Fighting the Biblical Beast in Texas: Evangelical Kindergarten Teacher Challenges Fingerprinting as a Sign of the Biblical Beast

180px-The_number_of_the_beast_is_666_Philadelphia,_Rosenbach_Museum_and_LibraryAn evangelical Christian kindergarten teacher has sued Texas to contest the state’s right to require her to submit to fingerprinting. Pam McLaurin, however, is not alleging privacy or contractual violations. She is alleging that fingerprinting is the Mark of the Beast foretold in the Book of Revelations and thus violates her religious beliefs. It turns out that the Beast has laid the foundations for its Kingdom on Earth in the Texas Education Agency.

McLaurin is challenging the requirement of fingerprinting to get her certification under state law as part of a background check. She has already taught at the Big Sandy School District in Dallardsville for 20 years.

Her complaint states that “[McLaurin] does not believe that it is just coincidence that Revelations speaks about only those with the ‘mark on his forehead or finger’ will be able to buy or sell, since only those teachers that comply with the fingerprinting requirements will maintain their jobs.” She specifically cites Revelations 13:16-17 and 14:9-11.

Let’s go to the source, shall we?

Revelations 13:16-17 states:

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,

17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Revelations 14:9-11 states:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

Now, from personal experience in teaching, I can say that the passage “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image” is a reference to the tenure and promotion process.

The good thing is that the Bible does allow for unspecified damages and declaratory and injunctive relief from the defendants, including the Texas Education Agency, Texas State Board of Educator Certification, Commissioner Robert Scott and Associate Commissioner Jerel Booker. That is so much more practical that wiping them out with the jawbone of an ass. (Judges 15:14-17)

Of course, McLaurin’s theory would indicate that she is working for an agency already in league with the Beast. The decision of the Beast to use the TEA was a brilliant ploy. Notably, its website does contain a suspicious “StarChart” program and a mysterious project called the Texas Tomorrow Fund — one can only wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Now, I do not want to freak anyone out, but I have looked more closely at this Texas-style TEA beast. It cannot be an accident that the recommended temperature for white tea is 66 C or that it was introduced in places like Korea in 661, here. Indeed, there are the strange rock outcroppings called “The Devil’s Tea Table,” here, and even Devil’s Tea recipes, here. One has to be blind to miss the signs.

By the way, McLaurin’s claim is not unique. Her case is similar to a lawsuit by a group of Michigan farmers, some of them Amish, challenging rules requiring the tagging of. Amish farmers have contested the required use of RFID chips on livestock as the mark of the Beast (on beasts), here. A judge, however, recently dismissed that claim, here.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have also alleged discovery of the Biblical beast and the marking of hands in a prior column.

Now here is the Biblical kicker. Wayne Haglund, the lawyer for the Big Sandy Independent School District, actually supports McLaurin in her claim and believes that she has a legitimate religious claim. He insists that the district is “caught in the crossfire” of having to carry out the state law. So let me get this straight. Haglund believes that it is a legitimate and protected religious practice to believe that fingerprinting is a sign of the Beast and thus a teacher or potential teacher can decline to be checked in a computer system for felons. This is the case even though that Bible actually states that “The second beast of Revelation 13 will cause ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads.” Fingerprinting does not leave a mark on your hand or forehead. It leaves it on a piece of paper that is then digitized. Under this bizarre interpretation, any ink, lotion, or impression left by McLaurin’s fingers could constitute a sign of the Beast. However, she is willing to take a photo and presumably a optic scanner or other imagining picture. Thus, what if the state simply takes a picture of her fingerprints directly on a digitized scanner? How is that different from asking her to take a high-resolution picture?

As we saw recently, some teachers are objecting to the required submission of DNA material for employment, here. While this objection is made on privacy (and logic) grounds, would McLaurin view DNA samples as a sign of the Beast?

Ironically, the resistance to large data banks of tracking and identification information is being opposed by liberals and evangelicals — albeit for vastly different reasons:

Privacy, however, remains a better basis for opposing some government intrusions than lunacy. How an image left on a paper is a credible belief of a mark left on a body is beyond me. While the school district may find this a credible claim, I doubt the courts would give it any more credence than the Amish farmers seeking to prevent farm beasts from being given the Sign of the Beast.

For the story, click here.

22 thoughts on “Fighting the Biblical Beast in Texas: Evangelical Kindergarten Teacher Challenges Fingerprinting as a Sign of the Biblical Beast”

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  2. I’ve always imagined that St John got hold of some truly wicked mushrooms on Patmos and had the trip of a lifetime. When he returned to terra firma he wrote a book filled with strange fantasies, horrific visions, not to mention some of the queeniest rants ever published. His depiction of Heaven — walls of jasper, gates of pearl and streets of gold — is something only Liberace (or someone whose last name is Divine) could have dreamed up. The ghoulish business with the “Mark of the Beast” could have originated with Edgar A. Poe, Stephen King, or Charles Addams.

    Yet, for all the obvious insanity in John’s Revelation, its twin promises of a happier life “over Jordan” and eternal torment for all the “other” people have given a measure of peace and assurance to many believers; they made it possible for the saints to endure the pain and suffering of this life.

    Centuries from now, if some brave, forward-thinking church council moves to strip the book from the canon (and it almost didn’t make in to begin with), there will be riots, schisms, and even louder predictions of imminent apocalypse. Sadly, there will always be a market for such inhuman and ungodly mythology. It’s healthier for youngsters to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny than be exposed to this stuff.

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