Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Give the Troops the Best Equipment and Spare Me the Phony Outrage

“  In the Scouts we get great gear, but I was lucky to have an OGA guy let me borrow this great optic! It was a sad day when I had to give it back. All our guys have the 4X ACOG, Your products have saved lives!” —SFC CHAMBERS

Phony outrage abounds:

This is not helpful when we accuse others of being the ones waging a holy war.

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.

Trijicon was originally called Armson, and it was started in 1981. By my faulty math, that’s about twenty years before we started Holy War by invading Afghanistan.

The products made by this company were good enough to be adopted by the government. So, if the government went out and started using something that they thought was top of the line, and if the company had already been inscribing these codes on their products, then where’s the controversy?

The headline at ABC News says:

U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes

That’s patently false. The sights used on the weapons have the codes; not the weapons themselves. Already you can see the journalistic malpractice up and running and the bias of the piece is self-evident. Long before there was a contract with DoD, this is how the company did things. The government accepted the products in order to give their people the best possible sights for weapons. Shouldn’t we applaud the efforts of our government to acquire top of the line equipment? These are sights for weapons; not the actual weapons themselves, by the way. Trijicon doesn’t make weapons that I can see—they just make the optical sights. In other words, they make bling for guns.

How does making bling for guns translate into proselytizing? How does that code equate to attempting to convert someone from one religion to another? The sight doesn't shoot anyone; the weapon does. And, is the implication then that a converted person won't be shot? Is that how low we've come? Is that how we think of professional soldiers now?

The inscriptions themselves talk about “light” and seeing things—which is what the sights do. In other words, someone is making a connection between what the thing does and the Bible. Doesn’t this company have that right? I suppose you could say that they do, when it comes to products for personal or private use and that they do not for items sold to the United States Government. I’m relieved however, that our government is basing its decision to use these sights upon performance, and not upon whether or not someone stamped a code on the side that refers to a Bible verse, but actually is not the Bible verse itself.

People can say what they will, but I don’t see the controversy. I see the opportunity for phony outrage. Chick-fil-A isn’t open on Sundays, but, when I was in Chick-fil-A, I saw a soldier from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in there in his regular uniform. Does that mean that the soldier endorses the decision by the Christian owner of Chick-fil-A that he will close on Sundays, and that he will then take up the Holy Crusade against the Islamic fundamentalists who are denied chicken sammiches on Sundays? Do you see how ridiculous we can get?

Oh, and, I have it on good authority you can have a Bible when you join the military. If you can actually have the Bible, why are you not able to have a weapon with a sight on it that has a code alluding to a Bible verse? I don't understand that. What is, and what is not cool beans? Is it proselytizing, which is banned? Or is it just a code alluding to a Bible verse stamped on something? And, is that code really

Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?

I’ve added a PDF file of one of the company’s products. There’s nothing in the publication, that I can see, that relates to these codes or religion in general. If there is, I cannot find it. It’s just the way they do things. If that’s unacceptable for people, fine. I accept their dissent on the matter. I don’t want a soldier to go into battle with anything substandard. I want them to go into battle with the best of the best. When the government bends over backwards to ensure they’re going into battle with the best equipment, I really don’t care if the gear is slapped with crosses, the Star of David, Ganesha, Jesus icons, or a big picture of Pat Robertson. Slap it on there. Make some money.

If the company were dedicated to carrying out a religious crusade and the Christian destruction of the Muslim world, why wouldn’t that be in their marketing plan? If there really is all of this bias, why aren’t they bragging about it?

After all—our troops are in Muslim countries (whatever those are) and they’re shooting people. Does it really matter whats stamped on the sight of the gun that is blowing them away? Isn’t the act of blowing them away bad enough? It’s suddenly okay that we’re blowing them away if there’s no obscure code stamped on the sight?

I do have a blog, you know...

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