I Think I Did A Mean Thing to Your H2

Okay so there isn’t much of a secret about how I feel about environmental issues, I think especially Christians should be concerned with how we care for creation. We have a responsibility to take care of what God left in our stewardship, this is why Emily and I do some of the things we do like eat local organic food when possible, buy fair trade clothes and coffee, try to conserve on water, recycle our trash and ride bikes a lot.

Now I know that we have a far way to go to living on our 2/3’s of an acre (the amount of space that each person in the world could have if we were going to divide it up equally), but I try to think in terms of “baby steps.” I have a long way to go, but I am working at it one step at a time. I also know that people who care about the creation tend to get pegged as a) “flaming” liberals; b) wacko’s or c) self-righteous people who hang out and drink tea on their high horses. Well I don’t consider myself a “liberal” or a “wacko” (these are not synonymous) though some people may beg to differ, that means that if you’d like to dismiss what I’ve said about being a good steward with the earth your best bet is to write me off as “self-righteous.” The real reason why we try to live this way is because we really believe this is the kind of lifestyle Jesus exemplified. Yes it is true some people who are committed to following Jesus care about these issues because they follow Jesus.

Okay well all that is to basically justify what I am about to tell you. I can’t stand [click here].

These vehicles seem to epitomize to me the greed, pride and self-indulgent attitudes of Americans – they show that we could care less about our impact on others (or are just ignorant of those effects) and are more concerned with our own luxuries. When I see these specific big trucks, I fantasize about doing bad things to them. I don’t! I just wish sometimes there was a world where it would be completely proper and acceptable to slash tires every once in a while. Well I didn’t slash any body’s tires, nor would I ever do such a thing, but I did decide to write a little note on one of those huge trucks I saw parked out by the school the other day. I have a bunch of these velorucion stickers for “bike activism” I bought from this website so I wrote a friendly little note on the back and slid it under the windshield wiper. I don’t normally do this kind of these, I am pretty timid when it comes to this stuff, but I felt justified when I saw their “staff” sticker for our school. I go to a seminary so I used that commonality to appeal to a higher authority.

I don’t think that by doing this I will necessarily change this person’s mind and that they will “downgrade” to something that more environmentally friendly. I do hope that a note like that shocked that person out of a slumber. Hopefully they realized that people do watch and pay attention to the things they do and participate in, and that they are effected by it. And maybe, hopefully, with that realization change can slowly take hold.

Here are the pictures.


Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

35 thoughts on “I Think I Did A Mean Thing to Your H2”

  1. You’re right, there are people who would point out that you are self-righteous. They would also be correct.
    Shame on you for your stupid fantasy.
    John

  2. P.S. That’s a cute little piece of communist propaganda you’re handing out there. Not far from there to the gray haired old men (the Christian preachers) on trains to Siberia that Alexander Solzenicin wrote so knowledgeably about.
    Also reminds me of a glowing painting of a Chinese Communist soldier teaching little children about the glories of the atheist state–with the heavenly light beaming down on him and the sparkle in all the little eyes.
    John

  3. different john than above…

    You stupid left wing-nut “environmentalists” with your “I don’t want to be wasteful” and your “I want to be considerate of others”! It just isn’t American!

    Besides – do you know how many innocent recycled coke bottles had to die to make your “energy conscious” recycled bicycle frame!?

    If you got rid of H2’s or H3’s – or even just H’s – think of all the rich dorky guys who would never have a date again! STOP BEING SO SELFISH!

  4. John I am sorry you see it that way, trying to do our part in caring about the world and asking others to do the same does not make me a communist.

    Unless you have a strange definition of communisim that I am unaware of. And remember it’s the 21st century, people called other people communists as insults back during the cold war – now if you want to insult me you would be better off calling me something a little more contextualized.

    You should know me before you judge that I am self-righteous by the way.

  5. John #2 – I hadn’t considered the implications for the rich dorky guys…I should be more considerate of them, I will have to rethink this whole thing now.

