'Jesus Rifles' Draw Fire

US military firearms with coded messages raise issue of 'crusade'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2010 6:20 PM CST
A Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight).   (Trijicon Inc.)

(Newser) – A rifle scope commonly used by the US military is inscribed with references to the Bible. The scopes, made by Trijicon of Michigan, bear codes that refer to verses glorifying God and Jesus—even though the military, leery of being accused of waging a Crusade, bans proselytizing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The scopes are "probably the best example of violation of the separation of church and state in this country," said an activist who promotes separation of church and state.

A rep for Trijicon, which does hundreds of millions of dollars of business with the US military, said the Bible codes "have always been there" and are not illegal. But the activist couldn't disagree more: "It's wrong, it violates the Constitution," he told ABC News. "It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they're being shot by Jesus rifles."

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