Posts Tagged “bible passages”

Old Reading LecternA little over a couple months ago I wrote my blog page about Bible passages that most Christians love to ignore. Since then I’ve gotten a lot of very nice comments — and even more personal correspondence sent to me directly rather than tacked on as comments — which I appreciate. I honestly do, so I thank you all for your kind words.

If you’re a Christian who likes what I wrote in that article, though, I’d prefer that you show it to your fellow Christians. Show them what Jesus Christ supposedly taught. Show them they’re not doing it right. Tell them to change their ways, so their words and deeds are more in line with what Christianity’s holy scripture actually says, rather than what they’d like it to have said. Tell them to be more like the Jesus Christ they claim to follow, rather than creatively reinterpreting his words and actions so as to justify whatever it is they feel like doing. Tell them their mortal souls are in peril unless they do.

And while you’re at it, you might also want to ask them why a cold-hearted, cynical, godless agnostic heathen knows their own holy book better than they do. (For the record, there’s a reason for that: I was raised Catholic, but became a Protestant fundamentalist before eventually becoming the Agnostic I am now.)

So if you like what I wrote, and feel as though you might want to do something nice for me in return, then please show it to your fellow Christians, and use it educate them. They may not thank your for it, but I do.

Photo credit: Cross Duck, via Flickr.

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I blogged already about the defense contractor Trijicon and the scripture passage references embedded on the sights they sold to the US military. The (UK) Telegraph reports the company has decided to remove the references (WebCite cached article):

Trijicon, which has used Biblical references for more than 20 years, said today that it had agreed to stop marking equipment for the US military and would make the same offer to military forces abroad.

It is also offering modification kits to forces free of charge to enable the references to be removed from any equipment which is currently deployed.

Of course, this sudden and drastic change of heart conflicts with their previous claim — included in the original ABC News report on the matter (WebCite cached article) — that there had been nothing wrong with what they were doing:

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.

I’m not sure why they would back down, if they were so convinced that there was nothing wrong with it. But they are.

This makes them hypocrites (if, in fact, they genuinely believe this practice to be acceptable, but are stopping it anyway, in violation of their own beliefs) or liars (if they knew it was wrong, but told ABC News that it wasn’t). Either way, the character of this “Christian company” is apparently lacking, if not non-existent.

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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 ABCNews.com 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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