Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

seeing is believing

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 20, 2010

Procurement officers for the American and British armed forces are (OK, I'll say it) under fire after the discovery that a US company supplying gunsights for the military inscribed the devices with references to the Bible. Look carefully, and you see either "2COR4:6" or "JN8:12" etched onto the sights. These inscriptions, the BBC helpfully informs us, are "coded references to Biblical passages." 

The BBC reports that "military officials in the US and UK have expressed concern over the way the markings will be perceived." No doubt they are afraid that someone might be (OK, I'll say it) up in arms about the fact that the manufacturer of these sights-- Trijicon, an American company that proudly proclaims its Christian commitment-- is engaging in covert evangelization.  

Or is it really covert? The BBC refers to "coded" references, as if the inscriptions were written in some sort of secret language, which can be understood only by Christian cognoscenti and perhaps a few expert cryptologists. But if the meaning of the "code" really were so obscure, there would be no controversy here; the inscriptions would mean no more than a randomly-assigned serial number. The fact is that reasonably intelligent people immediately recognize  "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12" as Bible citations. 

Most manufacturers imprint their own company names on the material they sell to the government: a subtle form of advertising to which no one objects. Trijicon has added a bit of equally subtle advertising for the Bible. 

These are sights, after all. They're supposed to improve the user's ability to see things clearly. 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,082 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,917.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: parochus - Jan. 21, 2010 4:52 PM ET USA

    Shoot, Di, don't be going off half-cocked about this blowup. If these "codes" were aimed against Christianity, we'd probably be going for our guns and blasting away at the government for allowing themselves to be a target.

  • Posted by: James Matthew Wilson - Jan. 21, 2010 8:53 AM ET USA

    This is terribly inappropriate. The U.S. and British Militaries should also have strict policies banning the procurement of all Chateau Neuf du Pape wines, for this too is clearly a coded reference to the Supreme Pontiff that may be taken as proselytizing. Given the well documented effects of wine, such subtle Jesuitical insinuations might lead many an inebriated grunt to conversion -- and on the Government dime!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 20, 2010 7:47 PM ET USA

    Both passages refer to vision and light (of Christ, of course) so are particularly appropriate for an optical instrument. Now, these are instruments of force and war so one could argue appropriateness from a theological perspective. . .

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The cardinal who can't let go 2 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17