Monday, December 20, 2010

Airport Security, Nakedness, and Authority: Part I

With the installation of body scanners at many airports across the nation, people are being forced to confront the issue of nakedness at a very personal level. When John Doe is standing in line at the security checkpoint, he must decide whether or not he will go through a machine that produces an image of his naked body and sends it to airport security personnel for viewing, should he be randomly selected. Is it prudish for us to be uncomfortable with this kind of a procedure? Are the body scanners really a big deal? Even if I don’t like the idea of going through a body scanner, is it worth it to do so for public security?

In the biblically-based Jewish and Christian traditions, nakedness (outside of the private, intimate marriage relationship) is a shameful thing. This belief goes back to the book of Genesis. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were ashamed of their nakedness and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. God clothed them with a more adequate covering of animal skins. This established the principle that human beings should be clothed.

In addition to the account of the Fall, there are other Biblical passages that illustrate the shamefulness of nakedness. Many of the Mosaic laws speak to this issue. Over and over again, the Bible stresses the importance of modesty and purity in dress and behavior.

Read the rest here.

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