Religious Right radio host Janet Mefferd apparently believes that Christians should be exempt from being searched by TSA inspectors, as she seems quite mystified as to why the TSA would bother to examine pastor’s copy of the Bible.
On her radio program yesterday, Mefferd reacted to Todd Starnes’ latest column about how anti-Christian “persecution” in America is now taking the form of a pastor having his Bible searched while going through security at an airport. Starnes wrote on Tuesday about the experience of Texas megachurch pastor Gene Lingerfelt, who was shocked that the TSA searched his belongings before a recent flight:
At that point, the government agent set aside all the tech gadgets and began rifling through the pastor’s Bible.
“I thought it was so strange,” Dr. Lingerfelt told me. “He fanned through the entire Bible and very nicely explained to us that we got stopped because of the Bible.”
Let that thought linger for just a moment – an American pastor on American soil was stopped by a government agent because of a Bible.
Did the TSA suspect the Lingerfelts were smuggling the Good Book through its checkpoint?
“We’ve never had that kind of experience before,” Mrs. Lingerfelt told me. “I was dumbfounded. I stood there and watched as he rifled through the pages.”
“We always travel with our Bibles to read on trips or vacations,” she said. “This was the first time something like this has ever happened.”
Mefferd was likewise nonplussed by the tale.
“It is quite disconcerting to be told by a TSA agent, ‘Because you had a Bible, we had to stop you and go through it,'” she said. “What are they afraid of in a Bible? What do they think they’re going to find in a Bible that’s going to be of any danger whatsoever to anybody on an airplane?”
Mefferd then proceeded to inadvertently undermine her own mystified outrage when she noted that she does not carry a physical copy of her Bible when she travels “because it’s so heavy; I tend to have very big Bibles and they’re very heavy to carry.”
Gee, did it ever occur to her that maybe TSA agents might think that a very large, heavy book could possibly serve as a handy way to try and smuggle explosives or weapons or other contraband onto an airplane and therefore should probably be closely inspected, regardless of whether that book is a Bible or a dictionary or a copy of “War and Peace”?