by John Grooms
As long as there are clueless bigots, there will always be Stupid Things to report. Take, for instance, Contemporary Family Services, the winner of this weeks coveted Stupid Thing of the Week award. CFS is a Maryland-based private foster agency, authorized by the state to place foster children with families. Unbelievably, CFS rejected the application of Tashima Crudup to foster a child. Crudup is a former foster child herself, which would normally be considered a plus, except for the little fact that Crudup is also a practicing Muslim.
Crudup passed the initial screenings, and completed 50 hours of training for future foster parents. A social worker who visited Crudup reported that Crudup was accepting of religious practices other than their own and was willing to make arrangements to have a child attend the church of his or her own choice if so requested. Still, she was rejected because -- get this -- she doesnt allow pork in her house. CFS told Crudup that it certainly respects her views and practices, but it also needs to ensure that the religious, cultural and personal rights of each foster child are protected. Who knew that there's an innate right to eat pork?
Marylands Department of Human Resources (DHR), which contracted with CFS, says the group is violating the law. The ACLU is working for Crudup, and has pointed out that CFS reasoning should also lead them to deny a foster care license to Orthodox Jews and vegetarians. Or, presumably, to people who just dont like pork. The Baltimore Sun summed it up well: There are thousands of kids across the state who desperately need stable homes and loving caretakers; thats what foster care and adoption officials should be focusing on, not on which meat dish gets put on the table every night.