The Church, the Car, and the Family

My girlfriend was given this book called, "The ABCs of Choosing a a Good Husband" written by someone named Stephen Wood.  It was published by Family Life Center publications and given to her by some father-figure colleague of hers who probably isn't impressed by my "cultural" Catholicism.

She read the book out loud and hopped upon interesting quotes about car usage, the Christian faith, and dating.

This publication suggests that the availability, and wide usage of the car eroded an aspect of the family, and by implication the Christian/Catholic faith.
Chaperones and the family courting circle were abandoned in the early twentieth century for the thrill of the automobile and the "independence" provided by the dating revolution (p. 23)
I'm not sure what Stephen Wood is in the Christian/Catholic community, but what he's written is apparently credible enough for my fervently Catholic girlfriend.

As my friend wondered about ways of getting churchgoers to share the road and think of it as a Christian act, I think that above publication provided insight so that I could slap up an answer to my friend's question:
  • Bike advocates should frame the mode of transportation as a "family-friendly" way of transportation, and sell them on how automobiles interrupt if not ruin families and to a lesser extent community
  • Priests should accept that frame and promote it as such
  • Promote bike-a-thon events for the church 
  • Move to build bike racks or hire valets to watch over bikes;  a contrast to the common LA scene of full parking lots on Sundays, only to be severely underused the rest of the week

While the author doesn't exactly implicate biking by commuting, he makes a point that ironically parallels some of the thinking from my past atheist punking girlfriends:  the car may provide the means to get you to point A and B, but it doesn't do a lot to connect you with people.
"Exactly how do you court in the twenty-first century?  The skills needed for the art of courtship have been lost, and we all need to rediscover them.  For starters, you can rethink how you use a car.

I know this sounds radical, but I suggest that a car be used only for chaperoned social activities and to visit each other's homes, if they are nearby.  You, and the man courting you, should interact with your families at mealtimes and join in family activities, recreation, and outings as much as possible.  Don't use a car for private times together." - (21-22)
The part about chaperones notwithstanding, its hilarious to me how sometimes conservative elements of religion can on occasion sound almost progressive green hipsters. 

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