Thursday, January 21, 2010

Andrei John 8:12 sends the wrong sort of message apparently

John 8:12

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'."
Well according to Wayne Mapp it does. He was responding to news that gun sights used by the New Zealand Defense Forces have a Biblical reference tagged onto the end of the parts stock number.

These references have been added by the manufacturer for years and nobody knew about them until a few days ago but once discovered the usual storm in teacup erupted. Someone might be offended. Which of course makes them "undesirable" and they will have to be removed.

Funnily enough nobody was offended by Patton's Prayer 65 years ago when the famous general asked God to provide more clement weather during the Battle of the Bulge. Which was forthcoming incidentally.

Nor indeed were they offended 1600 years ago when Constantine had used the phrase "εν τούτῳ νίκα" translated as "by this sign be victorious" or "in this sign conquer" when he adopted the Chi Rho, a Christian symbol for his armies. And indeed the Irish Brigade used the Latin version of this phrase "In Hoc Signo Vinces" on their regimental colors for many years.

But the shrinking violets of our times get all quivery at a biblical reference so discrete that nobody would even know it was there until its pointed out.

I wonder what it is about the Christian message which scares them so?

18 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

The only recent parallel to this I can think of are the Muslims in Malaysia being very upset that the Catholics there use the word "Allah" for God, and demanding they not use Allah(TM). In spite of the fact it has been in use in Malaysia for 300 years.

It seems secularists are becoming more fundamentalist, like their Muslim brothers.

Anonymous said...

What is a "fundamentalist" secularist? To what founding documents do they refer to understand their "fundamentals"?

What is wrong with requiring a product, not bought for religious purposes, being supplied free from religious messages?

Odd, you know, but I would have thought you'd be more of a "swords into ploughshares" type, but maybe Jesus' message is too "fundamentalist". :-)

ZenTiger said...

What is a FS? I gave an example. Although with most of my comments, you need to realise I like to play with words, inject a little humour in the way we look at the world...

What is wrong with requiring a product, not bought for religious purposes, being supplied free from religious messages?

Actually, it isn't the whole message, just the "product code". My point was the code sat there happily for many years, and now is generating worldwide debate.

I don't see a problem with them asking for an order of future items to be "reference free", but I think it unnecessary to scratch the current markings out. What a waste of time.

Your next point underscores the insanity of priorities - it's on a gun sight. Maybe we should be questioning the ongoing war in Afghanistan more than what the manufacturer chose to inscribe on the sight.

Swords to ploughshares? Not in this life - I don't think evil and injustice can be cured in this life time whilst free will exists. And for evil to triumph, all good men need to do is...

I.M Fletcher said...

I would have thought that the maker of the sight can put any damn I.D mark he likes - it's his product.

KG said...

What Fletch said. Exactly.

ZenTiger said...

Very true. On the other hand the customer can ask for modifications. The JN8:12 model might be replaced by the JN model, the same spec but $50 more.

If we go with "the customer is always right" mantra, I wonder if they asked the troops if they minded the "product code" engraved on the scope? Some may not care and others may be comforted.

malcolm said...

Propaganda is a powerful tool and I trust the army to decide what might give an advantage to the enemy in this regard. It's unprofessional for a supplier to embed personal messages on their products. Especially if it might embarrass the customer.

Anyway, would you be as sanguine if it referenced a verse from the Koran?

ZenTiger said...

Depends what the verse said.

I doubt that it was put there for the purposes of propaganda, but I agree it will be used as such now.

As I said: I don't see a problem with them asking for an order of future items to be "reference free", but I think it unnecessary to scratch the current markings out. What a waste of time.

With regards to your comment:

It's unprofessional for a supplier to embed personal messages on their products. Especially if it might embarrass the customer.

Yeah, that "In God we trust" on the US dollar is a real killer. What were they thinking. If the Taliban hear about that, they'll probably stop using the US dollar as their preferred currency.

KG said...

As for those Kalashnikovs made in remote Pakistani villages which often carry references to the Koran--that's just a charming little cultural quirk..
The enemy hardly needs this 'advantage' Malcolm, after all they have millions of lefty Westerners and gutless politicians on their side already.

WAKE UP said...

leftrightout: relax, there is no such thing as a "fundamentalist secularist", no matter what anyone says. What there are, are people who like living an ethical life free from religious interference and intolerance. Religion has had its way for so long, it hasn't yet got used to being told to piss off - so it introduces words like "fundamentalist" in order to try to frame the debate in its own language. Ain't going to work - just as the political left's chokehold of the terms of debate is fracturing bit by bit. Religionists can use the word "fundamentalist" in debate with EACH OTHER as much as they like; atheists don't care.

WAKE UP said...

...and now: that said, I actually have no problem with the gunsights, proto-religious quotes or not - the only question is: can they do the job? Let the manufacturer do what he likes to his product and take his chances. That's freedom. And purchasers are free to choose whether to buy them or not, and file numbers off them or not. That's also freedom.

This whole debate is, thus, once again the usual lightweight MSM bullshit, and once again is diverting us from why the guns are there at all, which is - we have an ENEMY that needs to dealt to, NOW. And as an atheist, I'm quite happy to do that alongside my Christian brothers and sisters, who also recognise that. I might even write me a slogan of my own, in felt-tip, where they filed the numbers off :)

ZenTiger said...

Hi Wake Up, a refreshing attitude.

You are obviously not one of the FS! (or substitute traditional words such as authoritarian, intolerant, totalitarian if you prefer)

PS: No felt tip markings. You are damaging NZ Government Property. You think you have that much freedom? Get real. Last group of soldiers to mark their equipment got severely reprimanded, if you recall the story.

David said...

I just had a chat with my mother about this (who is a devout christian). She made the point that Muslim extremists believe they are engaged in a religious war, and she thought it was pretty unnerving to possibly lead credence to this point of view by having scriptures on these guns. I agree, It definitely sends the wrong message.

ZenTiger said...

Well, at least it rules out a religious war with Godless Heathens :-)

I would suspect that Muslim Fundamentalists already believe they are engaged in a religious war irrespective of what ever is said and done. The idea of "don't upset them because they might get violent" is long gone.

KG said...

David, you might gently point out to your mum that the islamists are at war with unbelievers ie non-muslims, not specifically Christians.
So a Buddhist message of peace on the gun sights would be just as offensive to them.

KG said...

In my view, the Christians of this world need to man up and engage the enemy, instead of cringing and apologising and running away from standing up for their belief.
Victory first, forgiveness later.

I.M Fletcher said...

The thing is, I think it was supposed to be something that was important to the maker - maybe it's his favourite verse. It's not blatantly Christian; not like he put a Cross on it that everyone could recognize, or a fish or something. 'JN8:12' could have meant anything really - something to do with batch numbers.

If the matter had been left private, no one would have been any the wiser - the gun's users or the enemy. Once again, it's the media's fault; it's they who didn't like it, or thought it was a juicy piece of gossip. If they hadn't reported it, no one would have cared.

Lucia Maria said...

At first I thought, it's not appropriate. But then I realised I was absorbing this from the MSM, especially once I knew what the verse was.

In the game of war, surely reminding soldiers (who could kill or be killed) that God is there for them, surely that's good?

I think those that want the reference sawed off are being a little precious about the whole thing.

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