    And besides, my bike was made from pepsi cans — because of the red, white and blue…

  6. Wow, I haven’t seen the slur “communist” or even “propoganda” used in a long time. I guess the word “liberal” isn’t quite so nasty as it was 20 years ago. My, how times change (or maybe not).

    A fellow communist, propogandist!

  7. I am still trying to figure out how a guy on a bicycle is synonomous with being a communist

  8. I think there’s a lot to be said for volluntary communism. Isn’t that what the early Church was like? They shared all they had so that none were in need?

    I wonder if they had the same types of problems we face?

    “I can’t believe Schlomo bought that enormous ox from Damascus! Did you see the size of that thing? Imagine how much that thing is gonna eat! Not to mention the horrible exhaust it leaves behind!”

    “Now Seth – if Schlomo wants a big ox, it’s his God-given right! Besides, do you know how many farm hands have jobs right now because of that ox?”

  9. I don’t see you as a communist and i don’t neccesarily see how that figures out. At the same time i think it is important to support the environment and the care of it. I still tend to think that the note on the car tends to be a little overboard. Maybe it’s truth and i don’t doubt that it is. I just think maybe there are other ways to go about it without stepping on toes.

  10. Kristen – thanks for your comment. You may be right, there may be better ways of going about doing something like that. In all honesty I’ve never done anything like that, and I don’t know if I ever will again. I don’t think there is anything wrong with stepping on toes, it happens from time to time and Jesus certainly did it, but it’s another thing to make it practice and do it because you like stepping on people’s toes. I for one won’t be making a practice of writing notes on people’s cars…but I think its okay to do it every once in a while. Or when the opportunity arises…

  11. Follow the link to velorucioncycle and you will find an abundance of “message” cards all of which exhibit the same revolutionary subversive mindset that set the early 20th century aflame with totalinarianism. It isn’t a wild accusation. It is a well-considered reflection on history, where things come from and where they go. The bit about fantisizing about slashing tires is a “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” sort of thing that I would think needed not to be explained to someone studying theology—or perhaps needed loudly to be explained to such a one, come to think of it. “A sower went out to sow, …” and began to talk of eschatology and apriori syllogysms… instead of using plain speech. Thus he became the blind leading the blind.
    That the mention of communism produced such a flurry of responses is evidence enough that it touches a nerve. The monster isn’t dead, as the comatose will soon discover. Not knowing what Karl Marx advocated is the first step toward falling in the trap that his followers are still feverishly constructing. Knowing it is to see the useful idiots on all sides as far as the eye can see. The knee-jerk mocking of any mention of its existence or its evils has been a tool of the left since I was in high school forty years ago. Nothing has changed in that regard. But the world now embraces much more of Marx’s ideas now than it did then. It will be your death, … or your damnation, one or the other. Truth. Now mock on if you like.
    It’s nothing to me.
    John

  12. When the elements of the world melt with fervent heat, no one will ask you how many forests you saved.
    The question will be, how much wrath did you lift from the shoulders of others?
    How much did you dump on them?
    Activist environmentalism is not a Christian activity. It’s completely misguided.
    John

  13. John you defend your dispensationalist views very well – but your insight that the Gospel and Jesus have nothing to say to the society, cares nothing for the created order, and doesn’t impact the physical and emotional well-being of others is off-handed and doesn’t represent the large majority of the church other than your small strand that has been around for under 200 years.

    Further, I would like for you to consider your purpose in showering comments on my website? Is it to convince me? What on Earth are you to convince me of?  To do absolutely nothing?  Or do you really think I haven’t thought about this stuff in the past 13 years I’ve been a Christian?

    In your perspective I should be considered too far gone — and will not accept any dispensationalist theology.  So why try, to convinve my readers?  I am sorry, the Gospel and Lord who has saved me leads us to care for all the said things above.

    God will hold us all accountable to the lives we have lived, and will ask us if we have valued the things he values and the things he has made.

