Credentials or Political Correctness?

Naming a Surgeon General

If you were going to appoint a surgeon general to office, you'd want to make sure he had impeccable qualifications, perhaps something like a degree in medicine from Duke, a Ph.D. in anatomy and physiology, and a graduate degree in hospital administration. They'd need experience, something like serving as medical director for the Department of Veteran Affairs for 25 years, chancellor of the University of Kentucky Medical Center, and secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for Kentucky.

Well, unfortunately these qualifications of Dr. James Holsinger, the President's nominee for new surgeon general, aren't impeccable enough. No, apparently, he needs an advanced degree in political correctness.

Dr. Holsinger, a Methodist layman, once sat on a judicial council for the United Methodist church. In accordance with the current Methodist discipline, he stood against a decision to allow a practicing lesbian as an associate pastor. But what really angers his opponents is a paper he wrote in 1991 for the Methodist Committee to Study Homosexuality. The paper was titled, "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality." A recent editorial in the Washington Post eviscerated Dr. Holsinger for suggesting that homosexual conduct is unnatural and unhealthy.

Holsinger made the audacious claim that anatomically and physiologically, men and women are complementary. And, he dared to write, "when the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur."

Scientific research backs his claim. The Centers for Disease Control revealed in a 2005 report that male homosexuals account for at least 71 percent of all adult and adolescent males living with the deadly HIV/AIDS. And despite the wave of condom-based "safe-sex" education, these numbers are up 11 percent from 2001.

And HIV/AIDS is not the only health risk that any good doctor would point out to someone considering the homosexual lifestyle. CDC statistics also show that homosexuals are, by far, most likely to contract nearly all forms of STDs.

Unfortunately, in the recent confirmation hearings, Dr. Holsinger distanced himself from his earlier stance. About the 1991 paper, he says, "The paper does not represent where I am today." It's an ambiguous statement and leaves us wondering whether the good doctor is shying away from the medical facts, maybe from an earlier tone or simply has been browbeaten mercilessly.

What it does show us is the unbelievable pressure that comes to bear on anyone who would dare to question the morality of homosexual conduct, or point out the health risks.

The Post concluded one of its editorials by writing, "Does Holsinger still believe that homosexuality is unnatural and unhealthy? If the answer is yes, he should not be confirmed."

Well, there you have it. And you can expect to see that litmus test more and more. Christians in public life will be under enormous pressure to recant not only on what they believe, but also the cold, hard facts.


From BreakPoint®, July 31, 2007, Copyright 2007, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship