Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pope my ride

Here we go, the Pope doesn't have sex, ( as far as I know) but wants to tell others how to go about it. Consequently, he doesn't have kids but is not short of an opinion on how to bring up kids, he is not married but is quite happy to front advice on marriage guidance.

He doesn't drive either. Now he has issued a 35 page document "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road" telling people how to use their cars. These are the "10 guidelines".
1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not-so-young not to drive when they are not in a fit condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible towards others.

A few comments are in order.

The first guideline is already covered in the 10 commandments. So its not even a guideline, it's a commandment.

I trust the second, "communion between people" doesn't include cellphone use or sharing the communion cup while driving. That could lead to breaking the third guideline and possibly the first. But that's okay, if there was such an unforseen event they could implement guidelines four and seven - provided that didn't extend to being charitable to poverty-stricken prostitutes in case that breached guideline five.

Guideline six is a classic. It means the best time to discuss whether someone should drive is when they are really pissed. That's because they will be more likely to be charitably convinced when they are "not in a fit condition to do so". If someone who is likely to take the wheel is slightly pissed, it's best to buy them another few drinks so you can implement guideline six to its fullest charitable effect.

Guideline eight is ironic given priestly sexual abuse denials worldwide. Also one has to ask what happens if the motorist was the innocent party in an accident that did not involve another motorist. Don't such motorists deserve forgiveness?

Guideline nine means if you happen to lose control and there is a choice between hitting a vulnerable cyclist and a tanker, you hit the tanker. Even if you are more vulnerable than the tanker driver. Not doing so could be seen to breach guideline ten. But if you did hit the truck and died, at least you will get to heaven as you didn't breach guideline one, even if the truck driver may have.

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