Who’s the boss?
Husbands, how would you like to be held responsible for your wife’s driving, even when you’re not with her in the car? If so, then the 650 followers of The First Christian Fellowship for Eternal Sovereignty would love to mail you a brochure.
One of the Fellowship’s ministers, Brad Barnhill, argued in court recently that because of his religious beliefs, he should be tried for the charges that his wife, Catherine Donkers, faced in a 2003 incident when she was caught breast-feeding the couple’s seven-month-old child while doing 65 mph down the Ohio turnpike.
When police tried to pull Donkers over, she first called Barnhill to see what she should do. After leading police on a three-mile chase while taking notes on her husband’s instructions and continuing to breast-feed, Donkers finally pulled over near a tollbooth, where she was arrested.
Fortunately, at her trial, she had perfectly reasonable explanations for her actions.
Why breast-feed a baby while driving? Because her husband told her to do so in order to save time. Besides, everyone knows that nursing is much less distracting to a driver than listening to a screaming baby.
Why continue driving for three miles when police have asked you to pull over? Because her husband had instructed her to pull over for police only in a public area with witnesses. The police can’t be trusted because they are part of “The Beast” (also known as the government).
So if her husband told her to jump off a bridge, would she do it? Turns out, she’d have to. The First Christian Fellowship teaches that the husband is the head of the family. He is given control over his wife’s actions, and also is held responsible for them.
Therefore, remaining true to his faith, Barnhill insisted at his wife’s trial that he should be tried for her actions. Donkers was convicted anyway, but this past April those convictions were overturned due to mistakes made by lower court judges. There is no word yet on how the judges’ husbands will be punished.
New rules for the road
How are you supposed to know what to do behind the wheel if you don’t have a husband?
Pope Benedict XVI has the answer in the form of a new Vatican document, “Guidelines for Pastoral Care of the Road.”
While praising many of the benefits of driving, such as allowing people to see other cultures and getting the sick to the hospital, the document also warns that cars can be “an occasion for sin,” such as dangerous driving, rude gestures, cursing, blasphemy and prostitution.
To remedy these ills, the document comes with a handy set of Ten Commandments for all drivers to keep in mind:
1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination or an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not-so-young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.
Interestingly, there’s no mention of breast-feeding, so take that, Beast.