TSA shows deeper problem

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One sentence from your editorial on the Transportation Security Administration boondoggle (“Hands off our dignity,” May 2) caught my attention: “Can’t agents be trained to provide some humanity during often arduous screenings?” Your question goes to the heart of our society, not just concerns about the TSA.

Some things can be simplified. In this case, this universe is either personal or impersonal. For decades, public schools have taught that we live in an impersonal universe – that there is no purpose, no meaning, and everyone is just lucky or unlucky.

This universe without God provides no ethics for the basis of law. Man is only an evolved animal. When the utility of animals is over, we eliminate them. Why should man be treated any different? Look at the difficulty that states had in trying to prosecute Jack Kevorkian.

The brutality of the TSA agents reflects what our children are being taught: They are animals and have no more meaning than animals. They are subject to the blind forces of nature and the raw power of atheistic regimes. And, perhaps worse, why should anyone care? Everything is a random event in a random, impersonal universe.

Ideas have consequences that affect billions of people. The lack of a “person” necessarily leads to impersonal power and violence. The stark specter of TSA agents manhandling children is a reflection of what our public schools and official governmental policies have brought us. If we are consistent with those godless beliefs, we should cheer the onslaught of such barbarity. After all, “nature red in tooth and claw” produced Homo sapiens.

Atheists and others can berate the wars of religion – and, granted, there have been serious mistakes made. However, Christianity, teaching that Someone created the universe, produced virtually all the good that Western civilization has had to offer. If we reject God, we reject grace, mercy, peace and justice – and the face of the TSA barbarian and Big Brother will overlook every nuance of our lives.

Ed Payne, M.D.

Augusta

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Techfan
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Techfan 05/07/12 - 05:56 am
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What the ????? The problem

What the ????? The problem doesn't have anything to do with schools, nature, atheism, or any of the other boogeymen that Ed wants to blame. There are jerks in every profession, why should TSA be different ? I do seem to see it a lot in cops, maybe TSA agents have the same mindset. That, coupled with fighting an enemy that has no problems strapping bombs to kids. women, or probably even someone's little pet doggie. Obviously, TSA, like everywhere else, needs to train better and get rid of the folks who don't do well with customer contact (burger joints take notice). I know Ed likes to blame everything on people who don't have his "christian worldview" (he'll be happy to sell you a book to help indoctrinate you), but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Everyone isn't a nice person. Get over it and try to avoid the jerks if you can.

SteveSwimmer
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SteveSwimmer 05/07/12 - 06:16 am
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Prison education: Conducted

Prison education:

Conducted as it is today, the TSA search paradigm being sold is nothing less than absurd and the whole expensive show is fabricated in order to convince We The People the government is in complete control.

Let me warn you: The Government is far from in control. That warm secure feeling the searches give you is false.

As a convict released from the West Wall door of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary long enough ago to know plenty of post prison discrimination along with quite a dollop of PPST (post prison stress disorder), I am now crazy enough to tell you what any Atlanta Federal prison guard is afraid to tell you.

And, even though none will (and I only will because I am crazy) all Atlanta Federal prisoners can tell you: there are no Atlanta Federal Inmates who are or have been housed in Dog House (D Block) that cannot get enough contraband by the TSA searches (machines or human) to take down a passenger plane.

Considering American prison educated people can breach the TSA, it only stands to reason terrorists can do the same. When many of us in the penitentiary prisoner class see the TSA (on TV or in the airport line) shove free world Americans around we laugh and laugh.

When seeing the TSA in action on the airport frontline, the first thing many prisoner class peoples can tell is the vast majority of the TSA operation is geared toward showing you who is boss; just like prison guards treat us.

The TSA is so absorbed with their expensive power spectacle and "looking good" there can be little doubt a bad actor is going to (it is only a matter of time) penetrate, pretty as it may be, such an overblown power show.

By the by, don't bother the penitentiary guards with questions concerning fixing the system, if they knew how to stop smuggling prison contraband they would have done so long ago.

And, certainly do not bother the prisoner class. Those who know are not talking for fear of getting "stuck" or more probably out of respect for the smugglers.

In fact, were I still behind the Wall, this simple message to you would be enough for the Dirty White Boys to order my punishment: most likely a bunch of quick jabs with a short shank, not enough to kill, just enough for educational purposes.

So, crazy as I may be, this is as far as I dare go to help, no way am I going farther on how to correct the theater of the absurd's TSA performance (besides, I do enjoy laughing at their show), that is for you free world people to fix.

