Disclaimer: We all do not share the same motivations, of which there are many, to drive electric or to go solar. Nor do we all share the same, if any, spiritual beliefs. This writing is not an attempt to convince you that I know “What Would Jesus Drive” or what you should drive, but rather an exploration of my EV & PV experiences paired with my spiritual beliefs and the growing awareness of the synergies contained in both.
As a lifelong Lutheran, I am pleased that technology, innovation and human advancement have brought us to an important intersection in our history where renewable energy and electric vehicles are becoming mainstream, a growing percentage of our energy portfolio and transportation choices. I consider both technologies as vastly superior and greatly important to a healthier, more equitable and sustainable world.
This relatively “rapid” emergence of electric vehicles and renewable energy technology and their related benefits / cost are the subject of the highest level of debate in the academic, scientific and political institutions of the world. I believe that it deserves consideration as a robust theological discussion as well.
The experience of our EV and Solar PV (EV & PV) life and how this aligns with my spiritual beliefs has been rattling around in my thoughts for a few years now. My spiritual belief was not a factor in my early decisions regarding EV and PV several years ago, however the past few years, after experiencing the EV & PV lifestyle and gaining a greater understanding of each and the magnitude of change for the better if utilized broadly, I have experienced a growing awareness of the many benefits of EV & PV and how they are in alignment with my spiritual beliefs.
For example in the fundamental writings of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments we find:
· “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”
How can we look at the major cities of the world, containing the majority of the world’s population, and the growing problem of pollution as something other than a great trespass against all of god's creations, human and other? Are we trespassing against the commons of air and water that are globally shared by all with our machines that run on oil? Unhealthy air inhaled with each and every breath, by each and every person and creature, that is in majority caused by our transportation choices powered by oil. Do we have the ability or obligation to lessen this trespass by driving vehicles powered by sunshine or other renewable energy sources?
· “Honor thy Father and Mother” Do we honor our father and mother by knowingly polluting our earth to be inherited by our children and future generations as their burden to right our wrong? Is there a cleaner way, a more sustainable way to live?
· “Thou shalt not covet” Do we covet our neighbor’s possessions? Is oil in the hands of the few coveted by many? There are numerous and diverse resources including unending renewable resources that are far more equitably shared by all from which to make electricity. We will never go to war over sunshine or wind.
· “Thou shalt not kill” Do we kill when worldwide and local medical authorities with one voice say air pollution is causing deaths and serious respiratory illnesses for those living in polluted cities and along interstate freeways?
· “Thou shalt not kill” Do we kill when our interest is the protection of strategic national resources such as oil, and in that protection of our national interest, our soldiers and their soldiers and innocent civilians die?
· “Thou shalt not bear false witness” Do we lie and give false witness regarding our reliance on oil and the propping up of alliances to secure and protect our supply of oil?
In summary, two things are clear for me:
I believe that theological institutions should join the academic, scientific, and political institutions in debating the emerging world of zero emission electric transportation and renewable energy as it relates to the teachings of scripture.
My spiritual beliefs, along with my environmental, economic and sustainability beliefs are all components of my decision making and EVangelism to drive gasoline free with electric cars powered by solar energy.