James Holsinger, Bush's nominee to become Surgeon General, is another example of the idealogic incompetence of this administration. Holsinger not only believes that homosexuals can be "cured" of their "disease" but runs a church that claims to do just that. However, that is not his most serious fault. He ignores rules when they don't suit his views. Sound familiar? Let me explain.
Holsinger is the presiding officer of the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church. As such, he makes rulings on matters of church doctrine. Two of his most infamous rulings, numbered 1031 and 1032, violate the Book of Discipline of the UMC. It states that while homosexuality is not compatible with Christian doctrine (a position we are trying to change) it goes on to allow gay men and women to join congregations without arbitrary restriction. In other words, gays can't be denied church membership because of their sexual preference. Last year a minister in Virginia denied membership to a man on the basis that he is gay. His presiding bishop ordered him to admit the man. The minister refused. The bishop ordered the minister to take leave. The Annual Conference and Regional Jurisdiction upheld the bishop. However, Holsinger's Judicial Council, by a vote of 5-3, disregarded Discipline and ruled that the minister is the sole arbitor of who can join a church, no matter what rules Discipline sets. The bishop was overruled. The Book of Discipline was undermined. The decision was based solely on homophobia, nothing less or more.
If Holsinger disregards the doctrine of his own church when it suits him, what laws will he disregard as Surgeon General? Will abortion clinics be ordered closed? Will the "healing" of "homosexuals" become official government health policy? This quack must be stopped. However, even if the Senate denies confirmation, it is entirely possible that Bush will grant Holsinger a recess appointment. The health of the nation is at stake. We must mobilize a grass roots effort to stop this dangerous phony from ever becoming the nation's chief medical officer.