Bad Christian drivers.

I’m not going to do this idea.

Fear not when you read it that I am on the verge of implementing it because I’m pretty it’s illegal. I’m just brainstorming here.

But have you ever been cut off in traffic by someone who had a little Jesus fish on the back of their car? There you were, driving along merrily, perhaps seat dancing to the impossible to be sad to “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.

Suddenly a Saturn you didn’t see speeds up on your right in disgust, passes you and then whips in front of you forcing you to slam on the brakes. A quarter mile later you are both at the same red light, where you to think to yourself, “I’m glad being the length of my car ahead of me was so important to you.”

That’s when you see it, a tiny Jesus fish. That was no mere mortal, that was an immortal Christian! (How weird does it sound to say it that way? Like we’re superheroes or something.)

I wish in situations like that you could get out of your car and remove their Jesus fish. I wish in the Christian community we all had Jesus fish revoking privileges, like citizen’s arrest. In my head I imagine it like the scene from “Fight Club” where Brad Pitt collects other peoples’ driver’s licenses under the threat that unless they chase their dream he will come get them.

Maybe that’s too much power for ordinary people. Maybe the cops could do it. They pull you over for speeding and say, “Sir, I’m going to need to see your license, registration and Jesus fish. I’m taking that last one.” And then Carlos Whittaker, my worship leader friend who knows every cop in the southeast would turn in his fish for speeding.

Again, this is probably illegal, but I think the idea has some merit.

Have you ever been cut off by a Christian?

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Comments

    • Bevin Fritz-Waters says

      Moses: God what is this “driving thing”

      God: Don’t worry about it, you’ll be glad it’s in there later.

      • Justin Deiter@TruthandWord says

        Actually Moses would have known what reckless driving was. He had seen pharaoh drive chariots.
        But I think that God did warn him.
        “There will be a man named Henry Ford and he will bring a mechanical chariot to the common people. You want to see moral decline? You want to see reckless driving, Moses? There is a reason why some of the people will call these chariots devil machines when they first come out.”

  1. LJ says

    Yes. And that is why I chose my state’s generic license plate rather than their “In God We Trust” plate. While I always try to drive safely, I am not beyond making mistakes. The people at church probably think I’m a hypocrite, but I’d rather that than some nonbeliever on the road…

    • Michael Wong says

      I always thought “In God We Trust” was actually a perfectly appropriate license plate for a horrible aggressive driver. Anyone who drives that recklessly is obviously trusting in a higher power to keep him safe, because he sure as hell isn’t relying on safe driving technique.

  2. the Old Adam says

    Christians (being FULLY SINFUL…and FULLY RIGHTEOUS – at the same time) are not immune from being jerks.

    I am one (a jerk) on many occasions …and not just in the car.

  3. Rebecca says

    One time I was on an exit ramp. There was a red light at the end of the ramp, so I was driving slowly up to the light (versus wasting gas to get to the red light faster). A car whipped around me IN THE SHOULDER and they had “in God we trust” on their license plate. While I was waiting behind them at the light, I seriously considered getting out and grabbing their license plate. It also made me so angry that I spent the next few miles asking for forgiveness for some words I had said.

  4. Melody says

    It’s not being a car length ahead of you, Jon. It’s knowing that after this intersection I won’t have to suffer behind you for the next 20 miles as you poke along 5-10 miles slower than the speed limit and hit every last red light ever.

    But, I also don’t have a Jesus-fish on my car and never will, because I know I’m a cranky driver. I hope to one day be a little less frustrated by the people around me, but my driving is never going to be a great display of God’s love and compassion.

    • Courtney says

      Yes! I second all of this!

      I refuse to put one on my car because I know it’ll just make Jesus look bad. I get into the car with good intentions, but I always end up regretting something.

      I usually have the opposite experience. Christian’s with Jesus fish never cut me off, they’re the ones driving 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane.

