Something happened yesterday thats actually quite rare. I found myself to be 100% in agreement with a position taken by the ACLU. As a Bible Believing Christian I am more often in disagreement with the ACLU's positions. Especially those regarding the so-called separation of church and state, and the all too frequent campaigns to restrict, limit or outright stop Christian expression and Christian activity. This issue however, is one that will impact everyone.
As an introduction, there is a flash movie (not too big, 300K to 500K or so, use Mozilla or similar modern browser to view it.) This movie shows the 'point of sale' screen at a pizza place in the near future. The sound track is the phone call of a customer trying to order a pizza. Following the conversation and watching the screen, you see that a caller ID system retrieves the national ID number associated with the caller's telephone number and retrieves their file. This allows the person taking the order to access a LOT of information about every aspect of the customer's life because it has all been combined in a master database.
In such a scenario the first thing that comes to mind is that there is little to no possibility of privacy at all. Every transaction is connected to the national ID number and recorded in the database.
The problem is that this scenario is not so far from coming true as most people believe. What the ACLU no doubt does not believe and Christians should be able to see is that this is clearly the kind of technology that will be associated with the mark of the beast spoken of Revelation 13.
The "national ID number" will be encoded in an almost microscopic RFID chip which is then implanted in your hand or forehead.
Phones, store checkouts, freeway toll booths, and almost any place you might do business with or go to would have readers that can detect the unique identifier on the RFID chip.
You make a purchase, borrow a book at the library, rent a video, enter a store or mall and each time the number on your chip is detected and recorded along with all of the relevant details from the date and time to what you bought and where you've been.
The Bible fortells that such a system will be put in place, and that the penalty for not accepting this mark is death. It also states that in addition to accepting this mark, people will be required to finally and totally reject God and in so doing seal their fate in the lake of fire. Once this mark is accepted, there is no changing your mind, There is no more chance for salvation.
To watch the flash movie, paste this url into your web browser and make sure that your sound is turned on. (you will need to have a shockwave flash plugin to see the movie, but there is one for every browser that I know about. odds are good that you've already got it.)
The "Take Action" link at the end of the movie brings you to a brief article (quoted below)
One day something like this *IS* going to be put into effect and when that happens this movie and article (and others like them no doubt) will be circulated far and wide with the message "See! We TOLD you the Bible said this would happen!"
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Urge Congress to Defang the Matrix
A dangerous program - ominously called the Matrix - is being proposed by a handful of states in conjunction with the federal government. Unfortunately it's no Hollywood invention -- this Matrix would compile your personal information into a giant database that law enforcement agents and government contractors can use to search through information about your private life and investigate your activities.
Our elected officials must stop this program from being implemented. They also need to ensure that our federal tax dollars will not continue to fund such invasive initiatives.
According to news reports and internal government documents, the Matrix (which stands for "Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange") is an effort to combine state government records, such as driver's license information, with commercially available data to create a vast database capable of compiling and analyzing a profile of every American.
While the private company that runs the program has been very secretive about what data MATRIX contains, government sources report that it includes names and address of family members, property ownership, marine vessels, bankrupcies, liens and judgments, voter registrations, and criminal offender information. However, given the amount of information that is available in today's commercial databases, even more details of our private lives might be captured and catalogued. Indeed, the Matrix materials boast of having access to 20 billion records.
Only a handful of states are currently participating in this program. However, its implications are dire and we must ensure that our tax dollars are not being used to fund this dangerous program.
* The database will collect and centralize an amazing array of your personal information. News reports indicate that the database would include driver's license photographs, the names and addresses of family members, gun licenses, voter registration, court records and a vast array of other private details. And, just as there are errors in credit reports, this giant database will be compiled with information from a multitude of error-prone sources. Incorrect information could bring you to the attention of the authorities even if you have not done anything wrong.
* The program is expensive, soaking up badly needed funds from more worthy causes. At a time when state and federal budgets are facing hard times, there is little justification for spending scarce funds on this spying program. With an unknown total cost, this program diverts funds from more effective anti-terrorism initiatives.
* The information will not only be used for fighting terrorism. Contrary to its proponents assertions, internal documents have shown that Matrix will be used for "datamining" of our personal records for law enforcement fishing expeditions. Creating a program to combine separate, independently available databases of information on innocent Americans is not merely a "technological advancement," but a body blow to the core American principle that the government will leave people alone unless it has good reason to suspect them of wrongdoing.