Pro-Convenience or Anti-Religion?

There's a biblical passage about the use of parts of the body to control resources. And the Wood County Board Of Education has been told that's why a system to keep track of students paying for lunch could be anti-Christian.

"It's a constant issue of replacing lunch cards and people losing them," says Superintendent Bill Niday, "or someone else losing a lunch card and charging a meal to your account. So we felt we had to try this to see if this would improve accuracy and efficiency of what we're doing with our food service program."

But this method of electronically scanning fingerprints to identify students, has been criticized by local pastor Tim Burch as possibly violating a biblical passage.

"It certainly wasn't an idea we had heard of before we implemented this process," Niday says. "Yes, that was new to us, and we had not heard that before."

Kent Boone, pastor of the North Parkersburg Baptist Church explains it is an issue with certain Christians.

"We have a concern that when there's something on our body that's used to regulate resources, whether it's food or anything, because there are prophecies and revelations that talk about the end times," Pastor Boone says, "and that the Anti-Christ would institute a system that would control resources, and would have the power of life and death over an individual because it would control whether you eat or not."

Pastor Boone says the issue is one which the North Parkersburg Baptist Church would discuss, but not take a stand on itself.

"I think there's no ill will intended in any of this, but it does raise a concern in some folks that maybe it is the beginning of some slippery slope," Pastor Boone says. "It bears too many resemblances to some things you would find in prophecies."

Superintendent Niday says the program has been tried this year in several junior high schools, as well as Parkersburg High School.

And Denise and Abby, if it's successful, it could be expanded to other schools next year.


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