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Trijicon Drops Bible Lines From Scope

Trijicon Drops Bible Lines From Scope

Military.com | by Bryant Jordan

January 22, 2010

Rifle scopes bearing references to the New Testament no longer will be issued to American troops, and scopes already in service will have the references removed.

Military optics manufacturer Trijicon Inc., of Wixom, Mich., apparently concerned that a Pentagon review of the situation could lead to a loss or interruption of its multi-million dollar contract for the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, said it is ending the practice begun by the company’s founder more than 20 years ago.

Trijicon “has offered to voluntarily stop putting references to scripture on all products manufactured for the U.S. military – and will provide, free of charge, 100 modification kits to the Pentagon to enable the removal of the references that are already on products that are currently deployed,” the company said in a statement obtained by Military.com.

“In response to concerns raised by the Department of Defense, Trijicon Inc. initiated this action to ensure the war-time production needs of the troops are met as quickly as possible,” the statement added.

The scopes are being used by American Soldiers and Marines and allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, including by Iraqis and Afghans. The scopes came under criticism from religious, civil liberties and watchdog groups — and even from senior military leadership — after they were featured in an ABC News “Nightline” segment on Jan. 18.

One inscription, “JN 8:12,” refers to the book of John, chapter 8, verse 12 — a New Testament passage that reads: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”

The practice was hit on several fronts. Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, called it unconstitutional, a violation of the theater commander’s general order against proselytizing in Afghanistan and Iraq and was against those countries’ laws. Frank Schaeffer, an author and columnist for Military.com, said Trijicon had essentially sold the U.S. military “booby-trapped” equipment because it would generate resentment from Muslims and give the insurgents and al-Qaida fodder for their claim the U.S. is engaged in a “crusade” against Islam.

An Army spokesman told Military.com Wednesday that senior officials were reviewing the situation but had not yet decided what to do about it. But Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, later told CNN that the biblical references were a “big concern” to the Army and the Marine Corps.

“I hope you can sense … this is of serious concern to me and the other commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan because it can indeed create a perception that is absolutely contrary to what it is that we have sought to do,” he told the news network, noting that U.S. troops are more sensitive about the perception than the contractor.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the Pentagon’s only concern for the scopes should be that they are effective, not what is inscribed on them.

“The argument that adversaries motivated by jihadist ideology are likely to be further enraged by the scope manufacturer’s religious references is, in my opinion, simply lame,” she told Military.com in an e-mail. “Jihadists already accuse American Soldiers — not just American military equipment — of waging ‘holy war’ against them. I doubt that they would be less violent in their attacks on Americans if our non-Muslim military personnel had no religious faith at all.”

Trijicon’s move appears to be an about-face from its e-mailed statement Wednesday to Military.com, when a spokesman said: “As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation.”

In its announcement Thursday, Trijicon said it would remove the inscriptions on sights that have been manufactured, but not yet delivered, and would “ensure all future procurements from the Department of Defense are produced without scripture references.”

The company will be doing the same for scopes it supplies to other countries, as well.

On Thursday, New Zealand announced it would remove the inscriptions from scopes used by its troops, while Australia said it was considering what to do.

Reprinted with permission from Military.com

© Copyright 2010 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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  • Mccool_max50

    countycop6

    over 4 years ago

    38 Comments

    All I can say is let history be the judge of what happens to those who forsake God for money.

  • 74596_129289523905506_927477597_n_max50

    CadetAK

    over 4 years ago

    3416 Comments

    I personally think there are waaaay more important things to worry about then an inscription on a scope. But that's my take on the whole thing.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JohnsonDa

    over 4 years ago

    346 Comments

    Sad that it comes to this these days...

  • Lol_sun_in_clouds_02_max50

    Djfludd

    over 4 years ago

    230 Comments

    "Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the Pentagon’s only concern for the scopes should be that they are effective, not what is inscribed on them."

    “The argument that adversaries motivated by jihadist ideology are likely to be further enraged by the scope manufacturer’s religious references is, in my opinion, simply lame,” she told Military.com in an e-mail. “Jihadists already accuse American Soldiers — not just American military equipment — of waging ‘holy war’ against them. I doubt that they would be less violent in their attacks on Americans if our non-Muslim military personnel had no religious faith at all.”

