A Michigan weapons company is under fire for branding thousands of rifle scopes used by U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan with passages from the Bible.
U.S. military rules prohibit any service member from proselytizing while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, which are primarily Muslim nations.
Trijicon, a sighting manufacturer based in Wixom, Mich., has several multimillion-dollar contracts with the Pentagon to make sights.
Along with the sight’s stock number, there are coded Bible passages from the New Testament engraved on the sights. One reads JN8:12, an apparent reference to John 8:12, which says, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Trijicon did not return calls for comment yesterday but confirmed the engravings to ABCNews.com. And the company’s mission statement is steeped in religion, saying it strives to follow morals “based on Biblical standards.”
Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the sights endanger troops. “This plays right into the hands of maniacs who say, ‘Look, it’s a jihad,'” he said, adding that he’s received several complaints from soldiers and Marines.
U.S. military officials told ABCNews.com they were “unaware” of the biblical markings.