Written by Sherry
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 08:12
Here's an issue that I'll be living with. What do you think of the proposed "full body scanning" at major airports?
Sister Anne Flanagan of Chicago has a thought-provoking perspective in her essay: Full-body scanning: a religious question?.
"I'm beginning to realize that it's (to use language from Pope John Paul II) a “theology of the body” thing.
I object to full body scanning because I believe that, with the level of detail it offers (even if in silhouette), it violates what Pope John Paul called the spousal meaning of the body.
The body's design itself makes it clear that we are meant for an "other", and we generally choose that "other" with care, because we are vulnerable in revealing ourselves.
Even at the doctor's office, we don't go full frontal unless that is precisely where our health is in question. (That's why they give you that crazy paper outfit.) Self-revelation in the body is a lovely (in the full sense of the word), intimate gift. Because the body is meant for communion. Always.
It is not true that our body is just a sort of envelope for a sexlessly generic soul, or that it is a strange animal-like appendage to the "important," spiritual part, but that really doesn't matter in itself (although plenty of people in our culture seem to think this). We ought to be alert to the tremendous significance of being "bodied persons": God became incarnate so he could relate to us in this very human way!
So there's something really not right, in my book, with a "revelation" of the body that takes place anonymously, apart from personal communion, in which I am being revealed to someone I cannot see or know; whose reaction I cannot gauge; whose trustworthiness with the sacredness of my body's image I am asked to take on the good faith of the United States' Transportation Security Administration."
How would you respond to Sr. Anne's question. What do you want to say to the TSA?