Trijicon, a Michigan-based defense contractor, has been carving references to Bible verses on its combat rifle sights for nearly 30 years. The United States military has purchased hundreds of thousands of these rifles.
This Tuesday, the U.S. Army announced plans to investigate whether Trijicon violated federal procurement statutes regarding proselytization by American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marine Corps is likewise reconsidering its contract with the Michigan company. Neither military branch has said it plans to stop using the thousands of telescoping sites already purchased.
The New Zealand Army plans to remove the biblical citations from the sights already in use by their troops. The Australian Defense Department released a statement today, saying that they were unaware of the practice and are currently assessing how to address the situation. Australia’s 1550 troops constitute the largest non-NATO military presence in Afghanistan,
Trijicon inscribes each Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight with New Testament biblical references, including “2COR4:6” (“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,” as per the King James version) and “JN8:12” (“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” KJV).
New Zealand Defense Force deems inscriptions “inappropriate”
Marine Corps considers ending Trijicon contract; spokesman for US Central Command defends practice
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