Bunny Greenhouse was once the perfect bureaucrat, an insider, the top procurement official at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Then the 61-year-old Greenhouse lost her $137,000-a-year post after questioning the plump contracts awarded to Halliburton in the run-up to the war in Iraq. It has made her easy to love for some, easy to loathe for others, but it has not made her easy to know.
In late August, she was demoted, her pay cut and her authority stripped. Her former bosses say it's because of a years-long bout of poor work habits; she and her lawyer say it's payback for her revelations about a politically connected company.
This story by Washington Post writer Neely Tucker has a “ghost” hidden it it. Terry Mattingly, at GetReligion, calls those facts and religious images hiding in the story holy ghosts. Tucker describes Greenhouse as “broad-shouldered, elegant, devoutly Christian.” Highly professional, the sister of NBA star Elvin Hayes, Greenhouse learned integrity and toughness early in life.
Here is the ghost, as I see it. Author Gregory Pierce, describes ten disciplines for workplace spirituality. The ninth discipline involves making the system work. In her dedication to insuring that corps of engineer funds were spent properly, Greenhouse was working to seeing that funds would be available for other purposes – such as flood control. From the story, it appears that Mrs. Greenhouse saw her job as a mission to help others. It was informed by her Christian faith. I may be wrong, but it seems to me to be a “ghost” – a religious dimension of the story unexplored by the writer.
This is unfortunate. Very few church leaders – or religion blogs – see the religious dimension in the lives of courageous working people like Mrs. Greenhouse.
It seems that journalists are blind to the religious dimension of work. Church leaders, in contrast, are blind to the workplace dimensions of religion.