding the gun doesn’t like it he/she can just grind it off.
So what’s the big deal?

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Rob the Rev

posted January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Watch the Nightline Video about this violation of church and state and the U.S. Military rules that forbids proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanista. Our soldiers are NOT Christian crusaders fighting a holy war against Islam.
Mikey Weinstein of the Military Relgious Freedom Foundation has been sounding the alarm about the Christian Taliban theocrats in the U.S. Military for many years. He is interviewed in the Nightline segment. He is concerned about, as we all should be, about these theocrats having access to lethal weapons. Talk about conversion by the barrel of a gun!

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posted January 19, 2010 at 11:09 pm

For those foolish enough to believe ABC news tells the whole truth ..sorry. Missing data includes things like,
the company puts the references on all their products. civilian and military.
Their products claim to fame as it were is lighted optics and night sights, so verses about light fit right in (although very much out of context)
There is NOTHING!! in the verse about converting others, and until ABC came along I doubt more than a few soldiers even new they were not just typical product lot codes.
Those speaking about this being a U.S. form of taliban need to get at least a small connection with reality. it is like saying because the ACLU was formed by communists (it was), and communists killed over 100 Million people (they did), therefor the ACLU wants to kill one third of america (some how I doubt it)
Where did all this hatred I see in some of theses comments come from?

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posted January 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I see nothing wrong with the “Jesus” codes. We are a Christian nation, and if the atheists and pagans don’t like it they can leave.

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posted January 20, 2010 at 12:56 am

I agree with Kenneth;
“our” Taliban against “their” Taliban. “The only difference appears to be theological.”
And some wonder why so many people in the U.S. are concerned about the RR…go figure. I’ve become keenly aware of the fact that not all that claim to be Christian are truly Christian. Their words and more importantly, their actions show that they have little in common with the Jesus they like to profess.
“fear and trembling”… absolutely not. In this area, there is nothing to fear. I don’t need to fear your god as I have my own Gods. This is in poor taste, period. So, the Taliban kills for religious reasons and/or make believe reasons. So now we have Christians doing the same using guns inscribed with bible versus. Two wrongs do not make a right, even if they want to justify it. I’m sure the Taliban does it all the time but I choose to hold higher standards to my government and country, including its military.
“I see nothing wrong with the “Jesus” codes.” Yep, killing in the name of Jesus. I’m sure it makes him proud! As a Pagan, I’m not leaving the country and will gladly stand up against the American Taliban here. The comments about a ‘Holy War’, honestly, what makes you any different than the Islamic Taliban? Nothing, simply justification and belief.
And conservative Christians wonder why people in this country are becoming so disillusioned with Christanity.
Article from the Barna Group:

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posted January 20, 2010 at 6:35 am

I see nothing wrong with the “Jesus” codes. We are a Christian nation, and if the atheists and pagans don’t like it they can leave.
Nice to see you hate America. Yes, I’m serious.

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posted January 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Sorry, but I dont believe the manufacture of those “sights”, is encouraging “killing for Jesus”, than when GE says “they bring good things to light”. If you know the quote, you know its intention is, to call upon God to light their path. In a world where our solidiers are faced with the ultimate darkness, to call on God to light their path, is more than understandable, and Im sure from their position, a much needed prayer.

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Andy S

posted January 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

I have yet to see any one point out that the company has put these verses on all there products since the founding of the company. 30 some years ago, before the threat from Islam was recognized.
As for a kinder, gentler answer to the threat. It will not work. We are dealing with radicals who hate us, our beliefs, our God and His son Jesus Christ. They need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly to protect these things. Passive response only ends up in being dominated by the very people you showed that weakness to.

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Faith Defender

posted January 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I can assure you that not only is America not a “Christian” nation, but also that anyone who is not Christian is not necessarily Atheist or Pagan.
Your arrogance (and ignorance) are appalling!

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posted January 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

To: Faith Defender, Yes this country is a Christian Country.
It was founded so that we could live in aplace where christians- as well as others could practice there beliefs without interferance, as is still mostly the case today.
Bible verses about jesus, in god we trust on our money, a system of laws based on the ten commandments. Face it if you want to be anti christian you live in the wrong place.

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Faith Defender

posted January 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Sorry Jett,
You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.
If you don’t understand the difference between a majority of Americans following Christianity, and it being the “official” religion of the country (a theocracy)…I suggest you read the Bill of Rights and that pesky First Amendment.
This country was founded on the basis of religious freedom for ALL, not just those following your faith. The Ten Commandments are a Judeo-Christian tradition, NOT the law of the land.
Oh, and just like Interpreter’s misinterpretation, the notion that if you are not Christian, you are automatically Anti-Christian is offensive beyond belief.

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posted January 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I am in the military. I am a Security Forces member. I am an Atheist. I find these inscriptions disturbing.

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Mary Smith

posted February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

God is on our side and will help us smite our enemies.
What’s wrong with our soldiers being reminded that they are fighting for the greater glory of God?

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posted February 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

Would it make you people feel better if they were quran references?
Get over it; Trijicon’s founder’s belief is irrelevant to who uses the sight, and who gets shot.
Also, as islam has declared war on our culture and all our ‘corrupt’ beliefs, it is fitting that war is brought back to them with this ‘corrupt’ verse reference.
Mohammed was a pirate not a prophet

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posted February 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

The Bible teaches that a nation that is truly God inspired and obedient does NOT need a standing army. See:
Psalms 27; 81:13-15
Isaiah 41:12
I Samuel 8:20
Therefore, if the USA is truly “Christian”, it would dissolve the military industrial complex. God is to be glorified through peace, not war.

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posted June 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

интеретсно написано

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