––Hey, you're back. Did you enjoy your trip?
––How was the flight?
––Did you have to go through one of those new naked-body scanners?
––No, I just went through the metal detector. But the plate in my thigh set it off, so I had to go through the wand routine, as usual.
––What would you have done if they'd told you to go through the strip searcher?
––I'd have gone through. What's the big deal? They're protecting us from terrorists. Better to have to go through the imaging than have a bomb blow up the plane.
––Even if it's a woman manning the screen?
––Would you want your daughter to be that woman?
––I want my daughter to aim for better jobs than staring at a screen all day.
––Good boy. But how about if she did it part-time, you know, nights and weekends, while she's on her way to the corner office?
––I can't imagine she'd get much of a thrill looking at naked men. Women aren't affected that way, you know. That's why they can work in places men can't, like nurseries and children's hospitals and senior centers.
––And there are no exceptions to that?
––There might be.
––And you don't mind taking the chance that you're giving some chick a thrill?
––Nope. She'd have to be pretty desperate to get a thrill from looking at me!
––Wouldn't that make you an accessory to her . . . should I say . . . perversion? Or how about taking it off for a gay man? Is that OK?
––That's a chance I'm willing to take.
––Isn't contributing to the delinquency of a minor an offense?
––But helping an adult satisfy his perversions isn't.
––Pfft. Besides, the pictures aren't that clear.
––The pictures are clear enough to show whether your trouser cobra still has his hood. Do you think there's no one being paid big bucks to make sure that the pictures will get clearer as time goes by?
––They probably will, but so what? The faces get pixelated out.
––Do you think nobody knows how to turn off the pixelation?
––So what? The images can't be stored.
––Yes, they can.
––Anyway, so what?
––How about your wife? Do you want her virtually naked for some guy?
––Well, you have to do what you have to do to fly these days.
––What if it were determined that the scanners pose a bigger health hazard than we know now? How dangerous would they have to be before you said we shouldn't have them?
––I don't know. I'd leave that to the government to determine.
––Right. Romans 13 says they always do what's right. So it's right to put the scanners in because they're not harmful, but if they're found to be harmful, it will be right to take them out, but it still won't have been wrong to have put them in in the first place. Government can never sin.
––Some governments can.
––But not Uncle Sam.
––You're just ungrateful.
––OK, let's say they decide to take them out for some reason. You've said the strip searches are necessary. How do they do the strip searches without the scanners? Do we have to literally go naked to fly then?
––Like I said, it's the government's responsibility to do what it has to do to make flying safe. If they had to do real body searches, we can be reasonably sure they would divide the passengers up by sex to inspect them.
––You wouldn't mind having a gay man inspect you?
––How would I know he's gay?
––Silly me, I forgot; the HR guys can't ask about that. OK, but if you were in charge, what would you do with a woman flying with an eight-year-old boy? Does she go in with the men, or does he go in with the women?
––That would be for the government to determine.
––And government never gets it wrong. OK, so it's OK for some guy to give your wife the choice of being naked for him or not flying?
––They wouldn't put male inspectors in the female line.
––Male inspectors see female passengers on the scanners and pat down their boobs and crotches today.
––Well, doctors see and touch naked women all the time. It's no big deal to them.
––Does your wife like having male doctors see her naked?
––The last time we got near this subject, you said that you think nudist colonies are immoral.
––Oh, good grief, not this again.
––Yes, this again. You're saying it's OK for men to see women naked when the women would prefer not to be naked, but it's not OK for them to see women who don't mind being seen naked. You don't mind having a strange man force your wife and daughter to be naked for him, but to keep them from being forced to wear a burqa you're willing to kill innocent people overseas. Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy?
––When it's necessary, nakedness is OK. When it's not necessary, it's not OK. What's so hard about that?
––Is it really necessary? If there were no searches at all, how many terrorists would be on the planes?
––Well, one's too many.
––Granted, but what proportion of the flying public is terrorist? More than half?
––No, of course not.
––Maybe one in a million. But that's still too many.
––Granted again, but if it's one in a million, that means that the search is not necessary for 99.999999% of those being stripped, right? So they're being forced to go naked when it's not necessary, which you just said is immoral.
––Oh, come on. we don't know who that one in a million is, so we have to search everyone.
––If you had a check for a million dollars in your hand yesterday but couldn't find it today, would you search in a million places you were reasonably sure you'd never been to?
