Ahh, yes, here is yet another meager attempt at trying to coerce Christian behavior by legislating morality. No, the indwelling presence of Christ cannot lead believers to drive like Jesus would, but enacting a bunch more laws sure will. If we do not expect people to be obedient to traffic laws, how will imposing extra laws make certain that happens? I certainly appreciate that the guidelines are attempting to ensure that the use of a vehicle should not be an occasion for sin, but will a parody of the Ten Commandments do the trick? Creative pedagogy indeed.
The Rev. Keith Pecklers, a Jesuit professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, said Martino was clearly responding to an underreported social concern: an increase in traffic deaths in places like Italy and Spain because of speeding, as well as an increase in road rage, aggressive driving and DUI in places like the United States.
"It may be surprising for people because we're accustomed to the church speaking out about sexual matters, capital punishment, immigration," he said. "The point Cardinal Martino is making is that driving is itself a moral issue. How we drive impacts on the lives of ourselves and others."
Pecklers dismissed any suggestion that Martino's "Ten Commandments" were at all sacrilegious, saying it was "creative pedagogy" that would certainly get people's attention. He stressed that they could never be considered binding in the way the official Ten Commandments are.
As NPR blogger Tom Regan wryly commented, "HA! I always knew those guys in muscle cars who swerved by in no-passing zones were going to hell."