Friday, December 16, 2011


Every couple of days, I see a minivan around town. I see it parked at my children’s school. I see it parked at local sporting events. I even saw it parked near a house hosting a birthday party my son was attending.

The minivan is unremarkable, in that it is similar to minivans owned by parents and large dog owners everywhere. What makes this particular minivan notable is a bumper sticker on the back window. Yes, I know, minivans and bumper stickers go hand-in-hand. Or, rather, sticker-on-window. But this minivan’s particular bumper sticker stands out because it is not an homage to the local school system or sports team. It does not refer to a presidential candidate or aspire for world peace. In fact, I am not entirely sure exactly what it refers to because it is not written in a language I speak. But there is at least one word on the sticker that needs no translation: Jesus.

While I do not personally espouse any organized religion, I support everyone’s right and desire to embrace any and all forms of spirituality. And if I can express my passion for sports teams and cultural beliefs on my car, I wholeheartedly encourage drivers of all creeds to similarly reflect their values.

My city has worshippers of all types. Friends are often not available at certain times on the weekends because of religious-oriented activities. These very same friends are not averse to the occasional bumper sticker declaring their support for outdoor activities, musical groups, alma maters, hometowns. But not so much touting the man or woman upstairs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, to quote Jerry Seinfeld, who I am pretty sure does not have a bumper sticker on his car referring to anyone mentioned in the Bible. But, seeing such a seemingly anachronistic sticker expression in my ‘hood got me to thinking: 1) How nice it is to live in a society where people like me are not judgmental about other’s beliefs, and 2) Who the hell’s minivan is that?

I kid, of course, but it reminds me of how I have been at events with families from my kids’ schools or extracurricular activities, and have spotted a “W” bumper sticker in the parking lot. Now, it is always possible that a “W” at a local event means the driver is a graduate of Williams College, or hails from Wiesbaden, Germany. But it is just as likely that the driver has not bought a new car since 2004. It can be amusing at such get-togethers to secretly play “Spot the Republican.” By the way, this game is not tricky as one might think. 

*What Would Jesus In A Minivan Do?

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