Posted by Brian S at 9:50 PM
Someone, anyone, tell me a part of this story that's not effed up, because I can't find one.
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the U.S. military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.Old Testament verses wouldn't be a big deal, seeing as Yahweh was an ass-kicking, name-taking, Rowdy Roddy Piper of a god. Taking out the Egyptian army by letting the Red Sea wash back over them? No problem. Toasting the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and only leaving a survivors a guy who offered the citizens his daughters as sex toys and those daughters? Gangster. Knocking down the walls of Jericho and slaughtering everyone in there? That's his style.
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.
But Jesus? New Testament God was all love and peace and sacrifice. He was the new way, right? Healing Calchas's ear after Peter cut it off and going to his death willingly so that all mankind might be saved doesn't quite jibe with high-powered rifle sights. I doubt that the man who reportedly said "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life," would have been cool with a reference to that inscribed on a part of a weapon. Jesus wasn't George Lucas or whoever owns the rights to The Simpsons these days--I think he'd have a problem with some product endorsements.
And via Pandagon, the story gets even worse.
However, a spokesperson for CentCom, the U.S. military's overall command in Iraq and Aghanistan, said he did not understand why the issue was any different from U.S. money with religious inscriptions on it.Let me explain it in small words for you, Major. God is a vague term, which could reference Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah, or Zeus, or any of a thousand other deities, which basically leaves only hardcore atheists bothered by it (and some of us don't figure it's worth the aggravation). But the second you reference the New Testament, you specify a god (sort of--the whole nature of Jesus has been up for debate since the earliest days of the church), or at the very least, a particular set of beliefs, something the US government cannot do under the First Amendment.
"The perfect parallel that I see," said Maj. John Redfield, spokesperson for CentCom, told ABC News, "is between the statement that's on the back of our dollar bills, which is 'In God We Trust,' and we haven't moved away from that."
Not to mention that it's just stupid. It really puts the lie to any claims made by the military that these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are anything other than Crusades, religious wars. How do we deny it now?
Labels: separation of church and state