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What if a person believes he sees something that looks like a duct, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, has webbed feet, and has a sign on its back saying “I am a duck?” What if he acts as if what he is looking at is actually a duck? The Bible tells of a woe coming upon society where there will be a ‘number’ that a beast will require people to receive/render in order to do things necessary in the ordinary course of life and business (“buy and sell”). The scripture indicates that it is a mystery and provides a sort of cipher. The number is the number of a man and that number is six hundred, three score and six (666).
“The Social Security Act does not require a person to have a Social Security number to live and work in the United States, nor does it require a Social Security number simply for the purpose of having one.”* Notwithstanding this truth, nearly every employer, realtor, stock broker, banker, etc. acts as if they believe they must deny employment or services to people from whom they cannot obtain a Social Security Account record number that, without any law, is treated as if it is an element of each participant’s identity. Since 1996, section 666 of the federal welfare code mandates states require each applicant for a professional, occupational, recreational, driver’s or marriage license to identify themselves with a SSN on the license application.
The same year that Congress created welfare code section 666, they instituted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). That statute provides protection for a person who would object to a government requirement because of religion, unless the government can “demonstrate” a compelling governmental interest that would trump the person’s practice of religion. The test of what constitutes a “compelling governmental interest” has not been delineated in American law. In this case, as in similar cases across the country, the government says that welfare code section 666’s general interest in tracking deadbeat dads is so significant that it must have uniform compliance without any consideration for individual exceptions for religion. Their position goes contrary to the RFRA which requires that the ‘compelling governmental interest’ must relate to the particular ‘person’ who requests accommodation rather than to the government‘s interest in general.
The U.S. Treasury department has ordered every bank to refuse banking to anyone who will not identify themselves by a SSN under the guise of the USA PATRIOT Act which does not require identification with a SSN. Like in the case with trying to get a driver’s license, the government staunchly fights against the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when a person asks for a religious accommodation.
This issue is is extremely important for religious freedom. We are, without any option, standing against the giant juggernaut bureaucratic beast.
* Charles H. Mullen, Social Security Associate Commissioner, Office of Public Inquiries, Charles H. Mullen, April 11, 2003 letter.
Editorial - Free Country or Frogs In A Pot?