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Subject: Remove biblical messages from gunsights, Defence Minister tells forces
Volkodav    1/23/2010 2:56:59 AM
Brandan Nicholson From: The Australian January 23, 2010 12:00AM DEFENCE Minister John Faulkner has told the defence forces to find a way to remove biblical messages etched into gunsights that are prized by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. The use by US, British, Australian and New Zealand troops of sights bearing references to scriptural passages has raised alarm among military and political leaders that it could reinforce the view that the West is waging a crusade against Islam. Senator Faulkner examined some of the US-manufactured sights during a tour of defence facilities in Victoria yesterday and asked Defence officials to suggest options to get rid of the controversial inscriptions. "It's a sensitive matter and we'll have to deal with them," Senator Faulkner's spokesman said later. A Defence spokesman said the sights were critically important and the ADF was looking for ways to deal with the situation without compromising soldiers' safety. Trijicon, the Michigan-based family company that manufactures the so-called "Jesus sights", triggered an international uproar when US soldiers in Afghanistan discovered that letters and figures they thought were simply stock or model numbers actually referred to passages from the Bible. One example was JN8:12, which turned out to be a reference to chapter eight, verse 12 in the Book of John: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said `I am the light of the world'." Former SAS commander Jim Wallace, who now runs the Australian Christian Lobby, said the biblical messages on gunsights were inappropriate and he could not understand why the company put them there. Mr Wallace said the inscriptions could be provocative to Muslims, particularly if they thought they were part of official policy. Trijicon issued a statement this week saying it had stopped putting the inscriptions on its sights. The company said it would also give the Pentagon, free of charge, 100 kits that could be sent overseas so troops could use them to remove the references from sights that they were already using. The ADF has several hundred of the sights, which are prized by elite troops for their accuracy over long range. It is understood one possibility being considered by the ADF is for it to obtain from Trijicon similar kits to be sent to Australian bases in Afghanistan. Trijicon said it had for two generations been providing the US's military men and women with high-quality and innovative sighting systems. "Our effort is simple and straightforward: to help our servicemen and women win the war on terror and come home safe to their families," the company said. "As part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon has put scripture references on our products for more than two decades. "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." The ADF confirmed on Thursday that it had been unaware of the meaning of the inscriptions.
 
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YelliChink       1/23/2010 7:31:04 PM
Replace the bible quotes with Quran terse, and let's see what will happen.
 
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smitty237       1/30/2010 1:14:32 PM

Replace the bible quotes with Quran terse, and let's see what will happen.
If they had Quran verse references on them then the media would regard it as an example of the company's diversity, and anyone who protested them would be called bigots and racists. 

 
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cwDeici       1/31/2010 12:01:05 AM

Brandan Nicholson
From: The Australian January 23, 2010 12:00AM

DEFENCE Minister John Faulkner has told the defence forces to find a way to remove biblical messages etched into gunsights that are prized by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.
The use by US, British, Australian and New Zealand troops of sights bearing references to scriptural passages has raised alarm among military and political leaders that it could reinforce the view that the West is waging a crusade against Islam.

Senator Faulkner examined some of the US-manufactured sights during a tour of defence facilities in Victoria yesterday and asked Defence officials to suggest options to get rid of the controversial inscriptions.

"It's a sensitive matter and we'll have to deal with them," Senator Faulkner's spokesman said later.

A Defence spokesman said the sights were critically important and the ADF was looking for ways to deal with the situation without compromising soldiers' safety.

Trijicon, the Michigan-based family company that manufactures the so-called "Jesus sights", triggered an international uproar when US soldiers in Afghanistan discovered that letters and figures they thought were simply stock or model numbers actually referred to passages from the Bible.

One example was JN8:12, which turned out to be a reference to chapter eight, verse 12 in the Book of John: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said `I am the light of the world'."

Former SAS commander Jim Wallace, who now runs the Australian Christian Lobby, said the biblical messages on gunsights were inappropriate and he could not understand why the company put them there.

Mr Wallace said the inscriptions could be provocative to Muslims, particularly if they thought they were part of official policy.

Trijicon issued a statement this week saying it had stopped putting the inscriptions on its sights. The company said it would also give the Pentagon, free of charge, 100 kits that could be sent overseas so troops could use them to remove the references from sights that they were already using.

The ADF has several hundred of the sights, which are prized by elite troops for their accuracy over long range.

It is understood one possibility being considered by the ADF is for it to obtain from Trijicon similar kits to be sent to Australian bases in Afghanistan.

Trijicon said it had for two generations been providing the US's military men and women with high-quality and innovative sighting systems.

"Our effort is simple and straightforward: to help our servicemen and women win the war on terror and come home safe to their families," the company said.

"As part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon has put scripture references on our products for more than two decades.

"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."

The ADF confirmed on Thursday that it had been unaware of the meaning of the inscriptions.

