19 January 2010
Blasphemy or Hypocrisy?
The manufacturer of telescoping rifle sights used by the U.S. military inscribes references to Bible verses on these devices that facilitate killing, according to this report. The company justifies the practice by saying that prayer is part of their complete commitment to helping our boys kill the enemy. Among the verses cited on these killing tools is one in which Jesus declares himself "the light of the world." Maybe it's not my place to comment on this, but it seems to me that if you're a Christian, this is blasphemy, and if you don't think so, you're a hypocrite. Jesus of Nazareth, to my knowledge, did not sanction people to kill in his name or in their own defense. Whether he regarded military service as a duty one must "render unto Caesar" is debatable. He is reported to have said that those who live by the sword would die by the sword. We can speculate on how he'd react if Peter had one of his favorite sayings inscribed on the sword he used at Gethsemane. In any event, my understanding is that Christians are supposed to follow Jesus's example, not what generations of priests have rationalized as permissible. Few do so, a fact for which we have more proof now.