An Inclusive Litany

11/26/02

A group called the Evangelical Environmental Network initiated an advertising campaign asking the question, "What Would Jesus Drive?" The answer, of course, is not a sport utility vehicle. According to the Reverend Jim Ball, who leads the effort, "Jesus wants his followers to drive the least-polluting, most efficient vehicle that truly meets their needs—though first he might look at other ways to get around. He'd definitely be in favor of us taking public transportation."

[Ed.: Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press suggests that Jesus would have benefitted from a 15-passenger van, to help shuttle around his twelve apostles.

Note that fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be lighter, and less safe in crashes. A Harvard/Brookings study concludes that efforts to meet fuel-efficiency standards cause 4,000 needless deaths each year, something that might have concerned Jesus.

Reporting on the campaign on ABC News, anchorman Peter Jennings said: "We are going to take a closer look tonight at the latest pressure on car manufacturers to be more fuel efficient—from the Bush administration and from, yes, conservative Christians." But Brent Bozell of the genuinely conservative Media Research Center points out that the group is closely tied with the National Council of Churches, which has often praised Fidel Castro and fought hard to send Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba.

A subsequent ad campaign patterned after anti-drug ads likened SUV drivers to unwitting terrorist sponsors. And of course Ralph Nader referred to them as "weapons of mass destruction."]

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