Recent revelations that hundred of thousands of US servicemens’ rifle-scopes are carrying references Gospel verses have littered the web recently. Today it’s been revealed that Australian soldiers are using those very same scopes. The Bible references appear like any normal-looking serial number, for example ”2COR4:6” is a reference to Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.
The manufacturer, Trijicon, was founded by a fundie Christian over thirty years ago and its website carries this message:
”As part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon has put scripture references on our products for more than two decades,” a statement on the company’s website said.
”As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation.”
Ah, nothing like militarised Christianity. Nothing like lining up your enemies’ skulls in a scope you know is blessed by the words of Jesus. Nothing like the old “God is in MY side but not YOURS’ gambit, used by everyone from Moses’ merry band of child-killers to the Crusaders to the loons who routinely blow themselves up to gain eternal paradise.
Unsurprisingly, defence chiefs from the affected nations including the US, Canada, NZ and Australia have stated they didn’t know these serial numbers were in fact Gospel references. Why does it not surprise me? Because, historically, the people most likely to want to sneak their religion into other peoples’ lives are the ones who cling to it the tightest (google “Dover Trial”). I could always give Trijicon the benefit of the doubt and say the fault lies, if anywhere, with the defence chiefs who didn’t research the company – but hey, how many generals or defence ministers would think to check their equipment suppliers aren’t using evangelising serial numbers on their products?
Now, notwithstanding the first amendment to the US constitution and the inarguably secular intent of the founders of that nation – not to mention the secular nature of their Allies who also use these scopes – I hope someone has realised that this is going to be more propaganda fuel for the Taliban and for many Iraqi insurgents who already believe this is some kind of war against Islam, a Fourth Crusade. When news gets out amongst the “enemy” that Allied forces have Bible verses inscribed on their scopes, those servicemen may as well drop the fatigues and start wearing white smocks with big-arse red crucifixes on the front. Seriously, this is one little speed-bump our poor bastards in the desert didn’t need.