Are Student ID cards with chips a "Mark of the Beast?"

01.23.13 | Ralph Kerr | Comments[0]

Are Student ID cards with chips a “Mark of the Beast?”

                School districts in Texas have started a “craze” which has turned into the “crazies” in some schools. In these schools students have been given the opportunity to wear a GPS tracking program as part of their student ID card. In some schools prior to initialization both students and parents must give their consent for this feature of the card.

            Many schools continue to have serious issues with truancy, and other instances where students cannot be located at a designated time. One stated purpose of the new ID cards is to mitigate truancy and reduce the frequency of this occurring. One school showed average attendance increased from 78 to 90 percent with the use of Smart ID’s. State financial aid in many states is based on student attendance so schools that can increase student attendance increase the aid from the State. In addition, students with frequent absenteeism can be identified earlier and earlier intervention can take place with them. Schools also claim the SmartID would be critical in a school lockdown to account for all students and in moving cafeteria lines more quickly.

            In Austin Texas a 15 year old student has objected to wearing the tracking microchip device in her student ID card because she claims it is a “mark of the beast” and therefor a sacrilege to her Chistian faith. Her refusal to wear the badge is not seen as a twist on teenage rebellion, but has launched a debate over privacy and religion. When the student and her parents first objected to the Smart ID, the school agreed to remove the chip but still required her to wear the badge. The family refused on religious grounds, stating in a lawsuit that even wearing the badge was tantamount to “submission of a false god” because the card still indicated her participation.

            The Rutherford Institute has now filed a lawsuit against the school district and the ACLU is also interested in this case. Reportedly this family is the only one in the district to object to SmartID cards.

            I believe Christians should be vigilant in protecting their religious freedom and should appropriately push back against infringement on those rights. In this particular case however, based on the facts as I know them, I think the reaction to the SmartID card is overdone. Particularly with the school being willing to remove the tracking microchip from the offended students’card. I think the school district has developed reasonable rational for utilizing this card system. This may be a circumstance where the “greater good” should take priority over an individual objection, particularly when the stated specific individual objector has been offered a reasonable compromise. After all, ID cards are used extensively in business and industry. Without them employees and visitors would simply not be allowed to enter the workplace.   

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