––You're being illogical. If I had been in a million places since I was given the check, I could conceivably search in any or all of them; the only limit would be time. Or if I'd been with a bunch of strangers, I'd want to search all of them.
––But if you'd been with your friends, would you search them, too?
––Of course not.
––Do you know who your friends are?
––But wouldn't one of your friends be more likely to steal the check, knowing you wouldn't search them?
––Maybe I would have to search my friends.
––If you did that, would you end up with fewer friends?
––But that's a chance you'd be willing to take for a million dollars.
––No, not really. But when human life is concerned, you can't be too careful.
––I see. The "collateral damage" overseas isn't human.
––You know what I mean.
––I'm afraid I do. Anyway, so why doesn't the government know who its friends are? Why does it search everyone?
––How would they know who is and isn't their friend otherwise?
––I don't know, but if they're as wonderful as you think they are, can't they be trusted to come up with a way?
––I don't know. Maybe.
––Would asking them to come up with an alternative be better than having your wife strip-searched?
––I don't know. Do you?
––I wouldn't want to take the chance.
––If they're going to assume everyone's their enemy, that means no one can ever be considered innocent, because innocence is the absence of guilt, and proving a negative is impossible.
––So see, you can't get away from the scanners.
––I was thinking it would be good for our government to learn how to make friends.
––What have you been smoking?
––Well, I have to wonder why, if they're convinced everyone, including us, is a potential enemy, they make such a big deal about protecting us. If we're their enemies, wouldn't they treat us like enemies? Come to think of it, isn't that the way they are treating us? Maybe we really are their enemies. Or we would be if we knew the truth. Maybe they really are our enemies.
––You should be grateful to live in a free country.
––Having my wife and daughter strip-searched is freedom? And you have trouble with nudist colonies! Do you have trouble with locker rooms, or Boy Scouts skinny dipping?
––I'm not excited about them. What are you getting at?
––When you were a kid did you ever check out the plumbing on the other guys in the locker room?
––On the sly, of course.
––Was that wrong?
––I think it was just curiosity.
––Have you ever snuck a peak at a guy's pecker in a locker room as an adult?
––None of your business.
––Right. I'm a nosy puppy. Please forgive me. But let's say you've got a bunch of Boy Scouts on a hike, they go skinny dipping, and one of them pulls out his cell phone and takes a picture, and for some reason no one objects. How are we doing? Would that be OK?
––I'm not sure.
––Fair enough. After he takes the picture, he shows the picture to the guys who are standing there. If taking the picture were OK, has he crossed a line into immorality by showing it to the guys whose picture he just took?
––I don't think so.
––And if they all check out each other's third legs in the picture, has the guy that showed the picture done something immoral?
––Why would they do that?
––Because they're a bunch of twelve-year-old guys! Weren't you ever twelve years old?
––Or say it was a camera. OK?
––He doesn't delete the picture. After the hike, he shows it to a bunch of guys who weren't there when the picture was taken. Is that OK?
––Well, now you're getting into questionable territory.
––The guys in the picture volunteered to be in the picture. They trust the guy who owns the camera and don't force him to delete the picture. The whole point of the picture was to publicize their privy members. They were looking each other over in person, and they looked each other over when they looked at the picture. The guy shows the picture to a guy, knowing full well this guy is going to look at the picture for exactly the same reasons the picture was taken in the first place. So where's the line?
––Next you'll be telling me it would be OK to show the picture to a girl.
––Well, didn't you say girls don't get affected by seeing naked men? So that should be OK, right, especially if the guys in the picture don't want girls to see them naked?
––Now come on, I didn't mean that.
––Sorry, I couldn't resist. But let's say a bunch of girls go skinny dipping and take pictures of each other. Is that the same rules as it was for the boys?
––I see where you're headed. If it's OK for them to show the pictures to each other, it's OK to show it to other girls, then it's OK to show it to the boys, then it's OK for them all to take their clothes off, and you're back to your question about nudist colonies.
––Nothing gets past you!
––I can't go along with your reasoning. I think the whole thing is an affront to God.
––But what goes on at the airports is not an affront to God.
––Listen, God is working his purposes out through all his ordained leaders in our government. This isn't something we need to be concerned about.
––You're absolutely right. He is working his purposes out—just like he was working them out in Germany in the '30s and '40s.