Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why Christians Should Be Concerned About the Surveillance State

Ed Stetzer at The Exchange explains why we Christians ought to be concerned about the ever-increasing surveillance state and not run away from the issue as if only Christophobic ACLU folks believe in civil liberties.

Says Stetzer:

"Almost immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Safety Administration were created. After stumbling through an impromptu round of "God Bless America" on the capitol steps, both sides of the aisle were quick to put aside their regular differences in order to put forward their most secure faces.
"Neither party wanted to be seen as soft on terrorism.
"Almost twelve years later, we must face the snowball effect of those initial efforts and have a real discussion about where the priority of "security at all costs" ends and the honoring of civil liberties begin. For Christians, this is an important conversation because it involves biblical issues such as the dignity of all persons, a healthy view of human depravity, and our belief in Christian ethics."
Read the rest here. Enjoy.

I would like to comment on several things in Ed Stetzer's piece, particularly on his somewhat naive (in my opinion) believe that George "Dubya" Bush (under whom most of these surveillance programs started) and Barack Obama want to protect America and are merely misguided in their approach. I don't believe so. That may have been the cause before they entered power; however, as they went into power, they were corrupted (or maybe they were like that before even entering power; only God knows). They began to focus on their own glory and power and honor, and thus they used these tools as a means to increase their own power. As the classical-liberal historian Lord Acton said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Also, I had a beef with the way Stetzer dealt with conspiracy theories. He says that they make us look bad and ridiculous. I will agree with him to a degree. While there are most certainly ridiculous theories (such as the theory of Bush using some super-duper technology to create Hurricane Katrina), there are those which, while they may sound ridiculous, are actually quite plausible when one really starts to think about it. Some of these theories include the involvement of LBJ in the assassination of JFK, Nero's burning of Rome and blaming it on Christians, and maybe even to a degree, the 9/11 truth movement. I have not fully subscribed to any of these theories, but I am open to the possibility of their being true. I would also like to note that, deep down, many people are not against conspiracy theories per se; they just don't want those theories to be targeted against their sacred cows (like the military, the president, and most importantly, the State).