April 18th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers cheer efforts of naked TSA protester

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We last spoke of jets carrying shuttles and planes dodging Venus, and we're venturing skyward again (after the security check) with this story of a man who stripped naked at Portland International Airport in Oregon to protest TSA searches. Many of our readers have hailed him as some sort of unclothed hero, while others aren't sure about the value of being naked in public.

Police: Man strips naked at Oregon airport in TSA protest

CNN has already spoken with John Brennan, the naked flier, and we found him apparently commenting on the story about the incident. One of the posts gave this advice:

John Brennan: "Always smile for your mug shot. I look so grim, but I'd never been to jail before."

From our other readers, this was the most-liked comment:

Anex: "While it sucks for the people who had to wait because of him, or the children's/passerby's poor eyes, I respect what he did. His protest was non-violent and just shows the general sentiment of airport security."

USA401: "Yes but it is also illegal to be naked in public and refusing to cooperate. Lets face it, those are two things we want to keep as laws."

Many of our readers said people need to calm down and realize that airport security is a necessity.

collagekid: "Get off your high horse and deal with it. If you dont want to fly because the TSA may feel you are hiding something or have cause to search you then don't fly. Its your right not to; however, when you purchase a ticket I feel you give up your right to some of those privacies and liberties. I have no problem with TSA doing whatever and whenever to ensure that they can prevent someone from inflicting harm on an airplane or worse. The truth is, when they search children or people in wheelchairs, they do it because there are people out there who are disturbed enough to strap a bomb to a child!"

A few readers with knowledge about Portland's local laws had a different take.

Clay Pratt: "I am amazed he was arrested in a city they allows a mass public naked bike ride right through it's most congested and populated business districts every year. Portland has no laws against public nudity. They do have laws regarding lewd behavior while nude, though they would not apply to this mans behaviors."

Some of the people who responded said nudity isn't such a bad thing.

in13deep: "Is it wrong that I would rather my children see a naked human being standing up for his rights than seeing fellow human beings being treated as suspects and cattle? If you hide your children's eyes from anything, it should be mommy and daddy being treated not as free men but as slaves to the system."

yalesouth: "Ridiculous. Mommy and daddy could have driven if they did not want to go through security. I agree that at times it seems superfluous, but you have no right to fly if you do not submit."

This person claimed to have unknowingly snuck banned items through security.

Chips_Handon: "A while ago I traveled from Chicago O'hare to Minneapolis-St. Paul and back while unknowingly carrying two live rounds of rifle ammunition in my backpack that I had failed to clear out after a day at the range. I found them after the trip and I was shocked that neither airport identified the ammunition on my way through. It was then that I realized that the TSA workers are so jaded about their jobs that they're just looking for the standard toothpaste and hairspray to confiscate because real threats never occur. The only thing the TSA is good for is offering exciting job opportunities for perverts and amassing the worlds largest collection of nail clippers. We are no safer because of them."

One reader said he thinks the whole situation is a bit ironic.

GuyIncognito26: "So, Uncle Sam only likes seeing you naked when it's against your will? When you do it willingly it's a crime. Gotcha."

Another replied to the above comment thusly:

lifeandliberty2012: "It is protests of this nature which sends a message to governments and to tyrants of every sort. Elected or otherwise. He made it clear that them seeing him naked would be on his and not their terms. It is the last act of dignity of a free man who will choose to voluntarily die or unclothe instead of being forced to. Tyrants fail when people protest by making it clear who is in control of them. It is the last and most provocative act of protest that any man can muster. It is to send a message that you may be able to beat me, you may be able to arrest me, you may even be able to kill me but you will never destroy my spirit. A bully may be able to physically and institutionally dominate their victims but they lose when they can not destroy our spirits and our thirst for liberty."

Another said they don't understand why some other commenters were using words like "tyranny."

CaptnKirk: "If you think just getting groped is tyranny, give up your U.S. citizenship and go live in Iran for a year or two then give us your assessment of tyranny."

Hmmm ... idea.

Buddharoddy: "I say they have a naked line. It would move pretty fast."

What's your take on this story? Would you ever get naked for a cause? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Albert Pratt

    Taking away the post button, that scared

    April 25, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
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