    This is my position John, take it or leave. If you want to call me “communist” in order to categorize me, and marginalize my view so that it fits into your box go ahead – you will not have to reckon with my witness – you will have to reckon with your own.

  14. That the mention of communism produced such a flurry of responses is evidence enough that it touches a nerve.

    OR it could be that it was ludicrously off-base.

    The bit about fantisizing about slashing tires is a “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of??? sort of thing

    Wait — are you the same John that called Wess self-righteous? Surely not!

    Whoever you are, you sound like an interesting guy. You’re really concerned about the threat of pacifist totalitarianism. I find that intriguing — please continue that thought. What would that look like exactly? It starts with bicycle activism and leads to … what now?

    Not knowing what Karl Marx advocated is the first step toward falling in the trap that his followers are still feverishly constructing. … The knee-jerk mocking of any mention of its existence or its evils has been a tool of the left since I was in high school forty years ago. Nothing has changed in that regard.

    Except for the fall of the Soviet Union and the dominance of capitalism in China. Karl Marx advocated a religionless state in the good of the state was placed above the good of the individual. In what way is Wess advocating that?

    But the world now embraces much more of Marx’s ideas now than it did then.

    Evidence, please.

    It will be your death, … or your damnation, one or the other. Truth.

    You have an interesting concept of salvation. Please explain.

    Now mock on if you like.

    Don’t mind if I do!

    P.S.: Is “the monster isn’t dead, as the comatose will soon discover” a line from a Metallica song?

  15. I didn’t call Wess a communist.
    I said that was a cute piece of communist propaganda he was posting.
    Wess is a bike-rider, and because of this he is morally exalted above anyone evil enough to purchase an H2 which Wess does not approve of. For this Wess has evil thoughts and wants to harm the H2 owner.
    This is a classic and transparent example of self-righteousness.
    Argue on. Your arguments are on the losing side of eternal life.
    You’ve been reading too many theologians.
    I don’t advocate anything Jesus does not advocate. This teaching has been around for 2000 years, not 200.
    I’ll say it again, “Ye know not what spirit ye are of.”
    Or else, if you’d prefer, I’ll call down fire from heaven, and you’ll never hear the end of your own rage.
    Maybe I didn’t come here to teach the deaf.
    John

  16. Wess,
    My wish for you is peace and not strife. This is why I have been emphasizing that we should avoid taking sides in arguments that are not properly those of a Christian. I was led here by the light emanating from the statements of yours and those you quoted that I read which advocated peace and the rejection of arguments that are not properly the arguments of a Christian, (as you may recall).
    6Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
    20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
    23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

    You see the H2 driver and wonder why he is not more compassionate. You want him to pay attention to John’s message, since you are sure that you do.

    I see Wess, and wonder why he is not more compassionate (and why he is making a fool of himself in public), so I put a note on his windshield that holds a mirror up to his actions. Then I invite myself into his blog and wait for what he, and the Lord will have to say about it all.

    I did not say that we should not be good stewards of the earth. I did not say anything by which you might label me a “dispensationalist,” whatever that means. (The test says I’m 100% like Martin Luther, if that helps, which it probably doesn’t, since the test is flawed.)

    Since you are so wise, Wess, explain to the others the meaning of “false dillemma.”

    Being a pacifist is good. That is to be commended. If I thought you or your listeners were insensitive and unreachable I would not be wasting my time by posting here. But a “ride-by” posting of anonymous notices of dissaproval on somone’s window is not being a pacifist. Neither is militant environmentalism (and the line between that and what you were doing is precariously thin). Quite the contrary in both cases.

    The communists gain their foothold by means of precisely that sort of humanism-based righteousness which begins with the command to “Save the whales,” and to “Conserve energy,” and marching and posting flyers for these and other seemingly ‘good’ causes, and ends with the firing squad for those who aren’t getting the message religiously enough. He who is sensitive to the voice of the Spirit, knows to discern the difference between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. I am addressing the spirit of your response to your desire to be a good steward, not your desire to be a good steward.

