Leonard Pitts did a very good job covering this story in the Sunday Hurled, better than the one I had started last week, but I’m gonna shove my two cents in anyway.
[Glyn] Bindon, who lost his life in a 2003 plane crash, was the founder of Trijicon, a Michigan company that has a $600 million contract to provide gun sights to the U.S. military. Apparently he had a policy, which survived him, of inscribing coded references to Bible verses on the gun sights he manufactured for high-powered rifles used by U.S. service personnel. So that, for instance, one sight is marked, 2COR4:6, i.e., 2 Corinthians 4:6: “God said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness.’ He made his light shine in our hearts. It shows us the light of God’s glory in the face of Christ.”
Tom Munson, a Trijicon executive, told ABC there was nothing wrong or illegal about the inscriptions and noted pointedly that the issue was being raised by a group (presumably meaning the Muslims who have complained) that is “not Christian.” On Thursday, the company agreed to discontinue the practice.
This is wrong on many levels (as Pitts masterfully enumerates), including the one that goes unsaid: it’s guaranteed that a whole lot of American conservatives not only think there’s nothing wrong with this, but hail this policy as patriotic, morally justified, and a damn good idea. What better way to combine your conviction that this Christian nation of ours is at war with Islamofascism, and to honor God by smiting His unholy enemy in the service of America’s military? Basically, by blessing and sanctifying its weapons, Trijicon is performing evangelical work here.
Only an America-hating, flower sniffing, Birkenstock wearing liberal would see it otherwise. Surrender-monkeys, squeamish about defending this great nation, incapable of recognizing that this is a holy war we’ve got here, and the way to win is to make sure the enemy understands that we’re not only the good guys, but our religion is better, too.
I assume “the company agreed to discontinue the practice” because it wanted to preserve the contract. Praising god is important, but they have a business to run.
One of the great hypocrisies that coats conservative dogma like mold on bad cheese is its stated conviction that respect for the rights of individuals is predominant while blithely accepting religious intrusion into individuals’ lives. It’s a cavernous blind spot in their balsa wood platform. The US military is not the Salvation Army. A soldier’s oath is to the Constitution, not the ten commandments. Public schools are not bible study classes. The bedrooms of consenting adults are not appropriate venues for unwanted prayer meetings, and a fetus in not an opportunity for chancel-prancing zealots to sermonize.
Ramming religion – any religion — down the craw of a nation’s citizens is exactly the wrong way to demonstrate respect for individual freedom. If that’s conservatism, deal me out.