However, surely you must innately know, without a convict telling you so: as long as the TSA continues wasting massive effort on absurdities like thoroughly searching all of the 4 year old children and 90 year old ladies, the TSA is not only wasting money; but, far more importantly: the TSA is doomed to failure.

Sooo, let me ask: Do you feel any safer yet?

TParty
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TParty 05/07/12 - 06:49 am
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Ha! The TSA are overstepping

Ha! The TSA are overstepping their powers because Americans, Christian Americans for the most part, are afraid of Muslims, fanatical Muslims. But yeah- keep blaming 'atheistic regimes' and godless people.

Produce the good religion has to offer?! We did this last week, and Christians tried sugarcoating and finding looping holes in the bible where god talks about how to treat slaves, slaves you take because god gave them strength to over take some city which can now be raped and plundered. We talked about how god set rules on women who are rape and when they should marry their rapist. God gives a lot of guidance on atrocities, but never says "Don't do it". The commandments are filled with "Hey, I'm the god so you better remember that!".

Or else he'll kill first born children. Do you Christians not read how much mass murder your god does? "Oh, that was biblical times and doesn't count anymore because Jesus came and died for our sins." Sure! Keep telling yourselves that!

When you're given guidance like this: "The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked." (Psalms 58:10) It's probably better to look at religion and the bible for reasons of violence and craziness. Not atheists.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 12:32 pm
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TP, we've been over all this

TP, we've been over all this previously. You always forget the context of the scriptures you quote. You have to remember that the violence you cite was at a time in the Old Testament history when Israel was in a war zone. It was hostile takeover, and violence was the rule of the day. There were slaves. There were killings. There was what we would consider bad stuff. But, all this was very necessary over 2000 years ago. That is the context. It was a drastic time, and drastic measures were necessary. All was done to prepare for God stepping into time in the form of the man, Jesus Christ -- the promised Jewish Messiah -- and show us how to set things straight.

Things are different now, and the Bible reflects that change. Christianity does not condone violence. Slavery has been abolished (by the New Testament, but only later on by people). Christians are to love enemies and pray for them. Your arguments just don't make much sense, because you totally throw out any relative context.

Did you read last week where Christians in Nigeria were gunned down in cold blood while they were having a church service -- and that it was Muslims that did it? Did you read where a Muslim Imam in Saudia Arabia has declared that every church in the nation should be destroyed? Do you know that the Koran specifically OK's a husband's right to beat his wife, if she gets out of line? (whereas the Bible demands that husbands love their wife and be prepared to give up his life for his wife, if necessary). If you are anti-slavery and pro-women, the New Testament is right in line with you.

You are sadly beating a long-dead horse here. You have to think through the facts before you just go off about the evils of Christianity. Your prejudice is clouding your otherwise insightful judgment.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 12:45 pm
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"It's probably better to look

"It's probably better to look at religion and the bible for reasons of violence and craziness. Not atheists."

Again, facts are stubborn things. Atheists like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot have killed literally millions and millions more human beings than any Christians. Despite the pseudo moral "superiority" that atheists so proudly proclaim, their bloody and violent history is nothing to be proud of.

Techfan
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Techfan 05/07/12 - 01:19 pm
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So no more Old Testament

So no more Old Testament quotes? Good.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… end of
debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual unseemliness – Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 01:34 pm
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Dear Dr. Kauffman, As noted

Dear Dr. Kauffman,

As noted above for TParty, you write about what you do not fully understand. Please see the response to TParty. Because you have a doctoral degree, surely you can appreciate the illogical approach to pulling verses out of proper context to try and concoct a point of view that has little factual support. Sarcasm or cynical comments are valid (and humorous) when such points have a logical base of reality. Unfortunately, your comments do not -- or at least simply reflect your attempt to try and poke fun at something you clearly do not understand.

Your omission of any quotes attributed to Jesus is revealing. What do you hate about him? Why the disdain for Christ? If you can be more specific about why he rubs you the wrong way, I'll be happy to try to address such relevant issues. But, I don't really have the time to try dispute your half-hearted dodge of the facts concerning Christianity. I have better things to do.

Sincerely,
Dr. Laura

TParty
6003
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TParty 05/07/12 - 02:59 pm
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"You have to remember that

"You have to remember that the violence you cite was at a time in the Old Testament history when Israel was in a war zone. It was hostile takeover, and violence was the rule of the day. There were slaves. There were killings. There was what we would consider bad stuff. But, all this was very necessary over 2000 years ago."

And how are things any different today?

And if the Old Testament doesn't count anymore, is no longer the word of god, then [why] include it with the NT, and why does Jesus go on about impossible change to laws and it never change the laws?

