March 20, 2015

Should we be afraid of the NSA?

"I grew up with the understanding that the world I lived in was one where people enjoyed a sort of freedom to communicate with each other in privacy, without it being monitored, without it being measured or analyzed or sort of judged by these shadowy figures or systems, any time they mention anything that travels across public lines." Edward Snowden

I don't know if you've watched Citizenfour, the Oscar-winning documentary on Ed Snowden, but I'm sure if you did and you're a red-blooded American, you felt injustice and violation.

It isn't comfortable to feel watched. It is even less comfortable to realize that the government in charge of your country is moving towards the use of force and farther from democracy, fair trial, and free speech.

Every time I happen to peruse the news I run into some article or another about how the government of our country is intruding on our rights as a people. It seems that honesty and justice are losing value while the currency of bribery, political favor and corruption hold ever-increasing weight.

Just a couple months ago there was a raid on a homeschooled family in the county next to ours where 8 healthy and deeply-loved children were forcibly removed from their parents on the manufactured grounds of a report by a suspicious neighbor. An equally loving and caring family in Washington lost a baby because the mother decided to have a home birth.

It is senseless. To take beautiful children out of an unbroken environment and place them in the brokenness of the foster care system has no logic. Our democracy was founded on principles of freedom. What is happening? Why does freedom no longer extend to the mother who wants a home-birth and the family who wants to play barefoot in the snow? (This was what prompted the neighbor to report child abuse.) Why are these watched with suspicion and fear?

What if I am being watched with suspicion? What if there are neighbors and NSA individuals watching my every move, phone call and email? What might the government do with the copious data of my browsing and shopping history that they have stored in their giant data-collection warehouses? The thought could drive you to reclusion and hermitude in a hurry.

But to be honest, I'm not concerned.

I don't believe we have anything to fear.

In reality, this is really nothing new.

A man of God once lived in a heathen city in Persia. His life brought harm to none, yet he was hated by those jealous of his position and favor with the king. And they watched his every move too.

Think about it.

Before Daniel ever faced the lion's den, he dealt with weeks (months?) of stalking. Eyes watched him from every side trying to find something to accuse him of. But Daniel's taxes were paid, his bank accounts flawless, his dealings honest to a T, his adherence, even to heathen Babylonian law impeccable. They found nothing that they could accuse him of without indicting him on religious grounds.

And when the test came, Daniel placed himself in the hands of the Almighty God and went calmly on in his principled life without regard to the threat of death. He wouldn't even pray with the window closed lest his enemies think that his connection with God had been severed.

His fate was sealed in the wax of the irrevocable law of the king's signet. He knew full well that to stay true to principle would cost his life, but there he was, calm and steady in the face of persecution, stealth, and unfair suspicion. The only heed that Daniel paid to the threat was to press closer to God.

And the Almighty Deliverer took the life that had been entrusted to Him and made with it a spectacle to heaven and earth of the power of Divinity.

I have no criticism of those who choose to take measures to hide themselves from the governments prying eyes. I fully agree that it is a constitutional right. But my own choice is to simply take heed that the only grounds that could be leveled at me would be for religious reasons. I'd rather keep my window open and let the God of Daniel take care of the lions.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts and I like the connection to Daniel. Somewhat ironic writing about this on a publicly accessible blog, but I guess it proves your point. Thanks for keeping your window open. :)