[The human] mind is plainly an ass, but it will be many ages before it finds it out, no doubt. Why do we respect the opinions of any man or any microbe that ever lived? I swear [I] don’t know. Why do I respect my own? Well–that is different. (Mark Twain)
Bumper stickers are such a bad way to convey theology and politics. Are there more opinionated people in the world these days? Or are they just more vocal than they used to be? And why are people so willing to look like jerks to strangers?
I’m really careful about what I put on my car, for the same reason I don’t wear t-shirts with polarizing messages. (I do, however, believe there is a place for the smart and funny t-shirt, such as the one below.)
Maybe I think about these things more than other people do. I once removed from my car the sticker of a school with which I was associated. I was angry, and did not want anyone to know I was related. A small act of defiance, to be sure, but it was meaningful to me. I haven’t had a sticker on my car since the day a total stranger pulled up next to me at 60 mph and yelled at me about my “Prejudice Rarely Survives Experience” message. It all happened pretty fast, but suffice it to say he didn’t agree.
The roads and parking lots are full of bumper stickers that are meant to declare, pronounce, draw a line in the sand. The ones I find particularly troubling are the malicious statements of so-called Christians. I don’t always know WJWD, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be snotty about it.
It has been said that any time you draw a line in the sand, you will find Jesus is standing on the other side of it.
Let’s start drawing circles instead of lines. I know it’s unnerving to expand our airspace, but let’s do it anyway. How about some bumper stickers that quote people like Lily Tomlin, Wendell Berry, Yogi Berra and Malala Yousafzai. Or as our polarizing friend the Apostle Paul says: “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (Philippians 4:8, The Message)
For heaven’s sake people, we are more alike than we are different. How about a hug?