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July 03, 2007

Another Roadmap to Heaven

The Vatican, concerned about the growing phenomenon of road rage and vehicle accident fatalities, has released the document "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road", which includes a new set of "Ten Driving Commandments":

  1. You shall not kill.
  2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
  3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
  4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
  5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
  6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
  7. Support the families of accident victims.
  8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
  9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
  10. Feel responsible toward others.

All in all, a fairly sensible set of rules that anyone with a moral compass and respect for fellow human beings should know anyway.  But these commandments were issued by today's Vatican, not God Almighty -- so I feel quite safe in taking some pot shots at their list. Take Commandment #5, for instance. I'm destined to burn in hell for violating that one. Bless me Father, for I have sinned -- I lust after the latest BMW Z8, a Prius, or anything cooler than my old minivan.  And who hasn't used their vehicle as an occasion of sin while steaming up some car windows with a fellow sinner?

Furthermore, I think there are quite a few commandments that the Vatican left out. If you're going to issue a set of driving commandments, shouldn't there be some that deal with the impact on the environment, such as:

  • Thou Shalt Not Drive Smoke-Belching, Gas-Guzzling Hummers
  • Thou Shalt Not Throw Litter out of the Car Window
  • Keep Holy the Smog Check

And for that matter, how about some that deal with the behavior of families and kids in the car? This being a parenting blog, I'm sure we could think of one or two:

  • Thou shalt not mutter profanities at other drivers when the children are listening
  • Thou shalt not unbuckle thy seatbelt to chase after the Legoman that rolled onto the floor
  • Thou shalt never utter to the driver the words "Are We There Yet?"
  • Thou shalt swallow thy pride and ask for directions when lost
  • Blessed are the children who keep their hands away from their siblings
  • Blessed are the inventors of the keyless remote entry, car parking sensors and individual DVD

We all know that Jesus loved little children, so I'm sure He'd vote to put them in if He could. Does anyone have any others? I'd love to hear them. And while we're at it, how about asking the Vatican to issue a set of commandments for parents at the playground?


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