What would Jesus drive?

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, March 26th, 2008 - 10 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags: ,


The Vatican’s update of sins to include issues of social justice and environment reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a friend from the US. She was telling me that one of the “surprise” groups to come out in support of tougher environmental regulation over there were a number of the large evangelical churches.

In 2006, ninety or so evangelical Christian leaders backed a major initiative to fight global warming, saying “millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.” Their position was essentially that:

The same love for God and neighbor that compels us to preach salvation through Jesus Christ … compels us to recognize that human-induced climate change is a serious Christian issue requiring action now.

Reverend Jim Ball was ahead of the game though when back in 2002 he launched a campaign called “What would Jesus Drive?“, touring his Toyota Prius hybrid through the Bible Belt preaching to Christians on the relationship between the cars they drive and protecting God’s creation.

And closer to home, I see today that government has just introduced fuel efficiency labels for new cars to help consumers make better choices for the environment and pick a car that’ll be cheaper to run, evangelical or not.

10 comments on “What would Jesus drive?”

  1. Phil 1

    I’ve always thought of Jesus as more of a Segway kind of guy… although according to Family Guy, he and God share an Escalade

    But seriously, I find this legislation quite concerning. If there is a genuine need for “star ratings” to make people aware of the differences in fuel consumption, what the hell else are people unaware of about motoring?!

  2. Matthew Pilott 2

    Phil, if you’re interested in any field or topic or anything really, you’ll always be disturbed by what people don’t know (and don’t know they don’t know). This isn’t too dissimilar to power consumption ratings on appliances, for examply, were you surprised that they’re necessary?

    Not to mention the ANCAP crash ratings for cars – this sort of thing is a good standardised at-a-glance tool for consumers.

    Also, cars can surprise you with their fuel efficiency or lack thereof, seemingly for no reason.

    I’m guessing the stars will be based on the same info from http://www.rightcar.govt.nz

  3. burt 3

    I bet Jesus wouldn’t be driving a $170,000 BMW. Mind you, his companion may have trouble making a dignified exit from some of the cheaper more fuel efficient cars.

    I think cars should have graphic picture warnings on the bonnet. Splattered bodies, faces mashed on steel. Pictures of heads through windscreens printed on the seat belt straps (only visible when seat belt is not fitted) and pictures of mangled feet printed on the wheels.

  4. I think your a little confused burt, when operating a car properly none of those things shoudl happen. Operating a cigarette properly is quite likely to cause what is shown on those warning labels.

  5. I don’t think Jesus would be a car guy actually. However, I can imagine him on a Triumph Trident (the “tri” analogy is rather fitting, I thought!!), with his hair annd beard streaming behind him in the breeze, and a Jesus Freaks patch on his back.

  6. outofbed 6

    I think Jesus would drive a Navajo which is a concept car and doesn’t actually exist. which seems fitting 🙂
    Interestingly the blurb says “Navajo the vehicle for a doomed future”

  7. r0b 7

    A Kombi (original splittie).

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    DeLorean DMC-12 – because it was made in Northern Ireland, it can fly, has gull-wing doors, and is a huge cliche (as is Jesus).

    He’d probably eschew the gold-plated version though, given the Church’s new list of sins…

  9. Phil 9

    Fair point Matthew, But… we already have a standardised measure of fuel consumption on new vehicles – not sure what it’s called, but you can see the X-litres per 100km stat on the websites of the manufacturers. While those tests are in controlled conditions, they’re just as useful as this benchmark star-rating will be.

    Why would we (ie; the Govt) go to the effort of creating a whole new system of measurement – which, by the way, introduces a whole new set of assumptions to the mix – when a perfectly suitable one already exists?

  10. RedLogix 10

    On the one occasion Jesus is recorded driving anything at all, it was the “colt of donkey” on Palm Sunday. Otherwise he walked.

    A while back it occurred to me that the “Liters/100km” fuel consumption measure was really a bit of a scam. In the old days when it was “Miles/gallon”, if you doubled your fuel economy then so did the mpg figure, whereas the liters/100km would only halve. For instance going from 30 mpg to 60 mpg seems impressive, but going from say 10l/100km to 5l/100km doesn’t.

    I know that l/100km is a perfectly valid measure from a technical point of view, but in the minds of general public (many of whom struggle with even basic numeracy) it seems to me that there has been a bit of a sleight of hand here on the part of car manufacturers to downplay fuel economy as a critical measure of a cars performance.

    As for Jesus’s donkey; it was a 100% carbon neutral biofuel job.

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