Worshipping at the Altar of the Holy Metal Detector... revisited

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright June 2008

Worshipping at the Altar of the Holy Metal Detector -- an all-American State-sponsored Religion.

I first wrote about this topic in 2004. At that time I was hoping that by explaining it, it might go away, or change form into something more palatable to a nonbeliever.

Since 2004 it has changed form, but it has become more intrusive and more faith-based than ever. Sadly, it has evolved into a more strongly worshipped religion. And while many Americans complain about the attitude and actions of its priests -- the TSA -- most Americans still don't recognize that the passenger inspection part of airport security is a religion.

(Here is an example, an article from The Sun (in the UK) about a person who couldn't fly because they are wearing a T-Shirt with a picture of a gun... a cartoon character with a ray gun! Transformers shirt gets jet ban )

Why is this a religion: summary

Faith-based versus Fact-based Phenomenon
Does what you say matter?

Religion is about faith: What you feel matters, what you say matters, what happens in the real world doesn't. Fact is about things that happen, no matter what you believe or say.

Here is an example faith: A missionary comes to me and says, "If you want to feel God's power in you, you have to have faith, you have to believe." And... I believe him. I don't believe in a Christian-style God, and I've never heard a Christian-style God talk to me. I don't hear from him because I don't have faith.

Here's an example of fact: I turn the key in my auto ignition and my car starts. I turn it off, and I say to my car, "I don't believe you." I turn the key once again, and my car still starts. I shout at my car in a very believable way, "I really don't have faith in you! You are bogus! You aren't real!" and I turn the key. Somehow, without any faith in it on my part, my car starts. What I say, what I think, don't matter.

This is the difference between faith-based and fact-based phenomenon.

So... which of these is our current implementation of PISS?

Lets see...


I'd sure call that a faith-based protection plan.

This means that Americans are bringing all this self-abuse upon themselves because they believe in it.


Tell me again that PISS isn't a faith-based religion. Tell me again that I, who am not a believer, am not being forced to worship at the altar of someone else's belief system.


What would Airport Security be like if it was fact-based rather than faith-based?

If Airport Security were fact-based, not faith-based, it wouldn't matter what I said. I wouldn't matter what I believed. All that would matter is what I did... If I turned the key, the car would start.

And this is what I want for my Airport Security system. I don't want to be forced to worship someone else's religion.

-- The End --