TParty
6003
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TParty 05/07/12 - 03:04 pm
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"Christianity does not

"Christianity does not condone violence."

Yeah, that's not true. In fact my favorite story is how the bald man was mad people teased him, so he prayed to god who sent bears in the kill 42 children. What a great lord that is!

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 04:13 pm
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TP, things are totally

TP, things are totally different, as I explained. Everything that happened in the OT was done to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. You and I cannot fully understand or explain why things were done that way, but it was necessary at that time.

Point is, things change with Jesus. Judaism -- with all its laws and regulations -- was superseded by Christianity. As you know, you can sum everything up in Christianity with 2 great commands: 1) Love God & 2) Love others. That's really it. If you are going to attempt to criticize Christianity (and not ancient Judaism), you have to focus on these 2 commands. That's what Christianity is all about.

I never said that the OT was no longer the word of God. It was indeed the word of God given for a very specific people, in a very specific location, in a very specific situation, at a very specific time. CONTEXT. Can't forget the context. Jesus says that he came to fulfill the OT law. He did that by being born as God on earth, and giving us the commands to love God and love others. Like you, the Apostle Paul (an expert in the Law) makes it very plain that the ancient law cannot do much good. It has no power to save us. So, you and Paul certainly agree about that!

Your keep missing the beauty of the forest for some select old trees.

Again -- I ask again -- Christianity is CHRIST. What do you hate so much about Jesus? He's the issue.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 04:15 pm
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Elisha

The bear story you are referring to, I believe, has to do with Elisha (if I'm not mistaken).

Elisha was a great prophet of God, and as such, to be greatly respected by the people. You are correct that a group of boys accosted him, and that God reeked great retribution against this group of hoodlums.

Why? I don't know. I was not there. Neither were you. We don't know exactly what happened, and so it's difficult for us to pass judgment. I do know that God does not mess around with his word. We have the written word today, but back then the words from the prophets were sacred -- God's direct speech to his people. Maybe (just maybe) this was done as an object lesson for the people that you do not mess around with or make light of God's message? I don't know. All I do know is that I'm certainly in no position to judge God. Dangerous stuff it is when we place ourselves in judgment of God.

You obviously have a problem with one event that we can't understand in the OT. I agree that I don't fully understand it either. But, why are you neglecting to mention even one of the literally hundreds of people that Jesus healed? Why do you not mention the thousands (millions?) of people treated and healed by Christian-organized medical missions, hospitals, and universities over the centuries?

You try to discount the entire message of Christianity on the act of one bear. I, instead, see millions of people who were helped in the name of Christianity for 2000 years. On the whole, I think the evidence tips far on the positive side than on the negative.

Thankfully, the meaning and impact of Christianity does not turn upon the actions of a single bear -- unless we are determined to make it so.

TParty
6003
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TParty 05/07/12 - 05:24 pm
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'Why are you neglecting to

'Why are you neglecting to mention even one of the literally hundreds of people that Jesus healed?'

Oh I do bring this up whenever Christians judge others for being sick, or poor, and say they are lazy, made poor decisions and do not deserve help. I do remember Jesus's action when Christians offer no help, and instead worry about purchasing a new iPad, or 3d HDTV.

This is my crux of is all though:

In the Old Testament God does some dodgy things, gives some suspect orders, and comes across as a major jerk (just like the people of that time). I hear a lot of Christians talking about how you need to look at the larger picture, or to Jesus, to really see what you should live like.
But regardless of what you think about how Jesus "fulfilled" the law, you must be aware that there was a documented time before Jesus came to do that. So please correct me if I'm wrong but I think you'll agree with me on these two points:

-God is the perfect God and always was, even before Jesus.
-Therefore the actions, commands, and messages God gave to his people in the Old Testament were perfectly moral and could not have been improved.

So if you claim these points above, then such passages as Numbers 31 must be the most moral course of action to take:

This is of course just one of a hundred passages I could pick out with God choosing options that are clearly not the optimal choice. Another one would be the irrational fear of period blood, another could be stoning a man for picking up sticks on the sabbath.

Also, if you judge these actions to be perfectly moral, as I'm sure some will, my question is this: What would you have to see God do or command in the Old Testament to start to doubt the objective morality of this particular deity?

How do you get past the fact that Jesus repeatedly references the scripture and makes it very clear that the teaching in the OT are important? No where does he ever imply that OT is recorded imperfectly, or say "Well actually, to clarify, god (Who is really just me when I'm not in human form so I know exactly what I'm talking about!) never said that." What he does do several times is say some thing along the lines of "Scripture is very important."

