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Will Atheist Group Invoke the ITAR?

Source:  ABC News (click link below)
Source: ABC News (click link below)
In one of the more odd stories emanating from the DC beltway, an official with a group called Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) told ABC News that military rifle scopes inscribed with Bible citations allow “the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they’re being shot by Jesus rifles.”  The stuff of conspiracy theories, ABC News seems to think this is news.

The rifle scopes in question are manufactured by a Michigan company, the Trijicon corporation.  A cursory review of posts and product reviews on the internet, it seems as if Trijicon products are popular with the military and it also seems as if the company has been inscribing scopes with Bible citations for some time now.  It is not as if the company was trying to hide it religious views. On Trijicon’s website it states:  “We believe that America is great when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals.”

ABC News states that the Trijicon weapons are inscribed with “Secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes.”  So, does this mean that U.S. currency is “secretly” inscribed with “In God We Trust”?  This is a non-story.  Rather than focus on the fact that Trijicon manufacturers a superior device that our troops find useful, the media and interest groups nitpick about Biblical markings placed on a defense article.

You can tell from the article and the comments made by MRFF officials that they have no idea how particular troops are about equipment, especially items such as scopes.  Members of the military will sometimes purchase items out of pocket if it helps them carry out their missions.  They are not thinking about Biblical inscriptions, they are more concerned about staying safe or killing the enemy.

If the Obama Administration makes an issue of it, it will be all politics. Fortunately for Trijicon, there is no prohibition related to placing Biblical inscriptions on defense articles – not even in the ITAR. They are also represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-Mich.), a likely ally.  But in this “new” Washington the company should stay focused and realize that there are some folks in this town who are likely taking this matter quite seriously and, at some point soon, Trijicon officials will be called by their contract officer to discuss options.

MRFF officials claim that the biblical inscriptions play into the hands of “those who are calling this a Crusade.”  Nonsense.  It is the MRFF and ABC News that are playing into one of the most powerful weapons of radical Islamic jihadists, propaganda.

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