What Would Jesus Drive?

I do like to see a good roundhouse attack like this one in The New Republic, on that contemporary American plague, the Sport Utility Vehicle. I only wish there were more of them (and that they did any good). There was an auto industry reporter on Fresh Air a few days ago, and it was a pathetic series of missed opportunities as Terri Gross let the guy rhapsodize about the wonders of the SUV without bothering to point out the obvious drawbacks. For instance he sang a little aria to the joy of being so high up off the road and able to look over the other traffic. Well yes, and SUV drivers are so high up that they are also able to look over pedestrians, look over them so completely that they often don’t see them at all. I wonder how many times I’ve been walking innocently down the sidewalk and been nearly flattened by someone hurtling out of a parking lot in a giant SUV without noticing any pesky pedestrians.

But I hadn’t realized I was being impious in thinking this way. The New Republic article says Washington Post auto industry reporter Warren Brown ‘deliriously proclaimed that the Hummer is what Jesus would drive. Its size and its profligacy are justified, Brown said, because “if you are a missionary like some of my friends,” you could use a Hummer “to bring loads of food and medical supplies” to the poor.’ Of course! That’s what all those people high up over the walkers and talking on their cell phones are doing–shlepping food and meds to the poor! I knew that! ‘In the beginning was the Durango, and the Durango was with God, and…’

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