We are Crusaders and proud of it, there to help the Muslims by destroying the wolves and protectin the sheep. Good to see solid, Christian Australians and companies.
 
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Photon       1/31/2010 5:04:13 PM
The government should have a provision in outsourcing rules that forbids hiring companies engaged in proselytization.  If such has been found, then have that company either stop proselytizing or face prosecution.
 
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Aussiegunneragain       2/1/2010 7:44:06 AM
Its nice to see this thread attract such a diverse range of views ...on one hand we have support for the current operation in Muslim countries to be considered to be crusades and on the other we have support for criminal sanctions for putting a bible verse on a gunsight. Stalin or Richard the Lionheart, take your pick, they were both mass murderers.
 
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DropBear       2/1/2010 8:12:40 PM
Who found out about this to make it public anyway?
 
I was reading a post on another website by a US serviceman and he said he had used this sight on his gun for a while and had not even noticed the inscription until it got into the media.
 
Somebody clearly has too much time.
 
 
 
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Wicked Chinchilla       2/3/2010 1:33:05 PM
From a legal sense of view it violates U.S. law to have them on there.  Once it became known then the only option is to eliminate them or no longer use the company.  Thats that.
 
Anyone who calls the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq "Crusades" have totally missed the boat as to why we are actually there.  Heres a hint:  religion has absolutely nothing to do with it, at all, in any sense.  Anyone who has said so or believes so is utterly deluded. 
 
 
 
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warpig       2/3/2010 5:34:24 PM

From a legal sense of view it violates U.S. law to have them on there.  Once it became known then the only option is to eliminate them or no longer use the company.  Thats that.

 

Anyone who calls the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq "Crusades" have totally missed the boat as to why we are actually there.  Heres a hint:  religion has absolutely nothing to do with it, at all, in any sense.  Anyone who has said so or believes so is utterly deluded. 

 

 



 
I agree with your second point, and am happy to see you make it.  As to your first point, I did not know that and would be interested to know what law it violates.
 
 
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smitty237    Warpig   2/4/2010 1:47:22 AM


From a legal sense of view it violates U.S. law to have them on there.  Once it became known then the only option is to eliminate them or no longer use the company.  Thats that.
Anyone who calls the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq "Crusades" have totally missed the boat as to why we are actually there.  Heres a hint:  religion has absolutely nothing to do with it, at all, in any sense.  Anyone who has said so or believes so is utterly deluded.  
I agree with your second point, and am happy to see you make it.  As to your first point, I did not know that and would be interested to know what law it violates.
Putting Bible references on rifle sights clearly violates the well known law forbidding American companies from putting anything that can be perceived as having any religious meaning on their merchandise and then selling it.  No?  Ummmm, ok, what about separation of Church and State?  Oh wait, that's not a law.  Heck, those words aren't even in the U.S. Constitution.  Well, putting Bible references on rifle sights must somehow violate the establishment of religion, right?  Yeah, except for that referred to the government establishing a state religion and didn't apply to private companies.  In fact, the Constitution explicity protects the free exercise of religion, presumably to include a private company inscribing Bible references on their merchandise.  
Ok, so what about military regulations that forbid proselytizing Christianity in Iraq or Afghanistan?  Ok, well I feel that claiming that inscribing HEB11:1 as part of the serial number of a rifle sight is somehow prostelytizing is a bit of a stretch.   We're not talking "Bible messages," as the title of the post says, but references to Bible verses.  First of all, it was the company, not the military, that inscribed the references on the sights, a practice they have engaged in for years.  The Trijicon company has no way of knowing or controlling where those sights are going to be deployed once they are sold to the military.  Secondly, in order for anyone to extract any sort of message or information from the references they would have to:  A) Know what Bible verse it refers to, B) have access to a Bible, and C) actually be inclined to look it up in the Bible.  Other than that it is just a bunch of letters and numbers that have no particular meaning whatsoever. 
 
It was some anti-religious elements in the US military that made a big stink about this whole thing.  As one poster pointed out, most of the soldiers that carried this sight on their rifles had absolutely no idea the references were there.  The founder of Trijicon was a very spiritual person, and he put the references on his products to both pay homage to his faith as well as a means to provide comfort and inspiration to those who purchase his products.  Apparently some folks, including some of the contributors to this thread, find this evil and somehow worthy of prosecution. 
 
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VelocityVector       2/4/2010 2:39:53 AM

Past Trijicon inscriptions clearly do not violate US law.  Buyer did not contract for them and apparently it was unaware they were even present.  No arguable endorsement of a religion by the sovereign.  And I personally agree that religion and state must be kept separate.  Now that our government is on notice regarding the inscriptions however, it would be wise to remove them from government issue products going forward.  Or would you rather we spend public money on lawyers?  Private purchase and foreign orders are no Constitutional concern.  Separation of Church and State is entrenched Con Law 101. 0.02

v^2

 
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