It's amazing just how much we will put up with.
When we are sitting comfortable and secure within our jobs or our daily routines, we will almost let the world go by if it (seemingly) doesn't effect us. We will even begin to tolerate things that previous generations would find abhorrent.
The new TSA body scanners and enhanced pat downs are just one example. I mean, look at the blatant disregard for the fourth amendment of the constitution.
For those of you who don't remember your civics:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Tell me, where are the warrants issued for those who are simply traveling from one destination to another? Where is the probable cause to have a "naked" picture taken of an individual or have that person groped in a manner befitting a sexual assault? Can you say illegal and unconstitutional?
But how many weeks passed before folks started waking up to this reality? How many thousands of people have already submitted themselves to such humiliation without stopping to think about this intrusion into their rights?
I mean, really. Did it finally take a courageous 31 year old Californian (of all places) to stand up for his personal rights? A man who has given us a quote which may go down in history?
I actually shudder to think of "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." in a list of such quotations as "Remember the Alamo." or "I have a dream." Yet, it might just happen, if the rest of us are courageous enough to stand by our constitutional rights and convictions.
I personally am awful tempted to purchase a plane ticket just so I can opt out and perform an act of civil disobedience. I wouldn't mind getting arrested for this so I could take this stuff to court. Others are already filing lawsuits, so I probably won't have to do it; yet, there is a part of me that is willing to stand up for not only my rights but the rights of my wife, children, and family. I would not want their bodies exposed to anyone except for the people they choose to reveal them to. I would not want them touched by anyone unless they chose to allow them. Would it be worth getting arrested? You bet.
"But we have to be safe!!" some might decry.
At what cost?
I remember a Garfield cartoon I read while growing up. Garfield (the fat cat) walks by a pet store and sees all the caged animals. He says, "This looks like a job for the freedom fighter!" The next couple of frames show him opening all the cages inviting all the animals to freedom. But, there is an interesting twist because none of them leave. The now free animals have terrified looks on their faces. At this point, Garfield says, "Hmmm. It looks like folks aren't into freedom much these days." So, he leaps back into the pet store and begins slamming the cage doors shut. He cries out, "You're secure. You're secure. You're secure." The animals are all smiles at this point.
Get the picture? The only way to be completely safe and secure is to be locked in a cage. Nothing can get at you, that's for sure, but what are you going to miss?
Life is inherently full of risk. We can never, ever be fully safe and secure. There is always that one in a million chance we will be hit by lightening, bitten by a shark, trip over our own feet and hit our head, have a tree limb fall on us, or whatever you choose. If you spend all your time worrying about such things, you will never, ever have a fulfilling life. You will be caught in a cage. You might think you are safe and secure, but you will pay too high of a cost.
Jesus had a few words to say about such a thing:
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. --Matthew 5: 25-34
I believe it is time for us to stop worrying about all the things that could happen. I believe it is time for us to stop worrying about being completely safe and secure. I believe it is time to truly live, to enjoy the God given freedoms protected by our nation and by our Constitution. It will require a change in our focus, but I believe it will be totally worth it.