Saturday, May 17, 2008

I am the Organ-ic Chemist, and ...

... and I hang a rosary on my rear-view mirror.

It's true. I do. I realise some may find it irritating, and I do recall having been criticised for it by one of my atheist friends a long time ago. Mine is rather unobtrusive - it's one of those small bracelet-type rosaries with green beads to match my forest green car. The result - an unobstructed rear-view mirror. In fact, just below the mirror, you can clearly see the crucifix, but still, it's small enough that if you're not looking for it, you will miss it. I, however, can see it every time I look at the mirror.

A friend of mine gave me a Guardian Angel clip that currently lives on the driver side visor. I have a copy of the Driver's Prayer underneath that. A dried palm ... well, I guess it's a leaf? It's the ones you typically receive on Palm Sunday ... it lays on the dashboard, quite out of the way.

Why do I have these things in my car? Why not? My brother and parents have done the same thing. So too do their siblings. One of my uncles was a jeepney driver, and he had all sorts of religious items hanging off his rear-view mirror.

I recall that my father had something attached to a suction cup that was positioned right behind the rear-view mirror, and hung down below it, joining the swinging rosary. This something was a depiction of Jesus and His Sacred Heart, and had the Traveller's Prayer written below the picture. It may have even had a bright yellow fringe, but don't quote me on that one. It was something he bought in the Philippines ... I want to say Divisoria? Or was it near Quiapo? I don't remember. There is a place in Metro Manila which is a shopper's paradise if you're after sacred icons and other religious items. Filipinos are very well known for such items, and I recall it is not uncommon to see people travelling with statues and the like, most notably the Black Nazarene, the Sto. Nino (Infant of Prague I think is how it's more typically known outside of the Philippines), and various Marian statues.

But I digress. So. Is hanging a rosary or other religious items off of the rear-view mirror disrespectful? I don't believe so. I know there are some who don't like them hanging (Sister Spitfire was one of those who expressed dislike of this practice, and I've heard the same from others over the years), however, the only objection I've received personally was from my atheist friend back when I was a third-year college student at UCSD. I've heard of people who, when stuck in traffic, will spend their time praying the rosary, as opposed to stewing in the virtual carpark ... luckily, that stifling type of gridlock-style traffic is quite rare in these parts, and is one of the things I frankly do not miss about San Diego ...

So, dear reader, if you've an opinion one way or the other about rosaries or anything else hanging off the rear-view mirror, feel free to leave a comment.

(N.B.: The image of the rosary bracelet above comes from


John C. Fowler said...

My rear-view mirror is bare. In my opinion, it's OK to hang stuff from your mirror, as long as it: a) doesn't block your view or otherwise interfere with your driving, b) isn't offensive to police officers (duh), and c) doesn't look so valuable that people break into your car to steal it (and don't use something with such sentimental value that you couldn't stand to lose it if someone did, or if your car wound up in a fiery wreck).

Lyn F. said...

Okay, here's another thing that hung off my rear-view mirror for many years - my golden tassel that I got when I received my Ph.D. It lasted for about 3 years before it fell apart. It faded a bit, and the metal started to deteriorate. I still have the pieces in a box somewhere ... admittedly, the hanging tassel would have been far more distracting than my rosary.

Brian Michael Page said...

There's nothing disrespectful about hanging a rosary on your mirror, contrary to athiest opinion. That's Mary watching your back while driving. :)