Trijicon: Onward Christian Soldiers?

January 23, 2010

 “ 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.”  Trijicon Mission Statement

The trigger happy US gun sights manufacturer Trijicon  adopts the missionary position in its corporate statements. It also includes biblical references  on its Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight in raised lettering, added to the serial numbers.*  The ACOG Tactical Scope has the inscription pointing to John 8:12 “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.

This doubles as a tract and a bit of cute self-promotion for the  day/night sight as demonstrated in a video review by Fun Gun* which shoots the line that the ACOG sight is indubitably A Good Thing in the sight of God.

 We‘re not talking here of religious bumper stickers or personalised ordnance signage but officially issued high tech weaponry used by American troopers and also, among others,  by New Zealand’s SAS soldiers in Afghanistan, who have been in the news recently more than any covert  military organisation would wish.

News of the inscriptions on the “Jesus guns”, for long, apparently, an open soldiers secret,  is just the  right calibre propaganda ammunition for recruiting dissident Moslem youth, with or without Koran-inscribed rifles, to target purported new era Christian crusaders.  As University of Canterbury historian Geoffrey Rice points out, the medieval Crusades are still comparatively fresh in the collective  Moslem memory.

Domestic critics point out that the US is already struggling against the image of a crusade in the Middle East. It is tricky enough to recruit and retain an all-cultures all- faiths American army, as last year’s US military base camp mass slaying demonstrated. The inscribed sights do no favour to the American military by potentially triggering a dissident recruiting backlash, nor to Christianity, as witnessed by the numbers recoiling from  the present proselytising position.     

Further afield, Al-Jazeera correspondent David Chater, says that the references are a “rallying cry for the Taliban. It gives them a propaganda tool. They’ve always tried to paint the US efforts in Afghanistan as a Christian campaign.”*

They reinforce the anti-American perception that religion rather than national security is at the heart of the US military presence abroad.

 The “war on Islam” issue is not confined to American troops.  New Zealand soldiers, also equipped with the ACOG sight, could also be in the gun as “Christian Crusaders”, as Mavis Emberson points out, “… are giving a perfect excuse for all those who pretend to feel that the NZ soldiers are “Christian Crusaders” to kill all NZ Armed forces where ever that are..”

 Since the concordance revelation the New Zealand Defence Force has been quick on the draw and ordered the removal of the letters from existing gun sights from its 260 Trijicon sights. I thought that such a hair trigger response would be unlikely to happen in the United States, where large numbers appear to believe that not only is God on their side but he speaks with a mid-Western accent, but just yesterday the issue had obviously become such an embarrassment for the Pentagon that it insisted that Trijicon send ‘removal kits’ that soldiers can use to file off the references.  Only the more muscular military Christians will  describe this as defiling the holy swords of salvation.

 It is hard to imagine the previous American government moving so fast- or even at all- on this issue. There has been a fundamental change at the top.  Is this the start of the War on Error?  Borat has the last word-se vieo clip*.

#Lyall Lukey 24 Jan 2010


ABC News –Revelations

Video review of  the Trijicon “ACOG” sights-3.43+ refers to the biblical inscriptions.

Al-Jazeera quotes its correspondent

Trijicon sights: How the ‘Jesus gun’ misfired    Borat Being a Real Man at the Gun Club

 OT and NT verses not used by Trijicon:

Ecclesiastes 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war
1 Samuel 17:47 It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves…
Matthew 26:52 All who take the sword will perish by the sword
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers

Blessed e-vent: The search for the 3G spot

January 16, 2010

 “May our tongues be gentle, our emails simple and our websites be accessible.”     Rev. Canon David Parrott

As John Cleese would spot in a flash the good Reverend is definitely a live and very lively Parrott,  with a secure grip of his parish perch.  He recently organised a blessing of smart phones and other devices brought to a special service by members of  the congregation of St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London. 

In an earlier parish, at Yuletide, he’d dressed up like a Christmas tree.  The livewire leader is obviously a very switched on clergyman in the Anglican eccentric, eclectic and now electric tradition.

The 3G blessing ceremony was an overdue V2 of the medieval Plough Monday ceremony, when farm labourers would bring  ploughs to the door of the church to be blessed. This stopped them being turned into spears. (See below for how to turn old mobile phones into cash for Starship Children’s Hospital*).

On the altar, in ecumenical propinquity, were four Smart phones, one Apple and one Dell.  Members of the congregation tended to their own devices, tenderly key stroking their mobiles and searching for  the 3G spot (which heretics now claim doesn’t even exist), in order to receive a blessing in the name of 3G, the Holy Trinity of Mobile Communications.

The Apple was, no doubt, a salutary reminder of certain events in Genesis (the book, not the power company or the rock band).

We can assume there was a reading from The Book of Jobs. The iPostle’s divine products are both objects of worship -dangerous territory in Old Testament terms- and  diabolical inducements to the heinous sin of envy for those without an iPod and an iPhone.

For those who eschew micro soft options they are also universal proof  of intelligent design rather than evolution.

There are other theological implications of the blessed event at St LJ.

For example, without getting in too deep, we can expect much more speaking in tongues in off-shore  call centres. (This may be a mixed blessing).  

