Many people who would not otherwise consider themselves civil libertarians are becoming more and more skeptical about the ever increasing presence of surveillance and “security” in public places. Anyone who has travelled by air recently may have noticed that there are often more TSA agents in a terminal than passengers. While the TSA is not the only intrusive governmental agency that is impacting the lives of ordinary citizens, it is one of the most visible and personally violative that the average person contacts regularly. Here are some interesting thoughts on the now almost universal ritual of removing one’s shoes prior to clearing “security” at an airport.

Writes Katherine Grossman:

"I enjoyed the December 2 podcast -Lew Rockwell Attacked By A Parasite. Something occurred to me while I was listening to your response to the caller about removing shoes for the TSA and I wanted to share it with you. Removing shoes may be an old CIA intimidation tactic — but it has an older history and symbolic meaning that I didn't know if you were aware of.

I’m Syrian Orthodox Christian. And among very traditional Orthodox Christians and Coptic Christians there is a pious tradition of removing our shoes before entering a church or receiving the sacraments of The Eucharist, Confession or Holy Unction. Of course Muslims remove their footwear also before entering a Mosque (they learned it from us).

The removal of shoes upon entering a church is because we are walking upon Holy ground. But the removal of footwear also has another deeper symbolic meaning — it signifies a slave. As Christians we are a slaves to sin, but we are also the humble and unworthy servants and handmaidens to our Lord and Master — Jesus Christ.

Apparently airports have become 'holy ground' and those who must pass through security are no more than slaves. I can’t help but wonder why it took me so long to make the connection. Thanks for helping me with a new insight