    AT LEAST SOMEWHERE IN ALL THE MILITARY/MEDIA MANURE SOMEBODY HAS THE VISION TO KNOW WHAT THE BIG PICTURE IS; AND THE TESTICULAR FORTITUDE TO SAY IT!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bsybee

    over 4 years ago

    130 Comments

    In my opinion, This a bunch of hog wash, if they take the coding off, its not going to change the proformance of the weapon, It's their for the company, If its their way of being blessed.by getting the Government Contracts, The Government should have no say so in the weapons other than how they do there job.And if the men feel some comfort in the verse that is in scripted on the inside of it, than so be it. If the Government says something than they need to sweep their own door steps. Starting with the twelve insignias on the building surrounding the President. and Washington DC. as well as our own Currency. So much for the freedom of speech. Our Country is going down the drain. GOD BLESS The USA.GOD BLESS THE USA. This is in my opinion.

  • Policelinkbadge_max50

    DirtyDan

    over 4 years ago

    234 Comments

    Trijicon makes good products. I would hate for something like this to effect their contract, and in the end cost them money. The last thing we need is more people losing their jobs. It's a sad state of affairs.

  • Hpim1329_max50

    tstanfill63

    over 4 years ago

    1508 Comments

    They should have stepped up to the plate and just changed the enscription to Romans 13.

  • Canada-flag_max50

    canadiancop

    over 4 years ago

    236 Comments

    I wish we had verses on our glocks.....any 'HELP' we can get would be appreciated.

  • Chris_and_i_in_uniform_max50

    JP503

    over 4 years ago

    7616 Comments

    What a bunch of BS

  • Bad_guys_max50

    ssherrill

    over 4 years ago

    58 Comments

    Well, I guess we might not want to say things like, there is no atheist in a fox hole anymore. I don't want to hear someone praying for our soldiers or sending them a bible they requested. That might swing the war and make it harder on us to win over the Muslims..BS...Last time I looked we are Americans. The freedom to choose. Founded on a Christian Faith. A country that allows its people to worship and choose its faith. A country that is not rigid but flexable and tolerant of others and what they have chosen.
    If for a minute, I thought that a scripture reference or a prayer or comment would save all our soldiers lives, I would do it and I do.
    Politics and money are the only driving force behind this. The company should have stood firm on its beliefs...not on its wallet. I personnally don't care what they think. We are there not do a job. We are there to win a war. If a Bible reference offends....oh well....Im not offended by Jewish holidays or prayers...Not offended by Church of Christ people...Im not offended by any religion or any other persons beliefs. What I am is disgusted with all the BS that left wingers want to bring up. Leave this country if u don't like it....YOU HAVE THAT FREEDOM....if what this country stands for offends you then LEAVE...but don't go on about we might offend....we might make them upset...lets find out if our soldiers like it...I am sure they don't mind if a company has a prayer for them. To whomever...whatever faith you are...if you will pray for me...then I say thank you..I will pray for all the soldiers not just the ones of my faith..never have never will...all faiths...all soldiers

  • Uni1_max50

    Deli734

    over 4 years ago

    410 Comments

    What a hot steaming load...

  • Th_a11845d-lg-b_max50

    NiteWolf

    over 4 years ago

    1008 Comments

    WOW! Truly amazing they care about that. I’m sure one day that having the letters US on your flak will be scrutinized. Regardless what they say about this scripture which i call a quote, these little scopes jumped my rifle score up almost 30 points.

  • Silver_warrior_max50

    Beowulf_7

    over 4 years ago

    730 Comments

    From other things that I have read, the military code says that their members will not proselytize but yet they have chaplains of ALL faiths. Hmmmmm, do we see a problem here? How long before the nitpickers of our society call on the military to remove the chaplains because they are actively preaching to the members of the military? Yet, they are actively talking about the religious aspects of this or that. The sights from Trijicon don't even have the full verse on them, just the "location" of the verse. I fail to see how this is proselytizing anymore than the military chaplains.

    I do have to agree with others though that by backing down from the pressure, Trijicon has lost A LOT of respect from me. Seems to me that their company execs just don't seem to get it. . . .you either believe in something or you don't. Oops, my fault. . . .they DO believe in something. It's ALL about the Benjamins! NOT whether or not you have actual beliefs or not.

  • Warn_a_brother_black_max50

    too40shorty

    over 4 years ago

    394 Comments

    I wish I could say I was shocked, but I'm not...

  • Jerry_max50

    jworrell

    over 4 years ago

    66 Comments

    Listen people, Scriptures from the Bible had NOT been placed on these rifle sights, only abbreviated scriptural references. Big difference. If Trijicon had put the words, "the Bible" on their sights, it would have amounted to the same thing. Nothing. Having a scriptural reference in no way asked anyone to look it up and read it, or coerced anyone into anything religious. To think so is an overreact, and that is unnecessary.

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