“Don’t tase me, bro.” You might remember that colorful and oft-repeated phrase. Wikipedia describes:
“On September 17, 2007, U.S. Senator John Kerry addressed a Constitution Day forum at the University of Florida in Gainesville, which was organized by the ACCENT Speakers Bureau, an agency of the university’s student government. Initially allowed to ask questions after the close of the question period, Andrew Meyer, a 21-year-old fourth-year undergraduate mass communication student, was subsequently removed from the forum by university police. During the struggle to arrest Meyer, one of the officers drive stunned him with a Taser.” Several videos of the episode were then posted on the Internet. The most viewed version of the video, shot by Kyle Mitchell of The Gainesville Sun, has more than 5.1 million views on YouTube as of October 2010. The New Oxford American Dictionary listed “tase/taze” as one of the words of the year for 2007, popularized by the widespread use of the phrase “Don’t tase me, bro!” The Yale Book of Quotations designated the same quote as the most memorable quote of 2007.”
Though there are always sides to take in any one incident, Myers’ arrest did spark a national debate, ignited because of the demonstrably increased use by police of tasers. Tasers are an elecro-shock device designed to override the normal control of muscles. They hurt. Recipients often scream. They immediately render the victim immobile. They are used by police to subdue fleeing, belligerent, or potentially dangerous subjects. Or in theory, at least. Unarmed citizens such as the 86-year-old bedridden grandmother have been tased. Or the 56-year-old mentally ill woman who was tasered for refusing to move. Or Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr., 24, who died after being jolted with a Taser by police when they responded to a call that he was causing a disturbance outside his family’s home on April 18. The first Taser shot was used to deliver 50,000 volts of electricity for 49 seconds, which is substantially longer than the standard five seconds. After the extended shock, Jacobs was shocked a second time for five more seconds.
After incidents like these (and many others) the nation has become increasingly upset at the police aggression, infringement on civil liberties, and brutality. (This is not an indictment of all police officers. Many are good and appropriately protective). A divide between regular citizenry and those in law authority having begun at Kent State…or Civil Rights marches, or at some point at the Revolutionary War…whenever it began, with the advent of tasers, the divide between those in authority with weapons and unarmed citizens widened.
A recent decision by the hired government agency Transportation Security Administration to fully pat-down all body areas of all fliers (who do not choose to endure a high-radiation naked body scanner, that is) has ignited the firestorm further.
John Tyner, on his way to So. Dakota to visit his father-in-law and do some pheasant hunting, saw what was going on in the San Diego airport and turned on his cell phone video as he went through security. A supervisor is heard re-explaining the groin check process to Tyner then adding “If you’re not comfortable with that, we can escort you back out and you don’t have to fly today.” Tyner responded “OK, I don’t understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.” “This is not considered a sexual assault,” replied the supervisor, calmly. “It would be if you were not the government,” said Tyner. He said, “”You touch my junk and I’m going to have you arrested.”
Full body pat-downs perpetrated by TSA at airports have occurred against a cancer survivor who was told to remove her prosthetic breast. Against a woman with two artificial knees. Against a screaming three-year old who yelled “STOP TOUCHING ME.”
The government’s intrusion on our lives has become intolerable. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people is now against the people. It dips its hands into private areas of our lives with such regularity that we have (almost) become inured to it. It touches our paychecks. It peeps into our streets with video, our workplaces. It spies on our civic lives, our computers, and our child rearing practices. Now it has its hands literally on our bodies. And on our children. The TSA agent responded to Tyner’s conversation thus:
“By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.”
Flying is voluntary. It is not a necessity, it is a privilege and a convenience. I wrote about my own experience with pat-downs here. I opted out of the whole airport-security-government hands on my body thing in 2006. But the very idea that government has its hands ON our body in our private areas is revolting. It is something that many people are simply calling sexual assault.
But you ain’t seen nothing yet.
If you think government is intrusive now, the coming antichrist will be much worse. His global totalitarian regime will strip you of all you need to survive and not only put government’s hands on you, but IN you. On behalf of the antichrist, the False Prophet will “force everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” (Rev 13:16-17). At the hands of the government, at some center or rehabilitation camp, or ‘re-education facility’, you will have to make the choice on whether to worship the beast (the antichrist) and in so choosing, will display that choice by an embedded mark on or in your body. Some have speculated that it will be a tattoo, or a bar code, or a chip like we actually have now that is embedded in the hand or the chest. In any case, you can take the mark. Or you can be beheaded. The False prophet will “cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.” (Rev 13:15b; Rev 20:4)
You will have a choice then, but so you have a choice today. You can accept Jesus today. In the case of choosing to accept Jesus as your Savior, the choice is infinitely better than the one in which the False Prophet forces you to worship the Beast. With Jesus you get an eternity of joy, peace, and good and fruitful work for Him. With the Beast you only receive death and an eternity apart from Jesus. But make the choice soon, because time is growing short.
Meanwhile, the government’s oppression of the people is so intrusive, so palpable, so repugnant, that it seems that the Mark may not be far behind. In any case, the prophesied totalitarian regime of the antichrist will come. It will make the days of TSA pat-downs seem like a pleasant picnic.