    • Paul Williams says

      Sounds like an area that needs to be surrendered. I used to drive like that and my driving record showed it. What a tremendous waste of God’s resources! While I don’t drive as fast as I used to, I drive with traffic as appropriate to the area I’m driving in. If you’re driving through my neighborhood in ANY unsafe manner, not only will you eventually have to suffer the consequences of your unwise choices, such as hitting a child who darts out from between cars (heaven help you if it’s my child), but you’ll also continue to miss out on many blessings you might have received since you’re in willful disobedience to God’s Word! God has made it clear that we are subject to mans laws and authority and you’re clearly breaking that command. What makes you think you’re an exception?

      • Will Kinton says

        Neighborhoods and Highways are a completely different. I’ll cruise no more than 10 MPH above the limit on highways, because I view my time as valuable, and I enjoy driving twisty roads.

        I don’t go faster in residential areas, because that’s stupid. Most highways are put at a speed limit that is appropriate for cars made in the 50′s and 60′s, and are kept there because it brings in that sweet, sweet ticket revenue.

    • Marcus says

      It makes me sad to see so called Christians justifying dangerous and illegal actions on this page. People get mad at me all the time for driving the speed limit +/- 3mph. Yesterday two Jesus fish wielding dirt bags sped past me on the right, exceeding the limit by more than 10 mph in a school zone during pick up time, and proceeded to slam on their brakes after getting 2 feet in front of my brush guard.

      I believe the dog turds with Jesus fish are the same breed as the ones with the Marines recruiter stickers. Drug dealing, welfare cheating, identity thieving criminal scum bought used cars and never took the stickers off.

  5. Eärdil says

    I’m sorry to point it out Jon, but you have an error on the second paragraph. I think you mean

    “I’m so pretty, it’s illegal”

    By the way I think vanity is a sin, just saying.

  6. Kyle says

    This is the reason I don’t have a Jesus Fish sticker (well, that and they’re extremely tacky). I have a temdency to be a cranky driver with a dapple of road rage.

  7. TerryC says

    Maybe it could be like the Boy Scouts. They earn cards for things like fire building, using a pocket knife, and handling an ax. Then when a leader sees one of them doing something wrong while doing one of those activities, he/she can ask for his appropriate card and cut a corner off of it. If all four corners are cut from the card, he has to re-earn the card before he can do that activity again.

    So, when someone becomes a Christian, he/she can be given a Jesus Fish card (because, of course, we can’t “earn” it). Then, if another Christian sees them doing something un-Christian-like they ask for their Jesus Fish card and cut a corner from it. That’s a little less dramatic then ripping the Jesus Fish from their car.

    What to do when all four corners are cut off could be an issue. Maybe they should take Church 101 or the new member class over again.

  8. Priscilla Hammond says

    I took mine off voluntarily, and replaced it with a 26.2 sticker, so people will know I like to go fast. I yell “behind” & “on your left” a lot while driving. Didn’t the Bible tell us to run the good race? ;-)

  9. Kathleen says

    While ripping off the Jesus fish, slap on a “Honk If You Love Jesus” sticker. Evangelism and driver’s training combined!

  10. The_Other_Tom says

    I read:
    “…Suddenly a Saturn you didn’t see…”
    as
    “…Suddenly a Satan you didn’t see…”

    I was instantly reminded of Dana Carvey as The Church Lady saying this.

  11. Erin @ My Mommy World says

    My church just gave us all magnets to put on our cars so that we could “advertise” our church while we’re out driving around. It makes me think about my actions behind the wheel, because I wouldn’t want to make my church look like a hunch of jerks go there! It’s been very humbling :)

  12. Sam says

    Oh my word. Just happened this morning! I love that you wrote this. Totally wanted to pull him over and have a few words about love and kindness. You know, being like Jesus. But I probably couldn’t have done it while being like Jesus myself.

