Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Crap Christian driving & stupid symbols

Infuriated to be stuck behind an appalling driver this morning with one of those Christian fish symbols that people stick on the back of their vehicles.

What is the idea of these symbols ? Does he not have to worry about his driving because Jesus is looking after him - and if so what about me as a potential victim of his dangerous incompetence - as a non-believer presumably I don't get the benefit of Jesus' protection and have to look out for myself.

When I was young one of my more devout relatives gave me a St Christopher (patron saint of travelers) key-ring, I think it was for my first communion or possibly confirmation, but either way some time before I was driving or riding.

Even at my young age this key-ring posed some interesting theological questions. Was it the medallion of St Christopher that protected me or was it actually St Christopher; and if so why did I have to carry it all the time ? If I left it at home would St Christopher get the hump and withdraw his protection ? There was an egg-timer type buzzer built in to the key-ring which you could set to remind yourself to return to your parking meter. This posed fresh questions; why was a mechanical device necessary ? Were parking meters too trivial for St Christopher to bother with himself; if so where did you draw the line ? A puncture, broken fan belt, minor scrape or a multi-vehicle pile up ?

Apologies to any Protestants reading this who might interpret this as idolatrous and polytheistic mumbo-jumbo. They would be absolutely right.

As an historical aside the prat of a driver with a fish on his bumper was at least being historically accurate in choosing that particular symbol rather than a cross. The fish was used by the early church as a symbol, and when the emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion he used the Greek initials of Christ's name, the 'chi-roi' to decorate official insignia. The later adoption of the cross seems a curious choice; the heretic Cathars hated the symbol seeing it as a celebration of Christ's suffering. Of course they were predictably persecuted and wiped out for their logic.

Bill Hicks put it nicely when he asked Christians what the idea was with the cross - 'if Jesus comes back that's going to be like the last thing he wants to see - you guys are really missing the point'. I don't care what symbol a crap driver sticks on their car - the cheery 'Smile Jesus loves you' or the more melodramatic ' I am covered in the blood of Jesus'. He could have the entire fucking Sistine chapel ceiling sprayed on his car; I'd rather he put less faith in divine intervention, kept his eyes on the road and tried not to kill any innocent bystanders on their way to work.

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