Gunsights' biblical references concern US and UK forces
January 20, 2010 12:44 PM Subscribe
Coded references to biblical passages are inscribed on gunsights widely used by the US and British military in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has emerged.
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The markings include "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", relating to verses in the books of II Corinthians and John.
Trijicon, the US-based manufacturer, was founded by a devout Christian, and says it runs to "Biblical standards".
But military officials in the US and UK have expressed concern over the way the markings will be perceived.
The company had been adding the references to its sights for many years, but the issue surfaced only recently when soldiers complained to an advocacy group, an ABC News investigation found.
The issue has been thrust into the spotlight by the US Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) - an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.
On 14 January, the MRFF received an e-mail, purportedly from a Muslim US Army infantryman, complaining about the markings.
"Many soldiers know of them and are very confused as to why they are there and what it is supposed to mean."
The email adds: "Everyone is worried that if they were captured in combat that the enemy would use the Bible quotes against them in captivity or some other form of propaganda."
MRFF president Mikey Weinstein says the inscriptions could give the Taliban and other enemy forces a propaganda tool.
"I don't have to wonder for a nanosecond how the American public would react if citations from the Koran were being inscribed onto these US armed forces gunsights instead of New Testament citations," he said.