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This is as good a time as any to announce that later this week on January 21st I will have the honor of becoming the newest member on the Board of Directors for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation at the request of Mikey Weinstein.

The following story is why I am passionate about contributing to the work being done by MRFF in the tireless efforts to protect military personnel from religious fanaticism, and consequently the rest of us from a military run by Christian Dominioinists. If this story doesn't convince you of the religious extremism insinuating itself into our military, nothing will...

UPDATE: Please go to www.godsownparty.com/blog after reading to see a remarkable update to this story...

U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes
By Brian Ross, Joseph Rhee and Tahman Bradley   January 18, 2010

"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.

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.

One of the citations on the gunsights, 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."...[read entire story here]

Here is an appeal for help to MRFF by a young man who was re-deployed to Afghanistan for his 4th tour. His 4th! And he is only 22 years old. He is a red-blooded Caucasian American, born defender of his country's freedom and constitution, father, husband and follower of the Muslim faith.

To: Mikey Wenstein and MRFF:

"I am a U.S. Army infantry soldier with the rank of (rank withheld). I am married with children. I am stationed at Fort (installation name withheld). I have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times. I have been awarded medals for direct combat engagement as well as for injuries and wounds received in hand-to-hand combat. I am a Muslim American. My family converted when I was very young. I am Caucasian and have a last name that does not sound ethnic. Therefore, few of my fellow soldiers know that I am a Muslim.

My wife comes from a Christian tradition but rarely practices or attends church. I have witnessed terrible religious persecution in the my (number withheld) years in the Army. Most of it comes from "angry" conservative Christians in my unit chains of command and occasionally from my fellow infantry soldiers.

I am very familiar with the Trijicon ACOG gunsights and have often had them as part of my personal weapons; both my M-4 and my M-16. In my first 2 deployments I saw and experienced no incidents regarding the New Testament bible quotes that are written on the metal casing of the gunsights. Many soldiers know of them and are very confused as to why they are there and what it is supposed to mean. Everyone is worried that if they were captured in combat that the enemy would use the bible quotes against them in captivity or some other form of propaganda.

As an American soldier I am ashamed that those bible quotes are on our primary weapons. As a Muslim American I am horrified. As one who swore his oath to the Constitution, I am driven to fight this Christian insanity but I know if I try to do so in a visible way that I will suffer at the hands of my military superiors. I am of low enlisted rank and can be crushed easily. I am prepared to suffer, but I am not prepared for my wife and children to suffer.

So I have reached out to MRFF because there is nowhere else safe to go to try to fight this thing of disgrace. There are many other soldiers who feel as I do. Many are Protestant and Catholic and they fear reprisal just as much as I do for trying to stand up to the Christian bullies in uniform who outrank us. But if you try to fight back, you are not "asking" for trouble, YOU ARE IN TROUBLE from the start. And if you are a Muslim American, the hatred is always just below the surface and ready to explode at a moment's notice. After the Fort Hood shootings, it was so bad, even for a low profile Muslim like me, that I had to ask MRFF for help.

Nothing in my first 2 deployments prepared me for what happened with the Trijicon ACOG gunsights during my 3rd deployment to Afghanistan. I will never forget the day it occurred. It was morning and there was a mandatory formation of several companies. A very senior NCO was yelling at us which is not that unusual. He asked a private what it was that he (the private) was holding in his hand and the private said it was his "weapon" several times to which the senior NCO replied "and what ELSE is it"?

Finally, the senior NCO said that the private's rifle was also something else; that because of the biblical quote on the ACOG gunsight it had been "spiritually transformed into the Fire Arm of Jesus Christ" and that we would be expected to kill every "haji" we could find with it. He said that if we were to run out of ammo, then the rifle would become the "spiritually transformed club of Jesus Christ" and that we should "bust open the head of every haji we find with it.’ “He said that Uncle Sam had seen fit not to give us a "pussy 'Jewzzi' (combination of the word 'Jew' and Israeli made weapon 'Uzi') but the "fire arm of Jesus Christ" and made specific mention of the biblical quotes on our gunsights. He said that the enemy no doubt had quotes from the Koran on their guns but that "our Lord is bigger than theirs because theirs is a fraud and an idol".

