Friday, May 25, 2007

Gay rights opponent picked for surgeon general

President Bush sure knows how to pick a fight. I can only imagine he has another on his hands with the selection of Dr. James W. Holsinger to be the country's 18th surgeon general. CBS News is reporting Holsinger wants to fight child obesity.

But my buddy the Bible Belt Blogger -- who caught Jimmy Carter's tongue in a trap last week -- points out that Holsinger, a member of the Asbury Seminary board of trustees, has taken a strong stance against homosexuality.

Time's Richard N. Ostling wrote in 1991: Holsinger thinks Methodism could lose millions of members if an upheaval in church policy is ever approved. But Julian Rush of Denver, a pioneer gay Methodist minister, says, "I don't expect any change in my lifetime. The church won't lead the way on gays. It has to come from society into the church."

Holsinger is also a member of the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church. Last year, he ruled in favor of a Methodist minister who had refused to allow a gay man to join his church, according to the Religion News Service.

As a judicial council member, he has also ruled that "a self-avowed practicing homosexual," cannot be appointed as a pastor by a bishop, according to the United Methodist News Service.

The United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline states that "Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church."

1 comment:

Jaydee said...

Holsinger is not just a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council. He is the chair of the council. He was certainly the swing vote in the recent decision upholding the right of a Virginia minister to ban a gay man from becoming a member of the church. Moreover, for the last two decades he has been on the steering committees of the most anti-gay lobbying groups in the UMC.