  13. Amy says

    And this is exactly why I DON’T have a Christian symbol on my car. I like to speed and I make plenty of driving mistakes. I don’t need to have my Jesus fish revoked. Thank you for the chuckle.

  14. JULIE says

    I thought that displaying a Jesus fish is the admission that one is a sinner, in need of a Savior. It doesn’t mean the person displaying said symbol is Jesus Himself! No revocation rights are necessary. If anything, pray for your brother or sister. If their driving is that bad, they NEED prayer!

  15. Emily says

    I grew up with parents who told me that putting anything on your car was a bad idea because if you angered someone on the road and you also had a sticker that they didn’t like, it could make them even angrier. Which could lead them to rearend you or chase you or something. Anywho, I guess their paranoia is genetic because as much as I love Jesus, I don’t think I could ever put a fish on my car.

  16. Casey says

    So I had once borrowed my parents car. It’s a cool fancy convertible. I’m driving along, top down, thoroughly enjoying this way-nicer-than my 2000 honda accord vehicle, when this middle aged fellow pulls up beside me at a stop light. In the most creepy way possible he starts staring and nodding and says “That’s a really hottt car.” I mean it IS a cool car, but I have a hard time believing he would have said it like that to a man.

    Most people guess my age at early 20s, so I’m going to go ahead and assume that this dude probably has kids… a daughter.. near my age. What is he thinking? Then he pulls ahead.. and there’s the christian fish.

    • Ginger says

      Ehhh… My husband is really into cars. I bet he’d have said it the same way to a guy, maybe even been more animated. Some folks just love cars and like to share their appreciation with others. But then, he also wouldn’t put a Jesus fish on his car because he likes to drive fast. :)

  17. pcg says

    Have I ever been cut off by someone with a Jesus fish? Yes, on Saturday. BY A SATURN. (Complete with the NOTW decal, no less.)

    Did I miss something about Saturn being the Lord’s Car Company? Because that seems too coincidental that you would mention the make (the Maker’s Make?!) so specifically.

  18. David says

    Once in college, I was with a buddy driving the speed limit, and a car was tail-gating me and honking at me, obviously impatient and wanting to pass. Finally, there was an opening, and he took it, speeding past me. My buddy and I looked over at this jerk who was trying so hard to get by us, and it turned out to be our Bible Study leader. When he saw us and we saw him, we burst out laughing, and we saw him hang his head in embarrassment. The next Bible Study, we brought it up, and it was a long time before we let him forget it.

  19. Amelia says

    I judge all sorts of people by their bumper stickers.
    “God Is My Co-Pilot”? Really? Well then, your should tell Him to use his turn signal.
    “Visualize World Peace”? How about visualizing the right-of-way laws?
    “Peace Starts Within”? Yeah, well, peace starts with you not parking in the space that I spent hours shoveling out.

  20. Stan says

    Years ago I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t blame the , I’m just a bad driver.” Should have bought it when I had the chance. That being said, I agree with the other commenters, based on my driving, I refuse to have any “Christian” stickers on my car.

  21. T.Nichols says

    I have a confession to make. I’ve cut people off. I’m an aggressive driver, so I sometimes cut someone off as I zig and zag through traffic. Yeah, I speed too.

    However, I don’t have a Jesus fish on the back of my car. And if I cut you off then you were barely doing the speed limit. So, um, yeah, that’s my confession.

  22. m says

    “I’m glad being the length of my car ahead of me was so important to you.” – I say this all the time…..people hurry up to pass you but you end up at the light or wherever at the same time….

  23. JayRay says

    JONJonjon. That’s YOU in the prius!??! Dude! Turn down the radio and pay attention! I follow the rules of the road (speed limit, right turn on red, left turn on green arrow.) If you are too busy tapping to your 80′s disco music to notice THE LEFT TURN ARROW IS GREEN, then those of us who are more mature should gently correct you, with a life giving horn honk.
    Somebody has to obey the Scriptures…….d,

  24. Darcie says

    I believe I once had a Jesus-fish on my first car.
    Recently I angrily followed a fancy suv with a church sticker…later I learned this church was incredibly supportive of my own church’s ministry. We are all broken, and despite my preference to those who drive well (despite fancy car angst), we’ve got a singular purpose in this mess of a world/city/whatev.