    Our task is to imitate the person of Christ. Putting an accusation on someone’s window anonynously as you pass by to afterward say no more, does not fit that description.

    4Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. 5And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. 7And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. 8And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: 9And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 10But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, 11Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

    Or would you prefer that I leave and shake off the dust from your website as a witness against you? But then, it would not be my fault that I did not stay and continue the dialogue, and your blood would be none of my responsibility. (I would leave with some regret, anyway, since I did not first greet you with peace before saying anything else. But it would be a regret for my own ineptitude, not for your unwillingness to listen.)

    This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17These things I command you, that ye love one another.

    You are correct in perceiving that I did not ask for your permission to address you, and your house, and your city.

    Joel Short’s poem (110220445765145570) is an excellent insight into, not Psalm 16, but a part of verse 4 of Psalm 16. It shows fully half of what is needed to get King David’s attention, I’m sure—a rejection of false gods. It is informative that you admire the poem, Wess. But criticism is the easy part. Now that you and Joel have shown to us what God is not, now please also show us what He is.

    Remember, the devil’s name, being translated into English, is “accuser.” I didn’t come here to accuse you, Wess, though I may have found it necessary to rebuke you.

    4Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. 12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

    I am a brutish fool. But I speak the truth.

    Which kind of man do you wish to be?

    John
    Who left a message on Wess’s window.

  17. I think we tend to fall alittle bit overboard when we say that

    Wess wanted to harm the H2 owner.

    It’s impossible to know the intentions at the moment but i believe if he wanted to harm him he would’ve done one of two things.

    1. Searched out the Fuller Campus, found the guy, got into his face and told him all the reasons why he shouldn’t own an H2. Oh yea and then punched him because that would do him “harm”

    or my next favorite option

    2. Keyed the vehicle or stolen it and drove it off a cliff.

    It’s not a matter of wanting to do harm. It’s rather a matter of alerting someone that what they are doing is harming the society.

    Oh and Wess you’re right about stepping on toes. Jesus did do that.

  18. “When I see these specific big trucks, I fantasize about doing bad things to them. I don’t! I just wish sometimes there was a world where it would be completely proper and acceptable to slash tires every once in a while.”

    This kind of stuff happens regularly. Why give someone ideas? What sort of fantasy is this if it is not as I described it?

    John

  19. this is the other john again.

    I hardly think the letter Wess left on the vehicle deserves to be categorized as “militant environmentalism”. It’s not like dude is going Greenpeace on the guy – riding his bike up next to it as it’s driving – jumping on and trying to throw the driver overboard.

    At the same time, I don’t know quite what you were trying to accomplish, Wes. While the note probably made you feel better about your position in relation to the environment, I doubt that it would really influence an H2 owner.

    I think the key is grace. It is not for any of us to define what “Christianity” is or is not. While John shouldn’t say that concern for the environment is NOT compatible with being a disciple of Christ, Russ should not say it is. Each of us must work through our salvation with fear and trembling – and allow others to do so as well.

    I doubt that driving an H2 sends you to hell any more than leaving a polite note on a windshield.

    Peace.

  20. John –
    I’m not sure how you feel justified reading my post, but just to be clear, I think you have something to learn from Wess. I also think that you’ve exhibited very little grace in your comments.

    I think Wess is right when he says believers should cherish the creation we get to enjoy. I think we as Americans are too wasteful and selfish – only thinking about how things affect us and not the person across the street or around the world.

    Anyway – remember humility, fellow John. We’re all a little hard of hearing sometimes.

  21. The idea that it is categorically morally wrong to own an H2 is presumptuous and false. If someone is going to preach the truth, they should make every effort to avoid also teaching that which is not true. This is especially so for those who intend to go into ministry. Keep to the gospel. The difference between truth and falsehood is always a matter of heaven and hell.
    John

  22. It is categorically wrong to be selfish. It is categorically wrong to have thousands of dollars in my pocket and walk by people who don’t have food without helping. It is categorically wrong to love myself more than others.

