Monday, November 22, 2010

airport indecency

What's going on at our airports?  You can now get randomly chosen to have your rights, and body, violated by means of the full body scan, or opt to have your rights, and body, violated by the hands of the blue shirted agents.

Currently the number of body scanners is far outnumbered by the number of lines that will be filled with travellers this week, so is this all the "making of a mountain out of a molehill," as one interviewer put it, since an estimated 80% of air travellers will not have to go through these measures?  I don't think that the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a molehill of an issue. 

Reports keep coming in, telling of the extremes to which the government will go to invade our persons and our dignity. 

The seal on a man's urostomy bag was broken during a feel up session in Orlando.

The ordeal endured by author Erin Chase in Dayton could only be described as sexual assault.

A young boy has his shirt removed as he is examined by agents.

A woman is made to remove her prosthetic breast in the course of a "pat down."

A three year old girl is brought to tears as she goes through the "pat down."

The corrupting nature of the new powers of the TSA agents has some of them making pronouncements on the "appropriateness" of a woman in Austin deciding to breastfeed her child.  The agents lost any moral authority to tell anyione what is appropriate when they began assaulting out wives and children.

ABC News says that TSA administrator John Pistole is "beleaguered."  Poor guy.  It's nice that the media is so sympathetic to his perspective.  What the press should do is stand up vigilantly for the rights of the American people, and against the corruption in our government. 

Those trained to be good, loyal defenders of institutions, like some Lutheran "church work" graduates, will tell us that this is all a lot of sensationalizing of a few incidents.  Men like that will go far, but I'm not sure I would trust my spiritual life, or my wife, with them. 

Fr. Larry Beane at Gottesdienst Online, shared an international incident he had recently.  This reminded me of my own family's recent experience with air travel.  And while this is not a confessional blog (relax Lutherans, I don't mean that in the theological sense, but in the sense of autobiography) I will now confess in brief what happened.  In August my wife flew to Salt Lake City, and I was apprehensive, because news of these new measures had already come to my awareness by then.  Nevertheless, I allowed it, because I was brought to the understanding that the body scan was strictly optional.  Now what I failed to realize was that you could be chosen, at random, for the scan, and if chosen, you could then opt for the physical harassment instead.  My wife was never chosen.  The trip happened without incident.  Nevertheless, I ought to have made myself more aware of the procedures at the time.

It seems that in the last couple months, however, things have only worsened.  The number of incidents has increased, and the stories are getting more outrageous.  Is the modesty of our women worth the effort to stand up for our rights?  I say it is.  Is the innocence of our children worth it?  I say it is.  Is a man's dignity worth standing up for our rights?  A man might choose to make certain costly sacrifices, for his family, or for his country, or for others, but ultimately, his dignity must also be taken into account. 

I think many people say they are opposed to the violations, but will walk right through the line, to make the trip to the in-laws this week for Thanksgiving go as smoothly as possible.  I hope we will all beware of what we are giving up, and of what we are accepting as a people.

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