What drives our image? - Catholic Courier

What drives our image?

I was halfway home from work yesterday when I was nearly run off the road by a speeding SUV. I watched in my rearview mirror as it roared up behind me, checked my speedometer to make sure I was driving fast enough (I was) and glanced back in my mirror in time to see it slam on the brakes when an oncoming car in the other lane prevented it from passing me.

After one more failed passing attempt — which elicited a loud, angry horn blast from an oncoming vehicle — the SUV successfully zipped around me and headed off down the road, where it reached the stop sign a whole five seconds before me. After waiting for oncoming traffic, it made its left turn at the same time I turned right.

As annoying as that was, I wouldn’t still be thinking about it today if it weren’t for the symbols I noticed adorning the back of the car as it sped away from me. Not only did it have an ichthys (Jesus fish), but it also had a magnet advertising one of the local Catholic high schools.

It’s not that I’m naive enough to think that Catholics are perfect drivers, or perfect at anything, for that matter. What bothers me is that by putting those symbols on his or her car, that person has in a way become a representative of all Catholics. As such, I believe that confers a certain degree of responsibility.

That may not be fair, but I think that’s the way it is. Similarly, as an employee of the diocesan newspaper, I’m viewed as a representative of the diocese when I’m covering assignments at churches, and of Catholics in general when I’m at assignments that deal with the secular public. I try to conduct myself accordingly.

What do you think? Am I wrong on this?

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