A Texas school district is planning to embed microchips in identification badges on two of its campuses, allowing administrators to track students’ locations. This is not sitting well with one student and her family, who has refused to use the card and taken her fight to federal court.

According to a Fox News story,

To 15-year-old Andrea Hernández, the tracking microchip embedded in her student ID card is a “mark of the beast,” sacrilege to her Christian faith — not to mention how it pinpoints her location, even in the school bathroom. … When Hernández and her parents balked at the so-called SmartID, the school agreed to remove the chip but still required her to wear the badge. The family refused on religious grounds, stating in a lawsuit that even wearing the badge was tantamount to “submission of a false god” because the card still indicated her participation.

Most people can understand the privacy concerns involved in having authorities know where you are during the day. But for many, the link is between tracking technology and Satan is less obvious.

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The answer is that many fundamentalist Christians believe that modern surviellance technologies are implemented by Satan through the U.S. government. According to a Bible pamphlet that has circulated widely for over a decade:

The Bible says that the mark of the beast and its accompanying technology will be installed by the Antichrist — not as an end in itself, but as a means of managing the new world order that is being created. The new world order will be a complicated system to administer, even for a man who can perform great “lying signs and wonders.” To track the movement of people, equipment, goods, and finances, it will take a sophisticated system that will enable the coming world ruler to control the global government, the universal monetary system, and the unified religion that together will comprise the new world order. … We’ve often wondered how the Antichrist could convince millions of people to receive his mark or his number. Your body is the only ID you’ll ever need. Today, leading-edge biometric technologies include fingerprint readers, hand-geometry machines, retinal readers, voice recognition systems, signature dynamics, and a myriad of others. In a world where cash is eliminated and every financial transaction is done electronically, security is the critical factor in both running the system and getting people to put their trust in it. Almost 2000 years since the prophecy was uttered, we are witnessing the birth of a cashless society and the ever-expanding use of microchip implants to track animals all over the world—a likely precursor to the Antichrist’s worldwide monitoring system of PEOPLE!! For the first time in history, the technology to easily fulfill this incredible prophecy exists. The equipment to track every person on earth and monitor most of their activities has already been developed.

The school district argues that it is not trying to invade students’ privacy (nor facilitate the rise of the Antichrist), but simply ensure that students are where they are legally required to be: in school.

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It’s also a financial issue. In Texas, school funding is adjusted according to daily attendance, and every student not in school means less money for the school district.

Hernández’s family has filed a lawsuit, joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, which considers the tracking to be a violation of citizen’s rights. The school district has asked that the case be moved to federal court, and arguments will be heard later this week.

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