Kooky Christian Stories: ‘Firearms of Christ’; ‘Solar-Powered Bibles for Haiti’.
“U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes”
ABC News America reports this week that telescopic sights for high-powered US Army rifles are imprinted with coded references to New Testament Bible passages. These sights are being used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The Michigan-based company Trijicon, which is contracted to provide up to 800,000 sights to the US Marine Corps, confirmed that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military and that they “have always been there”. Trijicon claims there is nothing wrong or illegal with the practice, and that those opposing the inscriptions are “not Christian”.
The religious citations include references like “2COR4:6” (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”. JN8:12 (John 8:12) reads: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. And other imprints make references to the books of Revelation, Matthew and John.
U.S. military rules prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan, mindful of potential criticisms that America is on a religious ‘Crusade’, and say they were unaware of the markings. They are now discussing what steps to take. Meanwhile, representatives of the ‘Military Religious Freedom Foundation’, which aims to “preserve the separation of church and state in the military”, says that Trijicon’s campaign “violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal laws”. They also claim that US officers have called the weapons “spiritually transformed firearm[s] of Jesus Christ”, while addressing troops.
Records show that Trijicon had more than $100 million in government contracts in 2008, and won a new $33 million Pentagon contract in 2009. This demonstrates the vast resources that are at the disposal of far-right-wing evangelical forces in the United States, and their continuing power within the American government and military; as well as pointing towards their willingness to violate the separation of church and state unapologetically, and the sometimes bizarre ways in which they seek to spread their influence.
“Solar-powered Bibles sent to Haiti”
And while international aid agencies are focusing on bringing life-sustaining materials to the victims of Haiti’s earthquake, US evangelicals are sending Bibles: solar-powered Bibles… Yes, solar-powered broadcasting Bibles, that are programmed to play the scriptures out-loud in Haitian Creole.
The ‘Faith Comes By Hearing’ organisation has already sent 600 of the devices to Haiti saying that the high-tech Bible, which they call the ‘Proclaimer’, delivers “digital quality” audio for “poor and illiterate people”. Apparently, the audio-Bible will bring the, “hope and comfort that comes from knowing God has not forgotten them through this tragedy”.
One can judge for themselves whether this is the best usage of resources to care for the victims of the natural disaster/long-running socio-economic calamity in Haiti.