Monday, January 4, 2010

Airport Security Gone Mad?

Ever since the attempted terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airline on Christmas Day, airport security has intensified greatly. Most passengers had almost gotten used to being shoeless, beltless, waterless and being subjected other frustrating and time-consuming procedures in order to travel the "friendly skies". But now, many are highly offended at the absurdly intrusive new trend - 'full body-scanning'.

There are 19 such body x-ray like machines now in use and the Transportation Security Administration said it has ordered 150 more scanners to be installed early this year. They also claim to have the funding for 300 more. The units are able to see through clothing and supposedly detect anything anywhere on the body that might be potentially used for terrorist purposes. Passengers who refuse to be scanned are then given a choice – for now, anyway. They must submit to a full physical "pat down" by a TSA employee - something maybe even more upsetting and obscene than the x-ray method.

According to Kate Hanni, who is the founder of, "The price of liberty is too high." Her advocacy organization for air passengers said that "the full-body scanners may not even catch the criminals and will subject the rest of us to intrusive and virtual strip searches." The TSA has tried to assuage privacy concerns by saying that the digital images would be deleted after passengers clear the checkpoints. But critics are not really convinced. Others feel the images are not all that clear and Jon Adler, head of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Associati said, "I think a bomb detonating on a plane is the biggest invasion of privacy a person can experience."

For those who feel a full body scan is a fair price to pay to ensure they reach their destination safely, the new technology may not be an issue. But for those who feel the technology is over the top, their choice is simple. They can give in and use the airways or alter their plans and hit the highways!

It is hard to know how this new system will work or even if it will be repealed or adjusted through public pressure or for constitutional reasons. Only time will tell. But it is quite certain that even the best of earthly security measures are flawed and can never fully promise to discover and defeat all the evil plots of wicked men. Also, there will be many who will seemingly get away with various, and sometimes vicious, crimes in this life. Others may not be so ‘lucky’ as in the case of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab on Christmas Day flight 253. That basic truth is confirmed in Scripture in 1 Timothy 5:24 where the Apostle Paul writes, "Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later."

But of far greater importance are the words of the writer of Hebrews in chapter four. Verse 12 addresses the potential and the power of the Scriptures themselves. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Then verse 13 adds the chilling reality that no sin, no matter how carefully crafted or disguised, will ever escape the deep inner scan of the all-knowing judge and Creator of the universe. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

In many ways, worldly security is but a myth. Even at its finest, it remains a fragile and temporary condition. But those who have had their sins forgiven in Jesus Christ can claim a very special and unique promise. They are protected by a security that assures them of a future miraculous meeting of their Savior in the air according to Thessalonians 4:17 – an event immediately followed by safely reaching their glorious and eternal destination in heaven!

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27-28)

Now that is real security!

Bill Breckenridge

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