The New York Times reported that worshipers in Detroit churches held services on Sunday to pray for a bailout of the US automobile industry. At Greater Grace Temple, an 8,000-member Pentecostal church in northwest Detroit, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III gave his sermon, titled “A Hybrid Hope.” As a backdrop to the sermon, three SUVs were on stage: a Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Escape and Chrysler Aspen—all gas-electric hybrids.
Outside the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, a sign beckoned passers-by to hear about “God’s bailout plan.” As churchgoers prayed for a miracle, Congressional Democrats were drafting legislation to provide emergency bridge loans of about $15 billion to the Big Three automakers, in exchange for tight government control of the struggling American auto industry.
Those controls would include stringent guidelines for improving fuel efficiency of cars and trucks—well beyond the earthly MPG of the hybrid SUVs at the alter.
Bishop Ellis wanted hybrid vehicles as part of the service to “illustrate his message” of hope, and to help electrify the audience. But saving Detroit in the long run, according to
many industry analysts, will require greater electrification of the automobile.