WHAT WOULD JESUS DRIVE?
How's this for ecumenical frippery? The Guardian Unlimited reports that "What Would Jesus Drive?" is the slogan dominating a television advertising campaign about to blanket cities in Iowa, Indiana and Missouri, along with the southern state of North Carolina.
"We have confessed Christ to be our saviour and Lord, and for us, that includes our transportation choices," said the Rev Jim Ball of the Washington-based Evangelical Environmental Network irreverently. "Most folks don't think of transportation as a moral issue, but we're called to care for kids and for the poor, and filling their lungs with pollution is the opposite of caring for them. "We take seriously the question What Would Jesus Do?", Mr Ball said, apparently in all seriousness. "What Would Jesus Drive? is just a more specific version. What would he want me to do as a Christian? Would he want me to use public transportation?"
Personally, I see this as a great new resource for marketing gurus and an inexorable pabulum for ad-execs across the Christian world. After all, why stop at cars? What airline would he fly with? What if he chose to walk everywhere again? Would he endorse a specific sneaker? Can you imagine Nike doing an Air Jesus ad campaign? If he even played basketball would he be like one of those white-boy gym-rats with tossled longish hair, dribbling like a wizard and ripping the cords from way down town like Pistol Pete Maravich, or would he go more for the exotic, behind the head, between the legs, 4 second hang time, mind-boggling dunks like Dr. J (or Dr. J as in Dr. Jesus for that matter)?
Does Jesus even have a driver's license? What's his budget? Is he looking for new or used? With or without air conditioning? Tinted windows to avoid the paparazzi?
Which investment broker would Jesus choose? Would he drink regular beer or light beer? How would his cable network talk show fare head to head against Dr. Phil? Would Amy Grant really be his favorite musician?
The possibilities are endless of course. "This may be a sign of the times," Rabbi James Rudin, spokesman for the American Jewish Committee, said recently. "But it's not a good sign."