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Christian conservatives are pushing state legislation this session to prohibit President Obama--or any other socialist ideologue, for that matter--from ever implanting a microchip under your skin against your will.
Paranoid anti-government types figure anything's possible. We elected a Kenyan president, didn't we? But here's what's really gotten the Christian Right up in arms. (Brace yourselves. We're not making this up.) There are those who believe implanted microchips could become Satan's Mark of the Beast.
As the bill's sponsor, Rep. Susan Lynn, explained to Pith
when her proposal first came up a couple of years ago, "In the Christian religion, and I'm a Christian, in the book of Revelation, there was a reference to, you know, the Mark of the Beast. Some people interpret that to be one of these microchips."
Lynn concedes "it's hard to say" whether microchips are actually Satan's stamp. "Other people think it could be some type of tattoo," she explains. Regardless, she says, "It's an individual liberty. For whatever reason, no one should be forced to have a microchip, and no one should be discriminated against just because they don't have an electronic chip under their skin."
It's hard to argue with that, but Rep. Eddie Bass did it today during a House subcommittee meeting. Bass pointed out that radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, the data-storing microchips that we're talking about here, could serve a lot of useful purposes--helping keep track of Alzheimer's patients or sex offenders, for instance. And Bass wondered whether it's a good idea to outlaw these uses.
As the Eagle Forum's glassy eyed Bobbie Patray watched from the committee room's front row, Lynn conjured up images of Nazi concentration camps as she pleaded for her bill:
"The people that were taken into concentration camps, they were marked on their body. They were tattooed. That wasn't repulsive simply because they were innocents. ... That was repulsive because the government was actually altering, labeling their body, and we realize it is a violation of civil rights to have the government do this against your will. If we could just think about that, because sometimes you forget things like that. I really think of it as a civil right, that the government should not have so much power over you that they can put something in your body to identify you. And they do cause cancer and they can migrate as well."
The subcommittee decided to delay voting on Lynn's bill for a week, but Pith
predicts this will actually become law in Tennessee, joining the long list of wacky wingnuttery making it into the statute books under the new Republican majority in Tennessee.
In Virginia, the House is voting
on a bill like Lynn's. The Washington Post
reports it would ban employers or insurance companies from slapping a microchip into your scalp. Plus, it "might also save humanity from the antichrist." It's an anti-antichrist measure!