- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to scratch off a Bible verse that was inscribed by the vendor in the middle of serial numbers on weapon scopes.

The biblical references were John 8:12 and Second Corinthians 4:6 and appear at the end of the serial number as “JN8:12” and 2COR4:6,” Fox News reported. Soldiers at Fort Wainwright in Alaska said to Fox News that they were told by senior military officials to return their scopes so the references could be scratched away. The scopes are made by Trijicom, Fox News reported.

“The biblical verse (JN8:12) must be removed utilizing a Dremel type tool and then painted black,” the directive read, as Fox News reported. And an Army spokesman told Fox News: “The vendor etched those inscriptions on scopes without the Army’s approval. Consequently, the modified scopes did not meet the requirement under which the contract was executed.”

The vendor has agreed that future scope shipments would not include the biblical references, Fox News said.

In John 8:12, Jesus says he is the light of the world and that those who follow him will not walk in darkness. The Corinthians passage speaks of God giving light out of darkness through Jesus Christ.

At least one soldier said the directive to scratch off the inscriptions made no sense.

“It blows my mind,” he said in the Fox News report. “It doesn’t help the Army do its mission to take off a biblical reference. [But we have to comply] so someone doesn’t get offended.”