    As for the illustration with the H2, I’m not saying it’s necessarily an absolute, ironclad law. Certainly, there is freedom in Christ. But I do think Wess makes a good point to search our motivations.

    Aren’t we supposed to “encourage each other to love and good works”? Doesn’t encouraging each other to make decisions based on the best interest of others fall into that category? Doesn’t reminding us to not be selfish and wasteful fall there as well?

    Just wondering –
    john

  23. Wess,

    Other things aside… Why didn’t you sign the card with either your name, number, email address or someway to have a dialog?

    I drive a Suburban and if someone left a card on my car like you left on the Hummer and didn’t sign it or didn’t leave a way for me to have dialogue then I’d just laugh it off and disregard the whole thing.

    Its great to to give people food for thought but I think you are more likely to change the world with realationships and dialog then with anonymous notes.

    Oh and thanks for not attacking the vehicle or my bad grammer!

    /Steve

  24. Steve, this is a wonderful point and alas the weakness to the whole thing that I did.

    There is one thing I regret about what I did, and its that I did it annoymously. I was wrong to not open myself up for dialogue. I don’t like it when people post annonymously on my blog, and so I don’t know why I would do the say to someone’s truck.

    Finally, because I believe that real ethics happen within communities of people, evem had I left my name there would be difficulty in expecting any kind of healthy interchange being that I don’t have strong connections to this person. Though we do share the same employer.

    In other words, I think if we are going to do something like that it only works best when we do it with people we already know and have some kind of relationship with.

    I’m not saying that we can’t do what I did from time to time, because we ought to stir up conversations about this stuff where ever we go, but I am not really sure how useful we can hope for those interchanges to be.

    Thanks for you comment and hitting the nail and on the head.

  25. Wess,
    There’s also the ‘small’ matter of your having fantasized about slashing tires, which speaks of a significant amount of anger for which there seems no justification. Had it not been for that one comment, I might never have said anything at all.

    And don’t forget that by putting those pictures on your blog you potentially exposed that Hummer owner up to public ridicule (not to mention your violent fantasy), since it shouldn’t be too difficult for people in your personal circles to identify background scenery and window decals. That is very much something to think about, and again, the main reason I responded.
    John

  26. John,
    Thanks again for the dialogue and all of this has certainly caused me to think more carefully about the whole thing.

    Please understand that I recognize that my “thoughts of slashing tires” are wrong thoughts and that is why I didn’t act on them and won’t act on them. It isn’t right for anyone, let alone someone who is himself a pascifst to respond that way. This is why in my original post I was emphatic about pointing that I’ve never done such a thing. I recognize that it would not be Jesus-like to do that.

    Have you ever thought of doing something you shouldn’t, and rejected the temptation? Slashing tires for me is not even a terribly hard temptation – the thought has only come into my head a couple times as a blantantly bad way to handle a situation (something of an alter ego) and furthermore I don’t and never carry the kinds of “tools” it would take to do such a crime.

    My putting that statement in there was a hyperbole – in poor tast I admit – but that’s what it was. Because you latched onto that you’ve pegged my character as essentially different than what it really is – I am much less confrontational than this one event makes me out to be.

    In fact, this is why I posted it – it was the very first time I’ve ever done such a thing and I wanted feedback about my action – I wanted either a) an amen! or b) a reproof. I got a little of both which tends to be the natural way of things.

    In keeping this site I open myself to reproof and amens – as you saw from the epic battle of theology on the other post…I am open to thinking differently about things as well. My last comment in response to Steve should show you I am serious about this.

    As far as public humiliation goes I carefully wrote my post without major proper nouns so that it wouldn’t get picked up in google (even down to naming my link for the post itself) – and I keep a close watch on who visits my blog.

    I am fairly confident that if this person found my blog and read the post along with all the comments he/she would realize I had a change of heart about how I did what I did. And in person I would be willing to say the same. Though I haven’t had a change of heart about what I believe on the issue.

    In fact I will remove the last picture from my in favor of more anonymity so that it will be aparent that humiliation is my last desire from all this.

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