Gottesdienst
Gottesblog Revision2.jpg

Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Human Dignity Update (Porno-Scanners and Felon-style Gropping)

Enough already.

Awhile back I encouraged the Church to rethink her passive acceptance of the State's insistence that we give up traditional modesty and walk through machines that take naked pictures of ourselves, our wives, and our children. Things have only gotten worse since that posting. Now, those who refuse to go through the pornoscanner (which also uses ionizing radiation - the sort that poses an accumulating health risk), will be subject to an "enhanced" pat down. Which is to say, will be treated as felons getting a prison transport with breasts and crotch touched by a State functionary.

With this in mind, a reader wrote to me:

I enjoy your contributions to Gottesdienst Online, especially one discussion awhile back about airport security and being subjected to an invasion of privacy. I wonder what you might recommend, now, given the more invasive body searches / patdowns. My wife and I fly to XXXXXX next week... What's the lesser of two evils here?


My reply:

Your question is a good one. I've sworn off flying for me and my family for the foreseeable future. While I can imagine various family emergencies that would necessitate a compromise, I am perfectly willing to trade the convenience of air travel for the basic human dignity of my wife and children. So, if at all possible, cancel your tickets. Tell the airline exactly why you are doing so - this is what will have to happen, over and over, if there is going to be a change. If the American people roll over for this sort of treatment, then it will never go away. But if enough of us say No Way - well, money talks. The airlines and their lobbyists will then force the TSA to change their ways.

Serving your neighbor in this case might just mean bearing the cross of a long drive in the car or missing a holiday with your extended family. If we as ministers of the Church won't stand up to such gross invasions of human dignity by the State, who will?

Google maps says a drive from YYYYY to XXXXXX is 9 hrs 49mins. By the time you drive to the airport, get there 2 hours early, and fly - how much time are you saving? Maybe 10 hours on the round trip? Is 10 hours worth having a stranger see your wife naked or having a man put his hand in your crotch and treat you like a convicted felon getting loaded onto a prisoner transport?

That's my 2 cents. Like I said, I can imagine serious family emergencies that would necessitate me compromising (probably with just me going as I just cannot stomach the thought of putting my wife and children through any of this: I'm called to be their protector and this stuff is just plain wrong) but for me and my house, turkey day with the cousins just does not rise to such a level.

He later wrote back that this was an important trip for his family, so he would talk to his elders to see if he could get an extra day of vacation so that he could drive instead of fly. Good for him.

+HRC

Pr. H. R.26 Comments