More customers will summon the strength to get off the broadbandwaggon and use the power of prayer to by-pass telco networks by using God’s free direct dialling service. This will give Telecom New Zealand more headaches on top of the Commerce Commission’s recent report into errors in the telco’s historic broadband charging.  It sheds a little light on esoteric invoicing practices and is a timely homily for unwary consumers: thy will be done.

Next time Anglicans do the Lambeth Walk we can expect a proposal  to change the chronological alphabet from BC to BB  (Before Bell) and AD to AC  (in the Year of Our Cellphone). There will be a hot debate about whether those with mobile pre-pay schemes will qualify for ordination.  A conservative Anglican minority apparently regards pre-pay as synonomous with the pre-Lutheran purchasing of indulgences and therefore anathema.

Meanwhile, a Kiwi with dextrous digits and a well-thumbed keypad has just won the Bronze in the World Texting Champs. This event is a portent of accelerated thumb evolution which could forever alter the dynamics of the key to humanity’s technical wizardry, the opposed thumb and index finger. That will really fire up the anti-Darwinists and create a real debate. 

But thumbs up for the colourful Rev. Parrott.  There may be a few feathers flying in his parish and calls for normal service to be restored as soon as possible, but any reason for a live gathering of any community is better than leaving people to their own devices, locked in their own cells, in these connected but often lonely times.

#Lyall Lukey 16 Jan  2010

PS Starship Hospital appeal for old mobile phones. If you can’t ressurect your dead batteries or you’re buying a new phone, turn your mobile phones into money for a good cause.*


*Mobile Phone Appeal – Starship Childrens Hospital
  The Parrot Sketch
  Kingston Trio – Little Light  The real version 1962
  Genesis – In Too Deep


2010-The Shrinking Decade

January 6, 2010

“ my friend and i are having a little chat…
i say 2000-2009 is a decade,
she says 2001-2010 is a decade.
we both agree there is no 0 AD, but i’m certain 2010 is a new decade…”

The  questioner may be certain-but he’s certainly wrong!

 I just arrived back from a 6 day bike trip to Lake Taylor and Loch Katrine in the North Canterbury High Country. My ride, into the teeth of an old man Nor’wester,  spanned the New Year. It was also a trip back in time which covered half the ground traversed first by Maori en route to the West Coast pounamu and then by the Europeans on their way to the West Coast goldfields in the 1850s before the  Arthurs Pass route supplanted it.

 I emerged from a phone, newspaper, TV (and, until late at night radio) blackout to discover that, in a clear case of premature exhortation, the mass media had jumped the gun by a year in celebrating the arrival of the new decade. Magazines, newspapers, radio and television programs were filling the holiday white spaces with interminable “Best of the Decade” lists.

Having failed to pin the nauseous nickname “The Noughties” on the allegedly completed first decade of the third millennium,  wordsters  were already suggesting even more  dreadful terms like the “Twenty Teens” for the second.  At least they used capital letters.

 If you accept that the third millennium began on 1 January 2001 the last decade has suddenly shrunk by 2 years-ie it covers the period 2001-2009. (Certainly, it seemed a whole lot longer, but that was only because George Bush II inhabited the White House for a good chunk of this abbreviated time span).

But when does the new decade really begin?

Okay, strictly speaking, a decade can be any period of ten years, but for the concept to be of any historical use there need to be certain agreed conventions about when it really begins. It’s a matter of knowing how to count to 10. Perhaps the Government’s new numeracy standards need to be broadened to cover media mavens.

If you want to number from the beginning of the Common Era, C.E. (it’s a bit tricky using AD- most biblical scholars  are now agreed that Jesus Christ was born anachronistically around 4 BC) and you agree that there is no year zero, the first year was 1 C.E. and the 10th year, or the last year of the first decade was 10 C.E. Extrapolate from there. Years ending in 1 are the first year of the decade. Years ending in 0 are the 10th year of the decade-ditto for centuries and millennia.

Richard Brody in a blog “When Does the Decade Really End?” persuasively develops the argument that the new decade doesn’t begin until 2011:  HINT- There Never was a Year “0”. Since there never was a year “0,” the first decade was Years “1-10,” and the first century “1-100,” and thus the first millenium was “1-1000.”

It seems as if the wrong headed view of the majority, misled by the media, is squeezing out the logical voice of the minority.

Of course, if the Mayan calendar and prophecy is correct we won’t need to go through the same logical and semantic contortions in 2021.  The Mayan Calendar is more than just a system to mark off the passage of time;  it is above all a prophetic system. The Mayan word is that Close Of Play for The World is going to be either December 21 or December 23, 2012, the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle. (The 22nd must be a rain day).

No matter into whichever of the two numbers in the celestial roulette wheel the ball drops, the decade debate will stop once and for all.

Meanwhile it’s back to the future. While you are waiting around go for shorter investment terms and longer mortgages.

Before it goes all black in 2012 the All Blacks just better make sure they win the Rugby World Cup next year.

#Lyall Lukey  6 Jan  2010


When Does the Decade Really End? – Associated Content … 

Mayan Calendar – 2012 and The Mayan Calendar