An interesting story about religious freedom in America came across my screen today. A federal court in Texas is deciding the case of a high school sophomore in San Antonio who refuses to wear a school ID that she claims is “the mark of the beast.” The evangelical student believes that ID card, which tracks students’ locations while on campus and is needed to buy lunch or check out library books, is a sign of submission to the Antichrist. The Northside Independent School District, which issued the IDs, receives federal funding based on the number of students who are in attendance each day. By locating students on campus but not in their seats when attendance is taken, the under-funded district will increase their revenues by about $1.5 million per year.
While there are many people around the country concerned that the RFID tags infringe on students’ privacy, for Andrea Hernandez the matter is one faith and religious freedom. Testifying in court today, Andrea’s father Steven Hernandez explained how important the matter is to the family. He said supporting the program “would compromise our salvation for NISD to make some money.”
The court will decide this week on Hernandez’ situation, but not on the RFID program as a whole.