Many of my colleagues have already left for SBL in Atlanta but I will be unable to travel until Saturday morning…early, very early Saturday morning. That being said, I likely travel more than most since my job as a dean requires frequent trips to develop donors and recruits. Just last week I was in California and I will be in NYC not long after Thanksgiving. I would offer some commentary on the ridiculous nature of the current TSA regulations and practices, but that would be redundant since it is all over the ‘net. When has that ever stopped me?
Actually, rather than comment I will simply state that I believe that the current system in many (but thankfully not yet most but ATL does have them in use) airports of requiring either the full-body scatter bath in X-rays (if only it were gamma rays! “Me HULK! You puny TSA man!”) or a more complete grope than I ever had even while dating in high school (sad, I know) is wrong. It is invasive, goes against my rights to privacy, and most importantly does nothing to make us more secure. The best summation I have seen was offered by Ed Stetzer (HT to Andy Crouch) who offers excellent ways and reasons to resist and even puts it in a Christian context. Write your congress person, today!
Some will disagree saying that this is just all about security and is worth it. Well, I feel it is a pound of prevention for an ounce of cure. Israel does this well and better without such invasion of privacy. How? By examining the person not their shoes or naughty bits. But if you are comfortable with the government using these scanners you should feel great about the fact that they are using them in truck-mounted versions to scan us without our knowledge. Are we really comfortable with that?
Unfortunately for this trip ATL does use these scanners so while I am won’t have to be probed or scanned on my way to SBL I may on the way back. I for one will go with the full on, let’s be more than friends, pat down. I may even follow someone’s advice and wear a kilt and go commando. Let’s make the TSA agent feel as awkward as I will! Or maybe just a full spandex suit with one of these t-shirts.
UPDATE: Ron Paul is making a lot of sense on this issue.
UPDATE 2: Cagle has collected some of the best political cartoons from the T&A TSA debacle.