Is it a Sin to Speed?

What Say You: Is it a sin to speed … especially on the way to Mass?

We recently received this lovely note from the City of Des Moines. The note included a “Notice of Violation” with a beautiful picture of our finally fully paid for Honda Pilot traveling on I-235 in Des Moines one sunny Sunday morning on the way to Mass. Guess the City thought it was interesting that our Pilot was traveling at a speed of 71-mile/hour in a 60-mile/hour speed zone. Guess they thought we might like a photo of the event. Guess they also thought it was worth a $65 fine.

Notice of Violation

Thanks, City of Des Moines, for dropping us a note!

Random thoughts:

  • Between the two of us, Joel and I have received four speeding violations over the last four years. All four times that we’ve been busted occurred on the way to a church-related event. The Des Moines cameras caught us twice; we’ve had the pleasure of meeting an Iowa state patrolman and a Missouri county sheriff, too.
  • Thank goodness the two violations via the enforcement cameras don’t go on our permanent driving record. Keeps insurance down AND helps avoid that pesky little potential problem of three violations and a suspended license for a year scenario.
  • We are perpetually running late. FOR EVERYTHING — Mass, meetings, diaconate formation classes, kids’ activities, doctor appointments, Yada Yada La Scala. In all four scenarios, weren’t actually weren’t running late. {Cue music: Isn’t it Ironic by Alanis Morissette}
  •  I probably shouldn’t reveal all this info here at the blog. But oh so what. NSA knows everything, anyway.

So what say you: Is it a sin to speed? And let’s have some fun with this, friends!

12 comments to Is it a Sin to Speed?

  • It is a sin to break any law–unless it is an unjust law. Speed limits are just, because they have been proven to save lives. The Fourth Commandment forbids us to offend or disobey our parents and superiors in authority. This includes our superiors in law and society, as well as our Church leaders. Recall Jesus said “Give to Caesar what is Caesar´s, but give to God what is God´s”

  • Bud

    I would say it is sinful to endanger others. Is 11 mph over an arbitrary speed limit on a fairly deserted stretch of road endangering anyone? I think not. 71 in a 60 zone where the road is built for much faster traffic than the posted limit is not sinful in my eyes. Perhaps a venial sin at worse. I see enforcement by cameras as unjust.

    Just move to Houston, speeding here is very lightly regulated. The closest I got to a speeding ticket was 79 in a 65 and the motorcycle cop just drove along side me for a few seconds and gave me a stern look. I slowed down and he went on his way. That’s Texas for ya.

    I hope things are going well.

    Bud

    • Catheri

      Bud – too many people “justify” their sins for convenience. 11 miles over a speed limit is a SIN. Speed limits are NOT “arbitrary” – they are a LAW – if you don’t like it – work to change it! SIMPLE if you don’t obey, it’s a sin – this IS a “just” law! The same thinking YOU have is the same thing ABORTIONISTS give for murdering babies! MURDER IS a sin too – don’t try to justify your disregard for law. You ARE jeopardizing a life – YOURS! Suicide is a sin too so if you deliberately and intentionally speed and use YOUR life – you are culpable (means “guilty, blameworthy, responsible, liable) of a mortal sin – MURDER!

      • Bud

        Catheri, I hope in general your tone is not as I took it from this post. If the speed limit laws are not arbitrary why are they so frequently changed? The breaking of a man made law is not automatically a sinful act. If it were the entirety of the United States of America is founded on sin. Do you suggest that is the case?

        It was against the law and treasonous to rebel against the crown, yet our founders did so by breaking the law. I the end we are not held accountable to God for how w followed man’s laws we are held accoutnable for how we followed His laws.

        By the way, I can follow the exact speed limit and put more people in harms way at times than traveling over the posted limit on an open road.

  • Brigit Barnes

    There is nothing just about speeding laws per se. the reason for the actual posting, can be valid, or not, depending on the circumstances: obviously slower in residential and school zones is valid. In almost all cases of speed laws on Interstates, and major highways, the roadways were designed for speeds of 75-80 MPH. The lower speeds came in the the 70s in support of saving on gas mileage. In California, it is public knowledge that counties count on speed traps in their annual budgets as fundraising, having nothing to do with safety, and CHP has set quotas, again to raise funds.

  • Render unto Caesar…
    Driving the speed limit is just another way to practice fasting. In this case, fasting from doing what I want over what is the law.

  • I blogged a funny photo – “How to tell when a Catholic is driving too fast” – Jesus is hanging on for dear life to the cross on the rosary hanging on the rear view mirror. I proposed Christian driving. Days later, the Vatican issued the “Ten Commandments of Driving” and Protestants were in an uproar about the Vatican changing the Ten Commandments! D´oh, it´s just a metaphor or construct. I take my driving habits to confession every time.

  • On July 14 of this year we had a “mom´s driving record starts over today” party! I had 2 tickets on my record and if a 3rd had been issued before July 14, it was off to driving school for me. So to celebrate I sped to Mass that Sunday morning! :) In all honesty, I have felt called to work on my punctuality a bit more seriously. I always want to get that one more thing done before leaving the house and then end up rushing, being late…life is much more peaceful now that I´ve made punctuality a priority. I think that cardinal sin of pride is tied up in my lack of punctuality somewhere…my life >> everything else going on. Arghh…

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church #2290 “Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and other’s safety on the road, at sea or in the air.” That being said, however, most of us who are perpetually late or nearly so don’t exceed the speed limit for the sheer love of speed itself – but because we are likewise guilty of poor stewardship of time. Likewise guilty. ;-)

  • Please don´t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly, and if Jesus is holding on to that crucifix for dear life (I wish I could post that pix) then slow down, few things in life are THAT important that you HAVE to speed for fear of showing up late.

  • Bud

    I think endangering others is sinful, I do not think driving over the speed limit automatically qualifies as endangering others. In fact, driving the speed limit in come situations would be endangering others. If the road is open, and dry, and visibility is good, the speed limits are way below what you can actually travel safely on them.

  • Define “To Speed.”

    (Thanks, I’ll be here all night, tip your waitress.)

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