U.S. Army orders troops to remove verses from scopes

The United States Army has directed troops to remove scriptures that were etched into their military scopes.

Two New Testament references, John 8:12 and II Corinthians 4:6, were engraved at the end of the scopes' serial numbers by the company Trijicom, a Michigan-based defense contractor, according to Fox News.

The scriptures were two Bible verses that read: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" — John 8:12 (NIV).

"Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ" — II Corinthians 4:6 (NIV).

Soldiers at Fort Wainwright in Alaska told Fox News that they were directed to submit their scopes in order for the references to be removed. Military personal will scrape off the scripture reference, verify that the reference is completely gone, and then cover the area with black paint.

"The vendor etched those inscriptions on scopes without the Army's approval," Army spokesman Matthew Bourke told Fox News in a written statement. "Consequently, the modified scopes did not meet the requirement under which the contract was executed."

The scopes, dubbed "Jesus Rifles," had caused heightened concerns in 2010 when Trijicom initially delivered scopes to the Army as well as to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Officials stated they were unaware of the Biblical references, and the vendor defended itself, stating the inscriptions had always been on the sights and there was nothing wrong or illegal about including them.

Former Army General David Petraeus, who oversaw the U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, had told an audience at Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies that the company's practice was "disturbing."