As a Muslim and an American soldier I was fit to be tied but I kept it in. There were many Afghans, both civilian and military, on base within earshot of what was being yelled at us and I can only wonder in shock what they must have thought. This senior NCO was apparently also the head person of a conservative, crazy Christian group called the "Christian Military Fellowship" and made a big deal about the importance of joining to everyone. He told us all that we MUST read a book called "Under Orders" in order to make it through this combat deployment and said he had many copies for everyone. Some of my friends went and got their copies. I refused.

Finally, this senior NCO ended his yelling by warning us that if we did not "get right with Jesus" then our rifles would not provide spiritual strength despite the bible quotes on our ACOG gunsights and that we would be considered "spiritual cripples" to our fellow units and soldiers. He didn't say it in so many words, but the message was clear; if anything bad happened in a combat situation, it would be the fault of anyone who had not accepted Jesus Chris in the "right way".

I have never felt so ashamed and scared in my life. I have never hated myself so much for not speaking out. So I thought of my wife and children and endured. Every time I looked at my rifle with that Trijicon ACOG gunsight/scope with the biblical quote from the book of John (8:12), it would make me sick. If I had tried to protest, it would have made me dead. And if I'm dead I'm of no use to my wife and children." ~ Anonymous Soldier

Extreme pressures brought on by relentless proselytizing, demands to convert or be ridiculed, punished and ostracized...and the worst - the threat of being left without dependable back up in a combat encounter by your fellow soldiers - are all common practice by these self-proclaimed God's Army soldiers.

According to ABC, when asked about the inscriptions...

"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. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian." The company has said the practice began under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash."

"Have always been there"...since 2003. That is a different definition of the word "always" in my world, Mr. Munson. This manufacturer is making millions and millions of dollars peddling the fear of god. Our own soldiers feel as threatened by this religious extremism as the enemy. What makes these Khristians any different from the Islamic extremists they detest so much and long to exterminate?

And just a clarification...this is not about anti-Christian agendas masked by efforts to uphold the separation of church and state. Read the young soldier's story again...people of ALL faiths are frightened by these members of an extreme Christian cult who truly does have an agenda...Dominionism.

As if it is not enough to be away from home, loved ones, and putting your life and limb in danger to protect the freedoms that you cannot even rely on receiving in the military!

"This is probably the best example of violation of the separation of church and state in this country," said Weinstein. "It's literally pushing fundamentalist Christianity at the point of a gun against the people that we're fighting. We're emboldening an enemy." ~ Mikey Weinstein, Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

This story will also be airing on ABC's Nightline tonight in much greater depth.

PLEASE GO TO www.godsownparty.com/blog TO READ WHAT I HAVE JUST LEARNED ABOUT THE CREATOR OF THIS GUNSIGHT!

Originally posted to LeahLB on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:27 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm sure this is just (10+ / 0-)

    another fine product brought to you by friends of the C-Street crowd. Could you post a link to MRFF on the page? Thanks!

    I stand by the truth, that way I don't have to be near any Republicans.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:32:45 PM PST

  •  That's insane! (10+ / 0-)

    I am speechless.

    I know theft is illegal, but look at all the cool stuff I got!

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:32:51 PM PST

  •  quess they inscribe rifle scopes because... (7+ / 0-)

    the pin of a grenade is just to small

  •  I wonder if Jesus is a member of the NRA. (7+ / 0-)

    Who would Jesus let suffer? -7.50, -8.51

    by Rogneid on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:40:42 PM PST

  •  Aside from being illegal, (14+ / 0-)

    this declares that the US Armed Forces are the enemy of Islam - a general danger to our troops and our national interests - and puts our captured soldiers directly in danger.

    Not only should this contract be yanked and every penny be returned to the US Treasury, but the "patriotic" managemers responsible should be given a long tour of duty in western Pakistan.

    "Everyone is worried that if they were captured in combat that the enemy would use the bible quotes against them in captivity or some other form of propaganda."

    [message deleted] - Barack Obama

    by Bob Love on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:42:38 PM PST

    •  Just wait for them to whine (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, grada3784, Vita Brevis, AnnetteK

      something like, "But they were SECRET until you told. Waaah! You must hate Chris-err-America! You, you Islamofascist!"

      I stand by the truth, that way I don't have to be near any Republicans.

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:47:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stop it with those little "enemy of Islam" (0+ / 0-)

      details!

