Honolulu Lite


Spiritual guidance
not a guessing game

What kind of a car would Jesus drive? What kind of a woman would the prophet Mohammed marry? What kind of ridiculous, hurtful and ultimately pointless theological mental gymnastics are we suddenly being exposed to?

Hundreds of people in Nigeria have been killed in riots after a newspaper suggested that Islam's founding prophet would have chosen a Miss World contestant as a wife were he alive today. The Miss World pageant, which brings together the world's most beautiful women in an extraordinarily vapid waste of oxygen, had to move to London as Christians and Muslims battled it out with police.

The eruption of violence must have been perplexing to the contestants, who believe that wherever overly coifed bimbos in bathing suits congregate, world peace is sure to follow. I would have loved to see one of the contestants asked what she thought about the statement that Mohammed would have chosen one of them for his wife. ("I don't care who the dude is, I'm not getting involved in one of those 'Bachelor' TV shows.")

Before the hysteria in Nigeria, American citizens were being exposed to commercials by "religious environmentalists" (those are a couple of words you don't see hanging out together very often) assuring us that if Jesus were alive today, he wouldn't drive a gas guzzling sport utility vehicle. Because, you know, man, Jesus would be, like, into stopping global warming and stuff.

Soon, every poufy-haired pastor (what is with it with TV ministers and weird hair?) rushed onto the air to aver with straight faces that Jesus would indeed drive an SUV or a VW Bug or a Humvee or a donkey or a team of field mice or a (insert your mode of transportation here) and why.

MY QUESTION is this: Don't we have enough real problems to worry about without creating hypotheticals designed merely to agitate each other? What is the point of playing "My Deity is Way Better Your Deity?" ("My deity would watch 'Friends,' go to Britney Spears concerts, date supermodels and do everything that I think is cool.")

I don't know much about deities, prophets and the like except that the ones you read about in history books seemed more interested in people living together in peace then causing arguments. If Buddha favored the Atkins diet plan or Weight Watchers (or, apparently, neither) he could have said so at the time he lived.

These guys were all-seeing, all-knowing. If Jesus really felt strongly about global warming, why didn't he say in his Sermon on the Mount: "Look, in a couple of thousand years, they are going to be making these huge vehicles called SUVs. Don't buy 'em. Take the bus."

He was Jesus. He knew SUVs were coming.

And I'm sure that Mohammed wouldn't want people discussing his taste in women then or now and certainly not killing each other over it.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. E-mail

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