Warning: This post was published more than 9 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
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- My views might have changed in the 9 years since I wrote this post.
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Many thanks for your understanding.
Yesterday, the Vatican published ‘Ten Commandments’ for Driving in a document apparently entitled Guidelines For The Pastoral Care Of The Road. Whether that’s a bad translation, or whether they genuinely think tarmac requires loving care and careful attention to its psychology and emotions is unclear to me. I’m also impressed by the number of times they’ve managed to squeeze ‘not’ into this ‘commandment’:
Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
Also keep in mind that, according to the traditional commandments, thou shalt not not not not not kill, nor shalt thou never fail not to covet the woman who may or may not be your neighbour’s wife.
Perhaps more pertinently, it’s interesting to see that the Vatican are moving with the times. Yeah, cars have been around for some 250 years or so, but that’s moving quite fast for the Vatican. After all, condoms have been around for the better part of 3,500 years – much longer than the Bible – and yet the Church has still failed to acknowledge that they help prevent the spread of STIs.
But the most startling thing about this is that it’s like something you’d have read in the Daily Mail of the nineties, when they were still hot on promoting the so-called Christian values of middle England, and hadn’t relegated religion to a weekly 2cm box containing a Bible verse, hidden amongst the letters pages. Of course, they take great pride in reporting this as the Pope issuing new guidelines for road safety, when in fact this load of garbage was created by a Pontifical Council (about as accurate as saying that a Home Office press-release gives Tony Blair’s personal views), and also claiming that one of the commandments is that ‘Thou shalt not make rude gestures’, which is just blatantly false, but clearly reads better than saying that the document advises courtesy.
Gosh, I got distracted there. I meant to say, the most startling thing is that this is essentially a press release from an increasingly media-driven Vatican – the same Vatican which has a Da Vinci Code debunker – and the same Vatican which increasingly seems to be attempting to play to a modern (small-c) conservative audience, rather than sticking to it’s traditional values of – well, stonings, wars, and murders.
I think it’s pretty from the site as a whole that I’m not the world’s greatest fan of organised religion, but when the Vatican employs a Campbell-esque strategy to woo the media to gain converts at the expense of their traditional values, then we’ve really reached a new low.