Questionable Beard

So this happened…

I’m passing through TSA, something I do about once a month, and I’m stopped and asked “Sir, is your Beard for religious reasons?” It’s very early in the morning and I am am in a hurry and my focus is getting through to grab a snack in the United Club Lounge prior to lining up at the gate. What the TSA agent said to me in my Known Traveler TSA Pre-Check express line didn’t register at the moment and I quickly blurted out “No, it is not” to which the agent replied “Ok” and let me pass on through.

It wasn’t until much later when I replayed the exchange in my mind that I realized what had actually happened. What if my answer was yes? I mean Fearsome is a rather large fellow. He stands out, really stands out. And so what if Fearsome is a Beard of religious reasons? He is an American citizen and last I checked these United States are a land with freedom of, and from, religion. Was I being profiled for having a Beard and possibly for having a religion? Is it a TSA agent’s business why Fearsome adorns my face or what religion I do, or do not, follow?

14 thoughts on “Questionable Beard

  1. Not surprised. This happened to the guy I work with. He even had his beard combed through once. Unrelated, Lady Bunny is NEVER out of drag. Its part of her allure to never be seen and see flies the globe traveling. Needless to say, she is search for some time……especially with her sky high hair. And where she is known, no problems.

  2. What exactly is a “religious” beard? And does yours go out to worship on Sundays, or Saturdays, while you sleep?

    Seriously, if I had a “religious” beard, and a TSA agent asked me if it was “religious” I would have said, “My beard is atheist, but my circumcision is religious. Wanna see it?”

    And I’d probably never get out of prison!

  3. I’m not surprised. That’s the main reason why I’m clean shaven most days. The last thing I want is some idiot officer trying to deport me to Mexico because he can.

  4. I think it was a question from some guy bored on his job. I wouldn’t read anything into it. And I wouldn’t mount a soapbox to inveigh against the evils of a surveillance state; the people you’re inveighing against are so bored that they’re willing to seize upon an overreaction as a cause for action on their part, thus breaking the monotony and justifying their careers.

    The best reaction, I think, is to look quizzical and say, “I’m not cutting it to get through line, if that’s what you mean.” The TSA would then have to say that, no, that’s not what they mean, and the subject is dropped.

    My own beard — forgive me for saying so — shames Fearsome for its beauty and presence. I have never once been questioned about religiosity by anyone, official or not. I don’t think this is an official TSA policy.

  5. I’ve been “selected” for random searches most every time I fly. I’m going to say it’s because of all my ink. And I’m sure now with the beard, well… that’s why I drive everywhere.

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