Friday, January 22, 2010

Only in America: Jesus Rifles

The U.S. Military equips many battle rifles with the ACOG--Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight. It's basically a small telescope with aiming cross-hairs. The ACOG contract, worth something like $660 Million, was awarded to a well known gun sight manufacturer, Trijicon. Trijicon is an unabashedly Fundamentalist Christian Company.

ABC News reports:
The company's vision is described on its Web site: "Guided by our values, we endeavor to have our products used wherever precision aiming solutions are required to protect individual freedom."

"We believe that America is great when its people are good," says the Web site. "This goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our history, and we will strive to follow those morals." (

Now, this wouldn't be a problem except that apparently the company has a tradition of adding references to Biblical Passages on the scopes.
Note the reference to John 8:12 in the serial number of the gun's scope.

This has been a known practice by Trijicon for some time. Some commanders even referred to ACOG-equipped rifles "as spiritually transformed firearm[s] of Jesus Christ" (source). I hope this was said some irony--as I hardly imagine our Lord traipsing around with M-4!

But now that it has come to public attention several problems were noted. First, it seems to violate several church-and-state separation policies of the military. Second, it allows the Taliban and other groups to use these sights as evidence that the war in Afghanistan is some kind of Christian crusade. All we need is for people to start calling these "Jesus Rifles."

It will be interesting to see what happens next. I imagine the government will probably require Trijicon to change the sites or lose the contract.

This is the sort of thing that can only happen in America!



Daniel Graves said...

Back when I was at ABC I remember getting an ad from a Bible publisher that featured a bullet-proof Bible, perfect for your left breast pocket. Given your post, now I'm actually considering buying one!

Tay Moss said...

Would be interesting to see what happens if you shoot a bullet proof bible with a Jesus Rifle.

meg said...

or how about a Jesus Rifle vs. a bulletproof Koran?


Now that you mention it I will pick up a set of those Jesus sights first chance I get.