Kaye Beach, a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, no longer has a valid driver’s license. The choice to give it up, she maintains, was a forced sacrifice she made to protect and maintain religious views. See, Beach is convinced that the photo and information (biometric) that is collected for state licenses is the beginning of the “mark of the beast,” a sign of the Antichrist that is mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Revelation (it is commonly referred to as “666”).
While at first she ignored her concerns surrounding the information that was being collected, she eventually doubled down and, in 2011, she was unable to get a license after refusing to take a photo, give a finger print and take other steps to solidify the renewal. For the past two years, she has been engaged in legal action, claiming that the process and the mandated data collection violate her religious rights.
“My license came up for renewal in 2011 and I literally sat there and said, ‘I can’t do it,'” Beach told KFOR-TV. “The bottom line for me as a Christian was that I believe that the Bible clearly warns us against being enrolled in a global system of identification and financial control that ties to our bodies.”
At the center of the debate is biometric photography, which eHow describes as an identification card or passport that is “embedded with electronic chips that store information about the passport holder, including their digitally mapped face.” Clearly, this storage of information is seen as immensely troubling to Beach and her supporters.
KFOR-TV has more about her story:
Beach believes that the information that is being collected will eventually lead to a situation in which identity theft runs rampant. Additionally — and on a more personal note — she also contends that licenses and identity cards will inevitably turn into electronic chips or tattoos. These elements, of course, would contain personal information that is now reserved for and held within identification cards.
Constitutionally, she believes that her religious views have been impeded upon and that the the government is violating her right not to undergo unreasonable search and seizure. A group called the Constitutional Alliance, a non-profit organization, is supporting her legal battle. She is also represented by the Rutherford Institute, a civil rights legal firm that provides representation free-of-charge.
The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an Oklahoma woman who has been denied accommodation of her sincerely held religious objection to having a high-resolution biometric photograph used on her driver’s license. In filing suit against the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS), Rutherford Institute attorneys contend that the state’s demand for a biometric photograph as a condition of being licensed to drive violates Kaye Beach’s rights under the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act and the provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution forbidding unreasonable searches and seizures.
John W. Whitehead, founder and president of Rutherford Institute, spoke out at the time, noting that, in the end, it doesn’t matter if the license requirements are truly the “mark of the beast” or just an act taken by “Big Brother.” Either way, he maintained that the outcome is exactly the same — “ultimate control by the government.”
“As Kaye Beach’s case makes clear, failing to have a biometric card can render you a non-person for all intents and purposes, with your ability to work, travel, buy, sell, access health care, and so on jeopardized,” he continued.
The case certainly raises questions about whether biometric imagery should be mandated — and whether there should be religious exemptions for those who oppose it. However some would argue that in an era of terror, these images, which offer authorities important information, are a national security necessity (we’ve covered these issues in the past).
Featured Image Credit: KFOR-TV
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