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:57:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely! And please (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Bob Love, BlueHead

      go to www.godsownparty.com/blog to see what I just learned about the creator of these inscripted rifles...

      Kharma....

      "neoconservatism appeals to the hearts of the mindless, and the minds of the heartless"

      by LeahLB on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 05:26:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It would help if those pennies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, Catskill Julie

      weren't all inscribed with "In God We Trust". That has been the case since 1909, but it wasn't until the height of the McCarthy era, in 1955, when it was made mandatory on all US currency - right after the Pledge of Allegiance was turned into a loyalty oath to the monotheistic god with the insertion of "Under God" dividing "One Nation" from "Indivisible", and right before the national motto chosen by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, "E Pluribus Unum", "Out of Many, One", which served our country for nearly two hundred years, was replaced in 1956 by "In God We Trust as well".

      What an era that was.

      But your point is taken, and agreed with.

      Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 06:33:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course a common defense of these things is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomActsOfReason

        that they don't favor any particular religion, just a generic belief in God (of course non-monotheistic religions are un-American anyway). It's not that far from there to defending the use of Christian references as not favoring a particular denomination of Christianity. All Christians are welcome - except for Mormons and Catholics...etc.

        Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
        meh. Meh, I say!

        by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:10:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer the older version of the Pledge (0+ / 0-)

        of Allegiance, as I learned it in grade school. And I always recite it that way: One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

        I get interesting looks and occasional responses from people around me, some of whom may also remember that we all used to say it that way!

        Also, by the dates Random provides, I don't think my university-town grade school adopted the "under god" phrase very quickly, if at all, while I was there.

        If Government can MAKE a woman bear a child, Government could PREVENT a woman from bearing a child. Same diff constitutionally.

        by Catskill Julie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:44:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, LeahB. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, grada3784, Vita Brevis, AnnetteK

    I provided a link to your diary over on Street Prophets.

  •  Just frightening. And Wrong. No excuse (5+ / 0-)

    for that IMHO.

    "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And 3 pooties too! Ren, Stimpy (15 yrs) and Rocky (3 yrs)

    by mrsgoo on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:46:55 PM PST

  •  Thank you for your work (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, grada3784, cany, BlueHead, AnnetteK

    and the work of MRFF to expose and stop this.

    Sarah Palin: Never met a fact she ever checked

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:47:06 PM PST

  •  Lightning, earthqke, ABBA -why God needs rifle? (5+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:53:02 PM PST

  •  Glad you posted this Leah (10+ / 0-)

    was reading it at your site and nearly diaried it.

    I loved the post from the 'Mudflats' from Desert Mudpup, will cut and paste it, hope that is OK.

    So, S’arah claims all the Founders are her favorite – or at least that she likes them all b/c of their "diversity." I wonder if that really extends to those whose diversity includes these views on religion?

    Thomas Paine, Pamphleteer, Revolutionary writer, inventor, intellectual.

    "I detest the Bible as I detest everything that is cruel."

    "Reasoning with one who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to a dead man."

    "The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion."

    "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of... Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."

    George Washington, 1st POTUS

    "The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy. Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause."

    John Adams, 2nd POTUS

    "God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is gotten rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world."

    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"

    Adams was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers ‘noble and gallant achievments," but among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces." Late in life he wrote,

    "Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!’"

    Thomas Jefferson, 3rd POTUS

    "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man. The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves. These clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ. The Christian God is a being of terrific character – cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust. In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty. I do not find in orthodox
    Christianity one redeeming feature. The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly."

    James Madison, 4th POTUS

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."

    "Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by ecclesiastical bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history."

    "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."


    Abraham Lincoln
    , 16th POTUS

    "My earlier views on the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of Salvation have become clearer and stronger with advancing years."

    "The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."

    Benjamin Franklin, Author, printer, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist (community organizer?), diplomat:

    "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."

    And speaking through Poor Richard, 1758:

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

    It would seem that many of our Founders would have some strong disagreement with the views of S’arah and others as to whether they intended no barring of the conflation of politics and religion, and on the issue of whether they founded a Christian nation. We would do well to remember that our Founders learned the lessons of just such a history.

