A New (Unconstitutional) Religious Test for a Presidential Appointee?

Paul  Weyrich
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Posted: Jun 29, 2007 12:01 AM
A New (Unconstitutional) Religious Test for a Presidential Appointee?

Radical homosexual activists are at it again. They have condemned President George W. Bush's nomination of Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr. for the post of United States Surgeon General. The reason for their condemnation is that he takes his Christian faith seriously. According to Article VI of the United States Constitution, "...no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or Public trust under the United States." The only requirement for public officials is that they pledge to uphold the Constitution.

In our modern culture, however, few people know anything about the Constitution, and even fewer adhere to its principles. Instead, there is an abundance of politically active groups driven by personal agendas to radically alter our society without regard for the rule of law or the havoc their ideas may inflict upon American culture.

Dr. Holsinger is an active member of the United Methodist Church. In 2005 he served on the Church's Judicial Council, its highest judicial body, and voted with a majority of the members to remove a lesbian pastor from her post. The Council ruled as it did because it was bound to uphold the United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline, which forbids the ordination of ministers who are practicing homosexuals.

Holsinger's affiliation with a local United Methodist church that ministers to men and women who no longer want to practice homosexuality also has aroused the ire of the gay lobby, as has a paper for which he wrote while he was Chief Medical Director for the Department of Veterans Affairs. In the paper, Dr. Holsinger discusses homosexuality from a medical standpoint and asserts that homosexual sex leads to bodily trauma and diseases, a claim that statistics and death rates for many years have proven to be true.

These then are the political sins of a highly qualified and respected nominee for Surgeon General. Various groups, including Truth Wins Out, Soulforce and gay medical groups have strongly condemned the nomination. On June 4, the Human Rights Campaign issued a press release stating that it opposes Holsinger's nomination because he "has a record that is unqualified for America's doctor [because] his writings suggest a scientific view rooted in anti-gay beliefs that are incompatible with the job of serving the medical health of all Americans." The press release goes on to state that Dr. Holsinger's theological views are incompatible with his position, even though "the church's theology isn't being nominated."

Of course, any one who opposes homosexuality is not acting from sound science but from bigotry and is therefore unqualified to serve as Surgeon General. Truth Wins Out's Executive Director, Wayne Besen, went a step further than the Human Rights Campaign and claimed that "Holsinger is an ideologue whose medical views on gay and lesbian people resemble sorcery more than sound science."

This is outrageous. Dr. Holsinger is a physician who has devoted his entire career to helping the sick no matter who they are or what their lifestyle is and to serving the public in multiple administrative positions. One of his former colleagues, who is a lesbian, sent a letter of support for his nomination to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). She particularly noted that Holsinger treats all people with integrity.

Dr. Holsinger is also refreshingly honest about the dangers of homosexuality to men's bodies, an honesty that some scientists will not permit themselves because they belong to organizations like the American Psychological Association that actively support homosexuality. In spite of his qualifications, radical homosexual activists are intent on defeating his nomination, in blatant violation of Article VI of the Constitution, because of his religious beliefs.

Dr. Holsinger is a solid nominee for Surgeon General and the Senate should confirm his nomination without hesitation. This may be too much to expect from some Senators who are beholden to the both the nihilist ideology of the radical homosexual lobby and to the campaign funds they provide. But President Bush has made an excellent choice and we ought to approve Dr. Holsinger without delay no matter how stridently the homosexual lobby protests.