This is the first part of Chapter 1 of the book, to give you an idea of it. :)
I rush through the airport hoping I don’t miss my plane. The line at security is longer than I expected. Sigh. Finally I place my shoes, watch and phone in the gray tub. Dangit. I forgot I wasn’t checking my bag, and the agent has taken my little bottle of hair glaze. Now I’ll have to buy another when I get home.
And I wonder through it all how effective this is against terrorist attacks.
Now, let’s get this straight. The last thing I want is another 9/11, and I will happily comply with whatever means will prevent that. Done.
But I can’t help asking the question: are these the means that will counter terror? Are these random searches, shoe scans and limited liquids the best we’ve got? It turns out they are not.
It turns out much of this is simply theater. Security Theater. These measures are in place to make us feel secure. As we scan our shoes, we feel confident that if anyone tries to pull that shoebomb stunt again, he will be caught. But real security comes from intelligence. Inside information that none of us see. Background information and observation. The classic image is a casino. A casino has no sign of security, but just try to pull a fast one and security enforcement will come out of nowhere.
A casino doesn’t need to feel secure, but it needs to be secure. Air travel needs to be secure and feel secure (or people won’t travel).
Security theater, then, is designed to help us feel safe to travel. Real security is designed to prevent terrorist attacks. Both are necessary for people to choose to fly, but they are different. This book is a journey of separating real security from security theater.
As we raise our children into adulthood, we wonder how we’ll keep them from the terrors of a world gone mad. What security checks will prevent those dangers we dread? How do we get perspective on danger without overreacting (living in fear) or underreacting (being oblivious)? We want to secure our children without entrapping them. (Come to think of it, we’d like to feel secure without sacrificing our freedom.)
As our five children grew up, we watched other church and homeschool families for direction. (That’s the first mistake, right?) But we had no other example, and we longed to “do the right thing.” Those other buttoned up, tucked in families looked like a magazine cover. We knew we hadn’t cleaned the kitchen, and we’d fought on the way to church. Other families looked like something from Beverly Hills; we felt like the Beverly Hillbillies.
We parents put enormous pressure on ourselves to measure up. Jesus does not do this to us—we do it because we do not trust that we will hear His voice, even though He said we would. When we compare our worst to others’ best, we can’t help feeling defeated. We turn to Security Theater, hoping the rules will restrain our kids, though we still see pregnancies, drugs and suicide in strong, Christian families. The security measures aren’t working. But what else is there? Is it possible to step off this performance wheel? As it turns out, it is.
I have taught this material to parents who find relief from the enormous burden of security theater (the need to put rules in place despite the evidence that rules don’t work).
If your child is young, you got this book at the right time. If you have teens or young adults, you will find that this will help your relationship blossom. Even if you don’t have kids, you will find freedom for yourself. This is about you, because a parenting journey starts with the parent, and a personal journey begins with you.