Also, if you judge these actions to be perfectly moral, as I'm sure some will, my question is this: What would you have to see God do or command in the Old Testament to start to doubt the objective morality of this particular deity?

Jake
32960
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Jake 05/07/12 - 05:27 pm
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Take Out

I kind of like the god who brings manna from heaven. Sounds like an old version of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs".

edpaynemd
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edpaynemd 05/07/12 - 06:06 pm
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followup

Hey guys and gals: to have such discussion of the Scriptures is a greatly unexpected result of my letter. Praise God!

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 06:36 pm
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TParty

"Oh I do bring this up whenever Christians judge others for being sick, or poor, and say they are lazy, made poor decisions and do not deserve help. I do remember Jesus's action when Christians offer no help, and instead worry about purchasing a new iPad, or 3d HDTV."

Not quite sure I follow your drift here. Christians are to be helpful to all, and are among the most charitable folks you'll know. I don't know of any church that does not have a Missions program -- which target others for assistance.

But, neither can you confuse "help" with personal accountability and responsibility. Remember, the NT also clearly states that if someone who is able-bodied refuses to work for their own living, then they should get no food. Also, we are warned that if a man refuses to provide for his kids / family, then he is worse than a heathen. So, yes there is charity for the needy and helpless, but a stern warning for those who demand to live off the work and charity of others.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 10:44 pm
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God dodgy.

"God does some dodgy things."

Right there. I need read no more. That tells me much about your philosophy.

If there is an almighty, omniscient, and loving God how could that God ever do a "dodgy" thing? Impossible, isn't it? Such a supreme being -- who is the very essence of goodness and holiness -- can never do any such dodgy thing.

What you have done is place yourself in a position to judge the acts of God as being "acceptable" or "dodgy". Who sets the boundaries of what is good vs. bad? Apparently, TP does. God is being judged by TP's standards, and not the reverse. You even say that in your opinion, God acts like a "major jerk" sometimes. Well, even though people called Jesus much worse names than that (and did worse things to him), it's takes a lot of hubris to call God a jerk.

Who are we humans to judge the acts of God? Are we that arrogant?

Job once questioned God like you do. God very sarcastically put Job in his place. "Hey Job, how did I form the earth? You are so wise and smart, surely you know... How did I make the birds fly and the seas to teem with fish. You can tell me because you are just like God yourself." Job, to his credit, ate his humble pie and apologized to God for acting like a spoiled brat and a jerk.

I'd be very careful in placing YOUR values and YOUR judgments and YOUR rules above those of Almighty God. He is God. We are not. I don't want the job. I'm not capable of doing it.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/07/12 - 10:36 pm
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I can see you are quite the

I can see you are quite the disciple of Dawkins, Hitchings, etc. You view the "God of the OT" as the most reprehensible being there is -- all because you see Him doing things of which you disapprove. You'd never kill someone or stone a person for violating your law. So, how could any "God"?

As I said above, all this is nothing more than demanding God adhere to YOUR standards. Otherwise, he's not worth existing -- let alone worshiping.

Ever tried to explain major surgery to a little child? How do you do it? You have to be honest and tell them it will hurt. That you are going to have to take a knife and cut into their body. They cry. They don't understand. They beg you not to do it. Do you bow to their emotions and fear, and forget it? No. Of course not. Why? Because you know the bigger picture. You tell them you understand how bad it seems, but to trust you that all this is happening for a reason. That you know the outcome, and that things will be so much better afterward.

That's an imperfect analogy, but I think you see what I mean. Atheists are like those little kids -- they read about something they can't understand. All they see is fear and pain. They revolt against it. It offends their sensibilities. They demand that it not happen. They don't understand how a loving God could ever, ever do something that they think is so bad.

All the while, the loving Surgeon carefully does what He must do. He does not enjoy it and hates inflicting pain. But, does so because He knows it must be done to serve a bigger and higher purpose. If there is to be health and healing, sometimes bad things must first happen.

Ask a dentist before they drill out a cavity. Ask a woman in childbirth. Ask a soldier who kills an enemy in order to save his buddy and his nation. Ask Jesus as he hung on the cross to save you.

Just because we can't always understand the WHY, doesn't mean that there's not a good reason for things. I've told you that the OT things you consider "bad" were done for a reason, and we can see the ultimate good that came out of it: Through the deaths, the pain, the suffering of the OT came the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who became the Savior of the world.

If you are insisting upon judging God, then judge him by his actions that saved humanity from eternal condemnation. Judge him by his ultimate purpose. Of course, I'd not judge God at all. Wisdom is in letting God be God, and letting me be His humble servant which tries to simply obey.

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