Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vatican: Drivers 'shall not kill'

People always say God has a good sense of humor. I heard the same about Pope Benedict XVI will he was elected two years ago. It's hard to tell how tongue in cheek the Vatican's just-issued Driver's Ten Commandments are.

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 neighbor 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 fitting 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 toward others.

The Vatican said the unusual document was needed because cars can be "an occasion of sin."
"We know that as a consequence of transgressions and negligence, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads," Martino said. "That's a sad reality, and at the same time, a great challenge for society and the church."
As Friendly Fire notes, the translation leaves something to be desired. The blog also offers three additional commandments:

11. Thou shall not apply make-up, talk on your cell phone, and eat a cheeseburger while trying to make a left-hand turn into four lanes of oncoming traffic.

12. Thou shall not drive 50 mph in the left lane.

13. Thou shall not scream at the motorist in front of you just because he or she had the good sense not to run that yellow light.

The Catholic Church's mandates seem simple enough, but I'm not sure I can agree with, or by any means obey, 11 and 13. For some reason, perhaps connected, the report also covers hookers, abandoned children and the homeless.

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