Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Lord's sport utility vehicles

Here's a Reuters report on Sunday's service at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit (site of Rosa Parks' funeral), at which the Rev. Charles Ellis prayed that Congress save the U.S. auto industry. Check out the photo slide show.

Yes, those are three hybrid SUVs (Chevy Tahoe, Chrysler Aspen and Ford Escape) parked at the altar. Hundreds of auto workers gathered before them to be anointed with oil.

"We have done all we can do in this union," a United Auto Workers vice president told the congregation, "so I'm going to turn it over to the Lord."

Actually, since the oil embargo of 1973, the Lord's advice to the U.S. auto industry has been pretty consistent, and pretty consistently ignored: Build smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. What have they been waiting for, a burning bush?

I just realized why that altar crowded with SUVs unnerves me so: It reminds me of the ICBM on the altar of the ruined St. Patrick's Cathedral in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Is Bishop Ellis confusing scourge and savior?

(Thanks, I think, to Greg Frost, for disturbing my sleep with this.)

1 comment:

Marc said...

Thanks, Andy, for sharing this. Even without your insightful Planet of the Apes connection, I find the photos here chilling. To me, they show both the strangest religious service I've ever seen (and I've seen footage of snake handlers) and the strangest car commercial I've ever seen.

--MPetersen