Archive for Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Jesus guide

November 26, 2002


To the editor:

"What would Jesus do?" strikes me as a pretty good question. Unfortunately, it mostly gets applied to matters of private sexual conduct that Jesus actually expressed little interest in. When applied to matters of real social importance, an uproar ensues :quot; which accurately measures the proportion of purely ceremonial and self-congratulatory content in modern American Christianity.

Thus, the contempt for the "what would Jesus drive" campaign expressed by pundits such as Tom Walsh (Nov. 24, LJW). Christians like him refuse to take the question seriously; instead, they are affronted. Apparently, Jesus should not be invoked in unexpected or nontraditional ways that challenge people on their chosen lifestyles; instead, Jesus should be invoked to reassure people that their traditions are right and everyone else is wrong.

Driving a car that, for example, produces excessive greenhouse gases really does raise ethical problems. Every relevant scientific organization has now affirmed that automobile exhaust is contributing significantly to global warming and many people will be hurt by the resulting climate changes. Jesus' example showed concern for the well-being of every human being, in this life as well as in the next. If you are concerned for all others, then you do need to consider the effects of the car you drive.

I'm not being a prig about this :quot; as it happens I drive an old gashog. I am only saying I recognize the question "what would Jesus drive" as a legitimate effort to make me rethink it.

David Burress,


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