Troops at Alaska's Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks, were told to remove the Bible references, which the company manufacturing the scopes engraved next to the serial numbers.
The two verse references etched into the scopes are John 8:12 and II Corinthians 4:6. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” reads the scripture from the Gospel of John. The verse from the apostle Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians reads: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
The company contracted to manufacture the scopes for the military is Trijicon, based in Michigan. The company first came under fire for the practice in 2010 when atheist groups and even Muslims complained about the references on the scopes. General David Petraeus, who was overseeing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq at the time, called the long-time tradition of the company “disturbing,” and a “serious concern to me and the other commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.” A spokesman for the Pentagon added at the time that “it is not the policy of the Department of Defense to put religious references of any kind on its equipment.”
The Christian News Network recalled that at the time of the original controversy, Defense Department officials “stated that they were concerned the scopes would be seen as a type of 'crusade' against other religions, such as Islam. Some groups worried that enemy combatants might get the idea that they were being purposefully targeted with 'Jesus rifles.'”
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