Pastor Gene Lingerfelt of the Faith Christian Center in Arlington, Texas, says he was stopped in an airport on Oct. 31 by a TSA agent who inspected his Bible.
"I couldn’t believe it," Lingerfelt told Fox News conservative columnist Todd Starnes. "I literally couldn’t believe it."
Lingerfelt recalled that he and his wife were traveling to Cancun, Mexico, when they got in a TSA Pre-Check line for their bags:
That particular bag was filled with all of my cords -- charger cords, computer power cords -- in some airports like Heathrow -- I always get stopped.
This very nice young man starts going through and pulling out my computer, iPad, paperback books and then he came to my Bible.
According to Lingerfelt, the TSA agent ignored the tech gadgets, and started going through his Bible.
"I thought it was so strange," Lingerfelt said. "He fanned through the entire Bible and very nicely explained to us that we got stopped because of the Bible."
Starnes wrote: "Let that thought linger for just a moment -- an American pastor on American soil was stopped by a government agent because of a Bible."
Lingerfelt's wife, Suzanne, commented on the incident:
We’ve never had that kind of experience before. I was dumbfounded. I stood there and watched as he rifled through the pages. We always travel with our Bibles to read on trips or vacations. This was the first time something like this has ever happened.
"There was nothing in it except book marks and notes," Lingerfelt said.
"The pastor should’ve directed the government agent to the Gospel of John, chapter three and verse sixteen," Starnes said.
That Bible verse states: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The TSA agent returned the Bible to Lingerfelt, and he and his wife went on with their vacation trip.
"If they had confiscated my Bible, I’d be in jail," Lingerfelt added.
Starnes cheered: "Folks, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape and you never take a preacher’s Bible -- especially a preacher from Texas."
The Friendly Atheist notes:
They weren’t taking his Bible. That was never going to happen. His religion wasn’t the issue. The issue was someone bringing a large book, with the potential to hide something inside, onboard a plane. Once the Bible was confirmed to be nothing more than a book, there was no issue.