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Biblical references etched on rifle sights

Jan. 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A Michigan company has been inscribing references to biblical passages on sights for high-powered rifles used by the U.S. military, an investigation revealed.

Trijicon has a $600 million, multi-year contract with the federal government to produce the sights, used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and to train Afghan and Iraqi forces, ABC News's "Nightline" reported Monday.

U.S. military rules bar advocating any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan to prevent criticism that the united States was adding a religious element in its battle against Islamic insurgents, but Trijicon's sales and marketing director said the inscriptions "have always been there."

Tom Munson, Trijicon's director of marketing, said including the New Testament inscriptions isn't wrong or illegal, adding the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian."

The Wixom, Mich., company said its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash, began the practice.

Spokespeople for the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps said their military branches were unaware of the biblical references listing the biblical book, chapter and verse in the same font and size as the model numbers on the Advanced Combat Optical Guides, ABC said. The spokespeople said officials were discussing what steps, if any, could be taken.

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