  25. Chris says

    Is anyone who is removing their fish willing to wear it on their body? Or perhaps they should wear sunglasses to sinful movies so nobody recognizes them. Or makes fun at someone else’s expense? If you think you don’t represent God in you car. Doesn’t it offend God? We sin. Jesus saves us from that. Have you marked your threshold? Or the back of your car? The world will hate us for many reasons. Please don’t hide your light under a basket. We Christians are as bad as everyone else. Let’s not act like we aren’t. I’m on the fence about the fish. Right now I have one and can’t take it off, I feel removing it somehow would be denying Christ. My bad. People driving cars kill people. Slow down. Be curtious.

  26. Mish says

    My husband has terrible road rage so I frequently remind him that there is a Jesus fish on the back of our car. One time we were at a stop light and the lady in front of us, with THREE fishes on her car, was screaming and pointing at her kids! I’m not sure what they did and they may have deserved it but we just chuckled at her “witness” as she jumped all over those kids!! :-)

  27. Kelly Levatino says

    Jon, I have a unique problem in this department I’m hoping you can help me with.

    I drive a car inherited from my deceased grandma-in-law. She put a Jesus fish on the car. I, personally, would never put a Jesus fish on any car I own for fear of representing Jesus badly when I drive. But when I got this car, it ALREADY had the fish on it.

    What’s the ruling on removing your OWN Jesus fish? I’ve always felt guilty thinking about doing that, kinda like it must mean I’m ashamed of Jesus… Is there a special place in hell for people who do this? Or just less reward in heaven?

    Kelly

    • Moriah says

      Funny story about this dillema:
      My grandpa bought a used car from an atheist, who hadn’t bothered removing the previous owner’s fish. My grandpa took off the fish, and you can see a mark where it was, so it looks like an atheist bought the car from a Christian. :)

  28. Alyssa says

    My first response is a fist pump & a loud “no doubt”–until I remember how unbecoming my intolerance can be :/.

  29. Andrew P says

    If I can’t live life day-to-day as a Christian to the best of my abilities, at all times, I don’t deserve to proclaim my beliefs to the world. If it’s not changing how I live, act, and react to the world around me, I am unworthy of proclaiming my belief.

    To me, that’s like saying to everyone I know “I go to the gym 3 times a week!” but really I’m only there to hang out with a friend, not to work out. Kinda deceptive.

    And yes, we all screw up daily, we all need to accept and receive grace every moment. BUT if I can’t strive to live life as if Jesus were beside me 24-7, I’m decieving myself and others. Not cool.

    By the way, my belief is that this extends beyond Jesus fish on the car. It includes clothing, tattoos, jewlery, and any other “Christian Tags”. If I can’t live differently enough to make people ask what’s different… I don’t have the right to advertise my beliefs as if I do.

    Thoughts and opinions my own. Jukes not intended, nor any guilt or harsh feelings that may have arisen from reading this. Humble and meek apologies if I did.

  30. Russ says

    Hey, Jon – you’re number one! And guess which finger I’m using?!?!?

    Judging the condition of some of the cars I’ve seen with the fish, I kind of wonder if those cars are Christian trade-ins and the new drivers were just too lazy to pry them off the trunk door.

    And then, I go back to the first word of that sentence and realize I’m judging. Sigh…

    • Russ says

      A note of context – I forgot to mention in my comment that I’ve seen people with the fish on their cars “fly the bird” as well. Not that I was actually intending to fly the bird myself…

  31. Rick says

    The Left lane is for passing….
    The Right lane is for driving what ever speed you want to and look at the scenery including fish driving by….

