I am not a religious man. Ask anyone who knows me. Oh, I believe in God and I believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus represents the promise of forgiveness and gives us all the opportunity to meet God after our time here on earth is done. But for reasons that do not matter for this column, you won’t see me in church on Sunday.
But God was in the news recently. More specifically, references to Biblical passages placed on the serial numbers of Trijicon rifle sights made the news. It seems the good people of Trijicon have been adding a few numbers to the serial number of their amazingly tough and accurate ACOG gunsights.
Well, seems any reference to God these days is bound to get someone’s undies in a bundle and sure enough, there is a group complaining that such references violate the separation of church and state. You see, the Army and the Marine Corps both have rules in place against the promotion of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan. The generals don’t want the peace-loving Muslim population of either country to feel as though Americans are over there promoting Christianity and conducting some sort of Crusade.
So, let me get this right: You can put an AGOG on a rifle and shoot a Muslim extremist, but you had better not offend him with references to Christianity before, during or after the shooting. Does that sound about as ridiculous as Barack Obama telling us the U.S. government is horribly dysfunctional but we should rely on Washington to take care of everything?
Maybe there is a better explanation for this. Maybe the good people at Trijicon are putting those references on the scopes so that the AMERICAN TROOPS WHO CARRY THEM can be given some small reassurance that God is walking with them into battle. There is an old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” When I walked out of the Military Enlistment Processing Station, I had a little green Bible, compliments of the Gideons. So what? It didn’t hurt me a bit.
But someone has to complain. So let me join in. I’d like to complain about the fact that American service men and women are risking their lives in an attempt to bring stability to two nations where it is commonplace for religious activists to kill people just for their beliefs. And those are people we don’t want to offend?
Think about it. Will the U.S. commanders soon tell soldiers and Marines they can’t wear crucifixes on their dog tag chains because it might offend the enemy? Or worse yet, because it might offend the Muslim folks who are on our side over there? Come on. If they can accept our help stopping the violence, they can deal with the fact that our religion is different from theirs. But then again, when I think of tolerance and equal rights the first thing that pops into my mind is the Middle East.
But maybe, just maybe, there is one thing no one thought about. Maybe Trijicon is using the Biblical references to describe the quality of their products. One such reference on the ACOG is “JN8:12” referring to John, Chapter 8, Verse 12. It reads: Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Have you ever looked through an ACOG? That reticle is bright. It makes aiming fast and accurate. That keeps you alive in combat… it gives you life. When you walk behind an AGOG scope, you never walk in darkness. You have the light of life.
This Trijicon thing is a bunch of foolishness. Put the scopes on the rifles and ignore the serial numbers. Let our soldiers get the job done without a bunch of people complaining about who gets offended.
Remember: War is Hell.