On January 18, when ABC News released a report about secret ‘Jesus codes’ being imprinted on rifle scopes used in Iraq and Afghanistan (more here), reaction from the US military was swift. In a statement to ABC News, Marine Corps spokesperson Capt. Geraldine Carey said, “We are aware of the issue and are concerned with how this may be perceived. We will meet with the vendor to discuss future sight procurements.” General David Petraeus who, as CentCom commander, has responsibility for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, told a Washington thinktank that the practice was “disturbing… and a serious concern” both for him and other commanders in the field.
But not all of the military is on the same page. Maj. John Redfield, spokesperson for CentCom, told ABC News that he did not understand why the issue was any different from U.S. money with religious inscriptions on it. “The perfect parallel that I see is between the statement that’s on the back of our dollar bills, which is ‘In God We Trust,’ and we haven’t moved away from that.”
The major’s analogy, however, probably isn’t accurate. The Supreme Court (Lynch v. Donnelly, 1984) upholds use of the motto “In God We Trust” on money as a form of “‘ceremonial deism’, protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.” The same cannot be said of the “Jesus codes” on the rifle scopes (John 8:12; 2nd Corinthians 4:6; etc.) which are specifically Christian references.
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. The US Constitution also forbids government endorsement of any religion.
1) Jesus with assault rifle (mariopiperni.com)
Feel free to link to this page.
If you like my articles, you can click on “Subscribe” at the top of the page and receive notification when new ones are posted.
You might also enjoy these:
- Is Separation of Church & State in the US Constitution?
- US troops using weapons marked with secret ‘Jesus’ Bible codes
- Artist crucifies ape and electrocutes Jesus
- God’s Liars, Part 1
- A right-wing prayer for Obama
- Evangelical ministry facing ‘demonically-inspired’ financial attack
- Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren needs your money now!