Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Would Jesus Drive? Because Apparently That's a Real Question These Days.

It’d be very easy to speculate on, criticize, and/or try to measure the toxic levels of smug self-importance it takes to compare one’s driving habits to Jesus Christ—and on top of that, to pridefully broadcast it on one’s own license plate. We’re going to avoid taking the easy route, though, and do our level best to take the question at face value.

So, seriously, what would Jesus drive?

To this driver (see above), the answer is clearly that Jesus would drive a hybrid car.1 We have no problem with electric cars; in general we like nifty technology, environmental friendliness, and an unquantifiable feeling that we’re Doing Something Good, and electric cars are often chock full of all three.

(Our only real beef with electric cars is their sneaky, ninja-style quietness. One of our neighbors drives one, and several times as we’ve walked obliviously across our parking lot, watching seagulls or thinking about dinosaurs,2 he’s crept around the corner on little cat wheels and could easily have crushed us to death before we heard him coming. Fortunately, he’s a very nice guy, and is also probably worried about what hitting a grown and slightly overweight man would do to his silly little car’s papier-mâché body frame.)

It’s safe to assume, though, that its potential value in vehicular homicide is not the number-one reason people drive hybrid cars—in all likelihood it’s no higher than fourth or fifth. The main reason folks drive hybrid or electric cars, just like Jesus did, is that they hate pollution and want to save the Earth.

We’re big fans of that too, for sure, and the prevailing logic is that electric cars spit out less polluting exhaust than gas-powered cars. But we’re not convinced that driving an electric car quite qualifies as a Christlike level of Earth-friendliness—after all, doesn’t 54% of U.S. electricity come from coal, a big fat gross pollutant?3

The coal-powered bicycle has done little to combat
China’s air-pollution problems.

Another 20% of U.S. electricity comes from nuclear power,4 so in a very unscientific way we could estimate that about 20% of an electric car’s power comes from nuclear power. The great thing about nuclear power is that it pollutes the Earth much, much less than coal power and is totally safe . . . except for the occasional horrifying disaster that does Earth-unfriendly damage to thousands upon thousands of square miles of plants, soil, water, and animals.5

Coal dust or radioactive contamination?
We love having options.
Contaminated water also counts as pollution, in our book.6

Don’t get us wrong. This is not to say that folks who drive electric or hybrid cars are bad people, or are doing a bad thing. They’re very likely bad in just about the exact same ratio as the regular population, and hybrid cars and their drivers are, on the whole, awfully swell, especially when they’re not sneaking up to kill us.

We merely believe that if you have the gall to compare yourself to Jesus Christ based on your driving habits, you might want to limit yourself to one of the driving options that Jesus might actually have had.

Option A.

Option B.

Is that too much to ask?

1. It’s possible that the driver is trying to tell us that Jesus would drive a Toyota, but we don’t believe that’s the case. If Jesus were to forgo an electric car, we’re positive He’d buy American.
2. We did both of these things quite a bit while playing youth soccer, since they were way more fun than playing youth soccer.
3. These folks say yes.
4. According to these folks.
5. Also humans, who are considered to be important to Jesus, and often to environmentalists.
6. One of the more chilling passages we’ve read in our six minutes of research refers to the Japanese government’s “inability to control the spread of radioactive material into the nation’s food.”


  1. Well, whatever car the Lord chooses, it had better be able to drive on water.

    Great one!

    1. Sadly, what with Bridgestone's recent research into traction control and hydroplaning, it's becoming harder and harder to believe in a car that can drive on water.