Sunday, March 21, 2010


Well, It Keeps Them From Doing Anything Important

Now there's this:

Last month, Virginia lawmaker Mark Cole, a Fredericksburg Republican, sponsored a bill in the House of Delegates to prohibit the involuntary implantation of microchips into human beings. "My understanding—I'm not a theologian—but there's a prophecy in the Bible that says you'll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times," said Cole. "Some people think these computer chips might be that mark."

In spite of some ridicule, Cole's bill passed the Virginia House of Delegates by an overwhelming 88-9 majority—because, as his fellow Republican David B. Albo opined, "The fact that some people who support it are a little wacky doesn't make it a bad idea."

... Yet the technology to embed radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips into animals and people has existed since the early nineties, and so far no one has attempted a forced implantation of the populace.

There are, of course, purely secular reasons against forced implantation of RFID chips and in favor of policies that particularly protect the truly vulnerable. But the true impetus behind these laws (give Cole points for honesty here) appears to lie squarely in Christian dispensationalism and speculation about "the mark of the beast" described in the Book of Revelation.

... The first person to suggest that the mark of the beast could be a microchip may have been Peter Lalonde in his One World Under Anti-Christ (1991). However, the association of microchip technology with the mark of the beast was thoroughly hammered into the American consciousness by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins' bestselling Left Behind Series. The eighth installment of the series, The Mark (2000), describes how the Antichrist's new world order will require everyone to be implanted with a microchip or be guillotined by a "loyalty enforcement facilitator."

Legislators acting based on fiction? Naw! That couldn't be!

Advocating laws because they will hinder the actions of the Antichrist, as preposterous as it seems, is made possible by a highly-politicized American subculture that has been profoundly influenced by the dispensationalist imagination. It is not an accident that the sponsors of anti-microchip legislation have admitted their concern about the mark of the beast. By making clear that their concerns are not purely secular, these legislators are able to build support from an energized evangelical base. Opponents can mock these politicians as paranoiacs, but among voters who have read The Mark, concern about the Antichrist is a political asset, not a liability.

Lord help us!

If they really believe the prophecy, wouldn't their silly bill make no difference? The idea is doubly idiotic.
And I'm sure none of these people ever use a credit card, or pay tolls with an electronic dashboard transmitter, or use a shopping preferred card to get discounts at the register or have a smart phone with GPS.
Honestly, an implanted microchip isn't science fiction, it's just redundant.
If I run into one of those folk, I'll just tell them that it's too late, we've all been implanted already but it will only show up on a full-body scan, and it can take two or three of them before you can be sure you've spotted it.

Perhaps the unnecessary treatment that results will keep them from doing further harm to the public weal.
While I can't think of why anyone would actually do it, I don't suppose there's harm in the prohibition. I'm pretty much against anything being inserted into my body involuntarily, as long as it's not for emergency medical purposes.
Like ID cards, implanted chips will always be voluntary assuming any government sees an advantage in them.

I oppose ID cards, but still have to have one. If I don't I can't drive, open a bank accouny and so on.

So if a government decides it wants to chip people like cattle it'll just use the same coercive methods. But it will be voluntary.

I actually like this law, but it shouldn't have had the voluntary bit on it.

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