  32. Michael Wong says

    Jesus Fish are actually correlated to aggressive driving, just as all bumper stickers are correlated to aggressive driving. Researchers have found that people who put bumper stickers and other personalizations on their cars are expressing territorial behaviour, and territorial behaviour is strongly correlated to aggressive driving.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080613/full/news.2008.889.html

    So … yeah. It’s not just your subjective impression. There’s a pretty good chance that if someone proudly advertises his religion (or politics) on his car, then he’s a territorial sort of person, and territorial people are more likely to be aggressive drivers.

    • jdens says

      That is so interesting. I believe it.

      I remember being given a Jesus fish decal when I got my first car, and I was able to get out of it relatively gracefully by expressing how uncomfortable I was at putting *anything* on my car. (Like, it’s not the fish, it’s me. But really it was the fish.) Seems like those kinds of “labelling” stickers are expressions of tribalism. I don’t like it.

    • Mel says

      That is interesting….

      My car says “POLICE” on the side… with a Christian flag on the front license (cause I’m a chaplain too) And I am an aggressive driver. “bows his head in shame*

      Talk about conflicted struggles within. Constantly try to remember who I represent. Don’t judge me.. pray for me. :)

  33. Marie Riley says

    We’ve all cut someone off, but what really gets under my skin is when you see cars with a Jesus fish or even just cars in a church lot using two spaces. It’s a message saying “my car is more important than all of you.”

  34. Keith says

    I really like what Andrew P said about not proclaiming something to the world that you’re not exemplifying through your actions. I’ve contemplated getting a Jesus fish before, and I’ve always decided not to because there are many times when my driving would not be a good witness for Christ! If I should put a Jesus fish anywhere, it should be on my steering wheel or dashboard to remind me how I should act when I’m driving!

  35. mike freestone says

    It also applies to your yacht club or christian school. If you drive like jerk with those monikers on your auto, said jerk-ness transfers to your organization…and don’t pass someone and then turn into your church…another life lesson of driving as a Christian.

  36. Erin says

    The primary reason I keep the Jesus fish on my car is to keep me from flipping off terrible drivers. The emblem of Christ keeps me from angering a lunatic and getting shot. He keeps me safe like that.

  37. Anna says

    A large church I’m affiliated with gives out Jesus Fish bumper stickers with the church name on it. The Pastor once said that a member of the congregation got pulled over for speeding by a police officer that also attends the church- and he took their fish away! Haha, perfect solution!

  38. Christy says

    I have like 5 Christian bumper stickers, and won’t even put one on until the time is right. I’m not the most patient driver. Need to work on that before I slap “walk in love” on my honda.

  39. Twana says

    Maybe a magnet that says, “Jesus Fish Revoked” could be mass produced, and whenever that happens you can just slap it on over their little fish… They probably won’t even notice.

  40. Dixie says

    I always said if you have to put a sign on your car to tell people you’re a Christian, something is wrong. This proves my point.

    Besides, in some places it could get you shot.

  41. Amy says

    This is why I don’t even have a Jesus fish on my car. I KNOW that driving is like a thorn in my flesh – I’m often on my worst behavior behind the wheel (and I know it – and I try to not be – and then I get stuck going 45 in a 55 because a selfish car wants to hog the eastbound side of a two lane road, with no passing lane in sight) . . . I don’t want my lack of grace whilst driving to reflect on Christ.

  42. Samantha says

    My mom refused to buy a Jesus fish (during my over the top teen Christian faze when I told her she should). Her reason was that she tends to drive (as she puts it) “faster than the authorities recommend” and didn’t want to set a bad example.

  43. Shark Bait says

    I seem to recall a joke where the cop pulled the driver over, and made him get out of the car. He said “I’m sorry, after seeing all your Christian Bumper Stickers, and the way you drive, I just assumed the car was stolen.”

    Yeah… uh….. sounds about right.

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