Crusader imagery w/ "Jesus Guns"

January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

Several days ago ABC News broke the story that the US military purchased gunsights for many of the rifles currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan from Trijicon, a private company in Michigan. The striking element to the story was the fact that these riflesights bore embedded references to biblical passages such as 2COR4:6, a reference to 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 4, verse 6. Here is a link to a recent article in Christian Science Monitor on the matter.

When asked for a comment Gen. David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, called these references "disturbing" and "a serious concern," especially in light of their Christian Crusader imagery and implication. As evidence of this, Al-Jazeera correspondent, David Chater, recently pointed out that references to Jesus Christ on the weapons of American troops have become a "rallying cry for the Taliban" as they seemingly reinforce jihadist arguments that the United States presence in the Middle East is a Christian campaign.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution has generally been interpreted as a prohibition against the establishment of a national religion or the national preference a one religion over another, yet this recent development seems to be a "deep and ugly blending of religion, politics and bloodshed," according to US Marine Benjamin Busch who recently completed his second tour of duty in Iraq. As Busch puts..."I did not go onward as a Christian soldier. I went forth as an American, a marine." What do you think? You can hear more of Officer Busch's comments in the NPR audio file below.

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