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letter to the editor, Baltimore Sun: Giving the state its micrograms of flesh

Letter to the Editor, Baltimore Sun:

What strange world does Governor O'Malley inhabit, where the state taking flesh from citizens is "noninvasive" ("O'Malley urges DNA collection", February 14, 2008)? Ignoring for the moment the massive privacy concerns that DNA collection raises, there is a much more fundamental issue here: the sovereignty of the state ends at my skin. The government has no legitimate authority to compel citizens who have not been convicted of a crime to undergo any medical procedure, however minor.

Jesus of Nazareth had a pretty good take on the question of how far the legitimate authority of government goes: "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's; and unto God what is God's." Our bodies may or may not be "temples" of some deity, but they certainly are not Caesar's, for him to demand any amount of flesh from us, for any purpose.

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