Monday, September 11, 2006

The Illusion of Security - Part One

I almost hate to break this to you, Christian - but I probably should. So get ready - here goes: Security is an illusion.

I assume you know what illusion is. But to clarify, when I say "security," I'm talking about it from the aspect of having some assurance of safety, even if that assurance is mental or physical, real or imagined. Security in this regard is also often defined as freedom from danger, risk, anxiety, etc. I want to make it clear that I am not talking about the believer's security of salvation here (for this is very secure); I am referring to the kind of security found in terms like "homeland security," "security guard" and "airport security checks."

In the wake of "recent terrorist activity" (that least-favorite buzzphrase that nonetheless seems to have forever infiltrated media vernacular), our government - God bless 'em - has instituted a variety of measures meant to increase security both within and beyond U.S. borders. This is not news to you. We've shuffled together, you and I, sock-footed and vulnerable, through airport metal detectors flanked by armed National Guardsmen.

And so, here we are on the five-year anniversary of 9/11, and we find outselves a nation and a people in so many ways obsessed with safety and security.

Now, to be fair, there is - and should be - a normal level of concern for the security of one's person or family. For example, I make sure the doors of my house are locked at night. I do not flash large sums of cash in public. I look both ways when crossing the street. I do not make jokes about bombs while traveling by airplane. I am glad we have police officers and military personel.

Furthermore, I think it is right of our government (or any government) to institute rational measures of security to protect its people from threat and harm. The need for such measures is simply indicative of the reality of a fallen world. And while such security measures may be instituted from the very least (looking both ways before you cross the street) to those of a more serious, widespread nature (national terrorist attack alerts), they are all, in the end... illusion.

To be continued...

4 comments:

Chris Poteet said...

Dude, I am 100% with you on this one. I was in the airport (after checking me for liquids in every orface of my body), and I heard over the intercom: "The Dept of Homeland Security is at level orange." It could be at level rainbow for all I care. What does orange mean? I kind of like oranges.

-mike- said...

I thought you were blogging Thrice...

van.diesel said...

el chris - i don't like orifices, but oranges are great. Mmmm... vitamin C... *drool*

el mike - ...right on.

Deanna Regina said...

i always get blank stares when i talk about this with my friends...