by Pa Rock
Unbelievable as it may seem, there are many Muslims living in the Middle East who think that Bush's Oil Wars are really Christian Crusades with the express goal of defeating Islam. Where would they get such a wacky idea? Well, possibly from statements attributed to Erik Prince, the founder and head of Blackwater (now called "Xe"), in which he basically declares shooting Muslims, regardless of their combative status, to be a goal of his shady organization. There are also the odd fundamentalist Christian leaders who occasionally get quoted spouting the same type of dangerous stupidity. It sort of makes one think that defeating Islam may have been part of the original war plan.
Did you know that Prince and his mother are closely aligned with James Dobson's Focus on the Family? More on that group later.
But much of that stuff about a holy war is just hearsay. Those paranoid Muslims really had nothing to back up their fears - until recently. Now it turns out that the defense contractor who makes sights for the rifles used in Iraq and Afghanistan has been inscribing their rifle sights - all of them - with references to Bible verses. As an example, a rifle sight might carry the inscription: "JN8:12" referring to John 8:12. The contractor, Trijicon of Wixom, MI, has a $600 million contract with the Army and Marine Corps to make the proselytizing sights. When asked about it, the company readily admitted what they were doing, blowing off any criticism because it obviously came from non-Christians. They have been making sights for the military, all with the Biblical inscriptions, since 1995, and no one had complained. (Of course, military culture doesn't really lend itself to complaints from the troops - even those who would find the inscriptions offensive.)
Military leaders claim that they had no knowledge of the inscriptions. They either weren't looking at their purchases, or they weren't listening to their troops - most of whom were well aware of the proselytizing, or (most likely) they agreed with the concept of a Christian jihad and just lied about not knowing the citations were on the sights.
New Zealand, when confronted with this same issue, chose to do the right thing. They are removing all of the inscriptions from the sights they already received, and have instructed Trijicon not to place Biblical citations on any future orders. No word yet on what our own government plans to do about this problem - a problem that actually places our troops in greater danger than they would have faced in a non-religious war situation.
So, a rifle sight made by Trijicon is one right-wing tool. Another tool worthy of note is Tim Tebow, Heisman Trophy winner for 2007. Tebow has played his last college football game and now seems hell-bent on injecting his religious beliefs into the American political scene. The quarterback, a fundamentalist Bible-thumper, has been known to cite Biblical passages (a la those on the rifle sights) in his eye paint before games.
Tebow has been in the news twice this week. The first instance was for making an anti-abortion ad with his mother that CBS is inexplicably going to run during the Super Bowl. The ad is being paid for by conservative religious zealot James Dobson and his Focus on the Family. Today it was announced that Tebow will also be a speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event that is put on by the notorious "Family" of C Street fame. The ad and the speech will both burnish Tebow's political credentials, but those actions will also glorify two organizations (Focus on the Family and The Family) whose agendas are not necessarily worthy of glorification.
Every tool is designed to do a job, but not every job is the right thing to do.