Posts Tagged “bible codes”

The linkage of Christianity and the military is age-old. It’s been repeatedly shown that fundamentalist Christians in the US are more likely than others to approve of war (WebCite cached article), and even things like torture of prisoners (WebCite cached article). The confluence of Christianity and warfare has even merged in the US military in a strange way, as recently revealed by ABC News (WebCite cached article):

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

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.

This is problematic, because it violates Pentagon directives:

U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious “Crusade” in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.

Several different Bible passages are included on the sights:

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as “the light of the world.” John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Despite this being against Pentagon rules, the company does not deny they’ve been doing it:

Trijicon confirmed to that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions “have always been there” and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them.

The company dismisses complaints about their practices because — they say — the complaints come from non-Christians:

Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is “not Christian.”

I guess that means they get to break any rules they want and then refuse to listen to non-Christians who object, merely because they aren’t Christians. The company is overtly Christian and militantly so, as ABC News goes on to explain (WebCite cached article):

The company’s vision is described on its Web site: “Guided by our values, we endeavor to have our products used wherever precision aiming solutions are required to protect individual freedom.”

“We believe that America is great when its people are good,” says the Web site. “This goodness has been based on Biblical standards throughout our history, and we will strive to follow those morals.”

I guess that makes it OK. They believe it, therefore it’s true … even if it’s not. Typical theist rubbish-thinking, confusing metaphysical beliefs and subjective value judgements with objective, verifiable fact.

Critics have objected to this as a violation of separation of church and state. This may or may not be the case — and even if it is, militant Christians of this sort are not about to admit that church and state even ought to be separated. What’s more salient for them to know, is that this sort of militancy contradicts Christianity itself … specifically the words of their religion’s own founder. Consider what the gospels have to say, about the time when Jesus was being arrested:

And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. (Mt 26:51-52)

Militant Christians such as those who run Trijicon are not actually behaving like Christians, when they make weapons this way. They are, instead, warmongers who like violence … and in order to rationalize their love of war, they latch onto a warlike (albeit invalid) version of Christianity, then posture themselves as upright and pious and merely “doing the Lord’s duty.” In other words … they’re full of shit. And they know it.

In the end, they are merely bloodthirsty rogues who who have no idea what Jesus actually said, nor are they even interested, except perhaps in twisting his words to support their own militant, defiant, warlike hyperreligiosity.

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Earlier I blogged on some nonsense about Noah’s Ark that was broadcast on Discovery Channel. This time I’m commenting on the History Channel (which likes to go by the name of just “History” now, sans the “channel,” for some reason). At one time, the History Channel might better have been called “the World War II Channel,” since they spent so much time on World War II. Then for a while they went berserk over the Civil War and made almost every show about that. Both of these trends were tolerable for a while, but they wore thin and became aggravating.

In an effort to branch out even further, though, instead of delving into other areas of history, over the last few years they’ve been digging deeply into gobbbledygook and assorted flavors of woo. This ranges from annoying wingnut-driven conspiracy-theory crap about Lincoln’s body, to fact-deprived wild-eyed weirdness about UFO hunters.

Tonight I saw something truly nutty, however, which simply goes too far. It was a show called Bible Code II: Apocalypse and Beyond, and it definitely goes “beyond” reality.

The show examines both Nostradamus and the Bible codes. It offers a putatively accurate, verifiable prediction made by Nostradamus that terrorists would attack New York City, citing a quote from a quatrain that mentioned “the king of terror” striking from the sky. But this is horsehockey, because the quatrain (X.72) actually said:

The year 1999, seventh month,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror

As you can see, Nostradamus was off by two years — and that’s assuming Nostradamus saw two airplanes flying into towers in New York City, one flying into the Pentagon, and one being taken down in a field in Pennsylvania — not a peep of which is to be found there.

Then, on the show, a couple of guys wearing yarmulkes (I guess this implies they were rabbis, but I didn’t see their credentials, so I don’t know) were bragging about how Nostradamus was all washed up but the Bible codes were “scientifically proven.”

I do agree with them, that Nostradamus is bullshit. No doubt there. But what’s hilarious is these Bible-coders actually claiming that some other bullshit is really bullshit, while their own bullshit is scientific and provable. Imagine, a show about duelling claims of woo and bullshit!

Make no mistake, the nonsense about Bible codes is — just like Nostradamus — complete, 100% pure grade-A prime bullshit. There is nothing “scientific” about Bible codes, either — even though most of the Bible-coders use computers to analyze the Bible texts and cook up their codes. That they use computers to weave their bullshit does not make their bullshit “scientific.”

Lastly, I not that there is not one speck of actual “historical” content from either Nostradamus or Bible codes, in this show on the History Channel. Not so much as a whiff of a hint of it. It’s all fantasy, not “history,” woven by cranks and pseudohistorians.

I look forward to the day when I can turn on the History Channel, and actually view some attestable, objectively researched “history” — which is not about World War II or the Civil War, both of which they’ve already done to death.

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