When I lived in Beijing I operated under the assumption that someone was always watching or listening to my conversations. My friends and I would jokingly talk into the pepper shaker in restaurants, but also we would seriously examine each letter for signs it had been opened and resealed, talk in code in those letters and on the phone, play background music and whisper when studying the Bible with a Chinese friend, and go out at night with hoods up when traveling to a sensitive meeting.
I never dreamed that twenty years later my government would concede that it has been listening in on conversations made by Americans and leaders around the world. This surveillance doesn’t worry me personally like it bothered me in Beijing, because I have nothing to hide from our government. But that could change. Yesterday Cornerstone announced it joined Dort College in suing the government for the right not to include abortion inducing drugs in its insurance plan (similar suits have been filed by Wheaton, Biola, and Notre Dame). If we lose this one, the die will be cast on our right not to hire a practicing homosexual. So it may not be too long before our government might be very interested in what some of us are saying.
We were probably ethnocentrically naïve, but our saving grace in Beijing was that we figured the government was too inept to do much even if it wanted to hurt us. With the current debacle of Obamacare, that also might be a bright spot here in America. The government might oppose us, a little now and a lot more in the future, but it consists entirely of frail humans. Not much to be afraid of, yet.