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.