Civil Disobedience : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Recently, the national news reported an incident where a 20 year old college student planted box cutters on lavatories in planes and also putty resembling plastic explosives. He then notified the government via e-mail of the act. It took the government 5 weeks to respond. He will be charged and could face up to 10 years in prison.

On a flight to Philadelphia from the west coast, a woman quite innocently, removed a knife from her purse to cut up an apple. Two other women on the flight noticed the knife and asked if they could take a picture, which the woman allowed. This woman was not protesting or testing the screening system, she was simply cutting up an apple on a plane flight.

First, what do you think of the young man's act of civil disobedience? Personally, I admire his courage.

Second, I am sure everyone isn't getting through the airports with weapons, but there certainly are too many incidents being reported. Have we been sold a bill of goods on airline security?

I am trying to decide what mode of transportation to take to General Conference in 04.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2003


We're to obey the authorities over us, and unless they're commanding us to disobey God, we must obey them always. Certainly this act of defiance was unwarranted. Or maybe it was a joke, but as he's learning, it'll cost him.

When commanded to cease preaching the apostles said, "We must obey God rather than man", and suffered the consequences with rejoicing. However much of the civil disobedience we see today is a protest of some situation people feel is unjust, and does not fit the criteria of the apostles. If breaking the law is involved in the protest, it's sin.

Now on airport security, I got a pocket knife onto an airliner by accident. I was going through security at St. Louis and had forgotten I'd put my Swiss Army knife in my carry-on backpack. After putting it on the belt I saw the security ladies staring at the screen discussing something they saw. I wondered what it could be, and finally heard one say "let it go". Once in the air I looked in my bag and had a moment of panic when I saw it.

Praise God I wasn't selected for the 2nd screening at the gate, but I knew I might be selected at my next flight in Dallas. When I got to Dallas I told a policeman what had happened, and he told me to check the knife at the ticket counter. Fortunately they have small boxes for things people forget to check in.

Sure enough, as I was boarding the Dallas flight I was pulled out of line and thoroughly searched.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2003

No secrity system is 100% foolproof. Just like high school computer hackers can infiltrate and download data from a secured national security location, similar malfeasance is always possibile in the case of airport security. Engineers and technicians can mitigate but not eliminate security risk. I find nothing admirable by a young man whose actions were based on criminal intent. His actions were not only ignoble but displayed a spectacular form of stupidity in the process. If he wanted to demonstrate the "defects" of airport security in a post-911 world there is a proper time and place to bring this to the attention of the appropriate authorities. His method of bringin attention to the problem was reckless and irresponsible. Now his life is ruined due to another sad case of youthful arrogance. QED

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2003

Mary I did not think what that college student did was an act of civil disobedience. I felt it was an act of "terror" this young man did this several times and in his emails taunted the transportation security association. His acts were escalating particularly when he did not receive the attention he wanted. My fear is that if he had not been arrested he would have actually put a bomb on a plane to get attention and to "beat" the TSA. As a therapist I have worked with personalities such as this they have a "narcissus personality" and will do anything to bring attention to themselves these type of people are often arsonists, the thrill is in thinking they are smarter than anyone else and that the world should realize their greatness. Hitler, mousalinni and others also began the way this college student began with incidents aimed at the government and then their behavior escalted.

Here is the definition of civil disobedience: Civil disobedience: Deliberate, open, and peaceful violation of particular laws, decrees, regulations, military or police orders, or other governmental directives. The command may be disobeyed because it is seen as itself illegitimate or immoral, or because it is a symbol of other policies which are opposed. Civil disobedience may be practiced by individuals, groups, or masses of people.

Acts of disobedience that have occured the bus boycott in the south because the law said blacks were inferior and had to ride in the back of the bus. Sitting at an all white lunch couter because blacks were not allowed to eat there. One of the signs of civil disobedience is that the act is OPEN AND THE GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL EXPLAINS WHY THERY ARE DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

I do not feel that what this college student did was an act of civil disobedience. I do not feel the law that people cannot bring box cutters and plastic explosives on board a plane immoral or an unjust law.

This youg man was acting out on his own agenda and I for one am glad he was arrested and he will never be allowed to fly. I shutter to think what he would have done next.

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2003

The young man in my humble opinion has serious problems. We have not been sold a bill of goods on airline security. The intensity in screening is new to the US; that is not to say that screening was not being done all along so when deciding your mode of transportation to the 2004 annual conference make sure you discuss it with the One who can make a difference. Terror can happen anywhere. Love Felicia

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2003

Felicia, you make an interesting point about the new security in the US. In europe and the middle east they have had stringent security for years. In the 70's when I traveled to europe and the middle east 6 months out of the year as a jazz singer and actress, we were searched. Particularly when I would travel to the jazz festivals in Lebannon, beirut. all luggage was put on the run way and each passenger had to identify their luggage. If there was luggage not identified, the plane did not take off. Strip searches were not unusual. I remember wanting to fly from beirut to tele viv for a vacation and I was not allowed to enter Israel because their had been a massacre in tele viv and it was suspected the terrorist were from Lebannon. It did not matter I had a US passport. I was flying from a country that was an enemy to them. Israeli airlines by the way has the toughest security and few incidents on their planes. I was not offended that I could not go, I then went to the greek islands (which was having a cholera epedemic, luckily I had gotten a cholera vaccination) and was able to get back to the US.

I think most americans understand the new security measures.

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2003

"We're to obey the authorities over us." This blanket statement is a very dangerous over generalization. If we excpet this as true, then we put ourselves in a very dangerous position. First, take Nazi Germany for example. The authority over Germany was Adolf Hitler who ordered his soilders to exterminate millions of people. Accorcding to the over generalization, it would be God's will that people obey their leaders, even when it means committing grevious attrocities. Second, take the American Revolution. If we are to accept the maxium of always obeying our leaders, then the Amierian Revolution was immoral and we should at once attempt to rejoin the British Commonwealth. Futhermore, even the most oppressed colonies should attempt to rejoin the commonwealths that once controled them, reguardless of the human cost. Third, I bring up the prophet Jerimiah from scripture. At the time the so-called "leaders" told Jerimiah to stop preaching, although it was obviously God's will that Jerimiah was to continue, as seen all throughout the book of Jerimiah. With that said, the idea that we are all to blindly follow our leaders is rediculous and dangerous. There is no scriptural support for it. God gaves us all consciences and minds to determine right and wrong as leads each of us.

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2003

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