Covering the Progressive Faith Community

10 June

Thistlethwaite on Privacy, Security and Religion

In today’s Washington Post, Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite (@sbthistle) discusses privacy and security, in light of recent NSA news.  She notes how these issues applied to Jesus, teaching under Roman occupation and the watch of the Jewish elite, and reminds us of more recent spying on domestic activists, from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Occupy movement. Says Thistlethwaite:

Is our privacy really at odds with our security? I would contend that privacy or security is a false premise. Privacy helps create real security, the security from political and even religious tyranny over our thoughts and actions. Privacy is a social space free from public oversight and interference, and it has been a key incubator for the forms of dissent that enable people to create movements that change their society for the better, in fact to reform it.

She concludes:

The key point is that whether in politics or in religion, privacy has functioned as a way dissenting groups could formulate their views and organize to challenge oppressive policies. I believe it has been, and in my view, will continue to be our real security from tyranny and the ultimate guarantor of democracy.

President Obama has invited us all to debate the privacy versus security issue. Let’s really have this debate. It is crucial.

Read the whole thing.

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