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Group Asks: 'What Would Jesus Drive?'

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DETROIT - A coalition of religious and environmental groups is funding an ad campaign to encourage consumers to abandon their gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and choose more earth-friendly vehicles.

A TV spot with the theme: "What would Jesus Drive?" will break this month or early in December in eight cities in four states: North Carolina, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri. It was created by Zimmerman and Markman, a political consulting firm in Santa Monica, Calif., that specializes in social issue campaigns.

The exact break date has not been determined because media negotiations are still underway, said an agency representative. Print breaks in the January 2003 issue of Christianity Today.

The $65,000 campaign is being funded by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a Wynnewood, Penn.-based group of organizations and individuals whose purpose is "to declare the Lordship of Christ over all creation," according to their website, www.whatwouldjesusdrive.org. "As a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, EEN works to help Christians and others understand a biblical approach to caring for all of Christ's creation."

Leaders of the group were in Detroit today (Nov. 20) to meet with General Motors and Ford Motor Co. executives. Leaders of some of the groups within the EEN have signed a letter to GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler executives asking for improvements in fuel economy.

"The purpose of the 'What Would Jesus Drive?' educational campaign is to help Christians and others understand that transportation choices are moral choices, and to reflect upon the problems associated with transportation from a biblically orthodox, Christ-centered perspective," according to the website.