Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thoughts on being profiled

I was rather astounded at being profiled at one of the airports I traveled through on my way back from jolly old England. It has taken me a few days to process exactly what I saw happening, so I have not blogged about it until now. I had to check some luggage, which they had to run through the big X-ray machine before putting it on the belt to be put in the cargo hold.

As they were running it through, one of the security officers told me to wait, in case they needed to unlock my suitcase. Sure enough, I could tell something was wrong because something in my bag apparently peeked their interest as they ran it through the X-ray contraption. The security officer asked me to unlock my bag, which I did. He proceeded to go to the stack of books I had in the bottom of my suitcase and pull out the two black religious looking books. One was a BCP, one was a Hebrew-English Torah I had bought to use for the Deuteronomy exegesis class I had been in at Westcott.

The officer carefully thumbed through both, reading carefully the content. I was at first curious at why those books could possibly have been of interest, and then it dawned on me. He was checking to see if I was carrying a Koran. I queried the officer and he knew immediately that I had figured out what he was doing. He mumbled something about "following procedure" before quickly stuffing the books back into my bag, ironically next to my seminarian clerical collar and the 4 hymnals I had bought.

Good thing I wasn't carrying something flamable like incense and a candle of Mary. I must be a BCP-carrying Episco-terrorist.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

You know the joke: the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is that you can negotiate with only one of them...

It was probably the hymnals that made him nervous.