This is my last installment in this series. My last post continued the story about the Jesus rifle scopes in use by the US Army and the US Marines. Since then, there have been many stories about this incident in the press. But despite the coverage of the Bible verses on the rifle scopes, almost nothing has been done by the US military to fix the problem.
According to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, they have received many complaints from soldiers and marines about the scopes remaining unchanged. The few modification kits made by the maker of the scopes were applied to scopes that are not being used in the field. The military commanding officers seem to be completely missing the point of the soldier’s complaints. The soldiers were complaining that having a “Jesus” scope needlessly put their lives in even more danger.
Chris Rodda from the blog, Talk2Action, has posted one of the letters MRFF has received from a soldier describing how the Bible verses on the scope are causing some friction with the local Afghan population. Here is the letter:
I am a United States soldier currently deployed to Afghanistan. I am a practicing Baptist and my wife is too. My cobat [sic] unit is currently engaged in major combat operations in the southern provinces of Afghanistan. I am of junior enlisted rank and my fellow soldiers (most of them to my knowledge being Christians, too) and I are at the bottom of the chain of command. Many, many native Afghan civilians and especially the Afghan military members here are well aware of the “Jesus rifles” controversy which was covered aall over the place by the news services back in the middle of January of this year. It makes them very, very mad at America and our military. They constantly ask us if we are still using these “Jesus rifles”. They ask us to see for themselves what is written on our gunsights. Wherever we go these same questions come up almost immediately. Not all the native Afghans ask them but enough of them do that my fellow soldiers in my company and even my battalion have asked our military chain of command about what we’re supposed to say to them when asked. This has been a mess. We’ve been told to “shut the fuck up” and to “tell them that it’s none of their damn business ’cause we’re there to save them from Islam (yes, ISLAM!)”. We’ve even been told to explain Christianity to them and use it as “an opening to enlighten them.” Yes, those exact words! We all heard that there were supposed to be “100 kits” which the company that put the bible references on our gunsights were going to be sending to the military right away to “fix” the “problem”. When my fellow soldiers and I have asked our chain of command about this fact, we’ve been told that “that was just to shut up the traitors in the media and the bleeding heart groups”. Our chain of command really hates the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and blames it for all of this mess in the first place. If any of them knew that any of us were talking to the Military Religious Foundation about this problem here, it would be over for us and our families immediately. It’s not just embarrassing to have these “Jesus rifles” with us but it’s also a serious security threat to all of us. When we walk into an Afghan village trying to determine whether it’s “friend or foe” regarding the Taliban etc. and they ask us right off the bat if we are using the “Jesus rifles” it is a VERY BAD way to start out considering our combat mission. We want the bible stuff off of our gunsights. We feel it makes us targets. We want them off now! When are we EVER going to see one of those “100 fix kits” which were supposed to be sent out? None of us here feel we can even raise the subject again with our chain of command because we risk being identified as a “problem child” and when you’re fighting a war like this one here that can get you in alot of trouble; it can get you killed.
So it’s business as usual for the Pentagon, just ignore the problem and let more soldiers die needlessly. For more information about this situation, MRFF’s February newsletter and March Archives cover this situation as well as the large cross left at the Air Force Academy’s Pagan area.