  •  The 'Senior NCO" (5+ / 0-)

    who made the peroration about "Hajis and Holy Rifles is way more scary than the  bible code stamps on the metal.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:55:42 PM PST

  •  A second post from (4+ / 0-)

    Desert Mudpup, because he/she says it so much better than I could -

    I frankly wasn’t sure my last post would be well received. I know there are many Christian Mudflatters, so let me point out that my issue is not with Christians or Christianity per se, but with those who would seek to impose their favorite flavor of it on the rest of us, or more specifically, on me. If, whenever my neighbors get Beer, they came spouting Beer in my face and trying to dunk my head in it and insisting that I, too, must get Beer lest I suffer endlessly, and not just any Beer mind you – their Beer – the Right Beer – I would have the same issue (knowing as I already do that Corona is the one true beer) with Beer Drinkers.
    Christian government is not an alien concept in America – the colonies had their own religio-perverted governments, plus they were under British rule, and therefore the Church of England was also the Official church of the colonies. The rebellion against England was also a rebellion against the imposition of the state-sanctioned church. It was a true mark of American progress when a change in Massachusetts law resulted only in fines and imprisonment – instead of a hot poker through your tongue – for daring to question the veracity of the Bible as the perfect word of God. (I so far have found no mention of their all wearing red shirts.) Such was the socio-political environment of the Founders. I think to say that the Founders intended in any way to perpetuate such a cultural nightmare is a deep and vicious insult to the Founders.

    The site linked below has a large collection of essays and excerpts from personal papers and letters of the Founders, and includes numerous accounts of their views on Separation, followed by personal views on religion. While the Xn wingnuts pound the table and scream that Separation is an illusion created by the SCOTUS of the mid-twentieth century, it is important to remember that the Justices, as far back as the early 19th century, in their own research on the issue, and being somewhat short on legal precedents, visited the personal writings of the Founders to deduce and clarify their most likely intent, and establish the legal precedents which have been followed by the Court since then. It seems one’s eye must truly be jaundiced by religious prejudice to read those same papers, letters and essays and come to a conclusion opposite that of the Court. The fact that religious "scholars" can do just that, and then scream and stomp their feet in defense of their conclusion, just serves to reinforce the wisdom of absolute Separation.

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/...

  •  Christian sniper here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueHead, teloPariah

    From "Distant Executioner" in the current Vanity Fair:

    Going inside the world of Texas Army National Guardsman "Russ Crane," who has dropped a Taliban fighter at 806 meters, the author discovers the sniper's special talents and torments, and why it helps, in Crane's view, to have God on your side.

    We were sitting at his kitchen table. There was a plaque on the wall reading, the future is as bright as the promises of god. Crane said, "There is good and evil in the world. It gets so you yearn for a righteous fight. Personally I believe there are bad people, and God put people here to shoot those people, to let other people live peaceful lives. David was a shepherd boy who became king. The Philistines had their giant, Goliath. The Lord said to David, 'I'm on your side. Go out and fight.’ David did. And you know, David killed Goliath as dead as Elvis Presley. He was a shepherd, a king, a follower of the Lord. But first and foremost he was a warrior. God understands that we have to have soldiers. Soldiers are part of God's plan."
    I said, "Do you mean that literally?"
    He said, "I know that God has been with me actively in battle."
    "You've been fighting Muslims who believe the same thing."
    He said, "It's a conundrum. But Jesus was resurrected after three days, and you can visit Muhammad's grave."

    The conclusion:

    One night he shot a man who was then immediately set upon by hungry dogs. That memory, too, will stay with Crane. But in the end he will not regret his life, or so he believes. He will stand before his Lord and answer for everything he has done. But he will have a question too.
    He explained it to me in his stone house, near Austin. He said, "When I get to heaven and meet the Lord, I'm just going to have to ask him, 'Dude, you created all these beautiful places. Wyoming, Montana, even Switzerland. Dude, look around! So tell me, why did you center the Bible on the Middle East?' "

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 05:13:56 PM PST

  •  Leah, that update (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueHead

    is priceless. If there is some sort of a god, and I don't know, then she/he/it has a heck of a sense of humour.

    •  Isn't reality... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK

      weirder than fiction sometimes? I am telling you! You can't make this stuff up...

      I love your post above! Perfect analogy...
      Thank you

      "neoconservatism appeals to the hearts of the mindless, and the minds of the heartless"

      by LeahLB on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 07:13:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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