photo credit: AP

The Big O promised to uphold Bush's faith-based program.  Cue the conservative crowd: Screams and Hallelujahs.  However, the Big O promised to correct one glitch in the program—the ability of groups to receive federal aid and discriminate in hiring practices on basis of religion.  Cue the conservatie crowd:  Boos and hisses.  Cut to the National Prayer Breakfast and the Big O gets wobbly at the knees and decides to let the discrimination policy remain.  Cue the conservative crowd:  Hallelujah!  And, hey I don't blame them either.  A cheerful Hallelejah seems appropriate when the 44th President honors a policy that allows Christians to offer a helping hand to the needy, slam the hiring door if the needy is not interested in conversion, and still get big federal bucks.  Niiiicee.  In truth, the Big O is a Big disappointment on this one.  Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable, in the day-to-day, and especially in federal policy.  But if the Big O is simply kowtowing to the Republicans to expedite the Stimulus Package, well, maybe a little temporary discrimination in Christian policy will have to be acceptable.  You know, so the country doesn't disappear into a financial black hole and I can still afford my Trader Joe's pistachios.  Besides, the most segregated hour in America is still 12 noon Sunday at any given church.

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.