United Methodist Nominee for US Surgeon General in cross-fire

July 11, 2007

President Bush's nominee for surgeon general, Dr. James Holsinger Jr., who is scheduled for a hearing July 12 before the Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, is running into cross-fire from both sides of the aisle in Congress, according to the Washington Times.


At the June California-Nevada Annual Conference Session, a resolution was passed expressing a lack of support for Dr. Holsinger, who is the former head of the Good News Caucus and current President of the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church.


In part, the resolution reads, “While we affirm Dr. Holsinger’s right to practice and advocate for the religious beliefs of his own choosing, his long history of opposition to full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and his regular misuse of medical science makes him ill-suited for the post of the United States Surgeon General.”


The resolution also called for the Cal-Nevada Conference to send letters to the White House, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the entire U.S. Congressional delegation from the states of California and Nevada expressing opposition to the nomination of Dr. Holsinger.


If confirmed by Congress, Holsinger would, according to the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, serve as America's chief health educator, giving Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.



Holsinger has been under fire for a paper, "The Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality," which he wrote while a member of the 1989-92 churchwide Committee to Study Homosexuality. The New York Times published an editorial July 10 urging the committee to verify whether Holsinger still holds the views expressed in the paper. 



However, conservatives now are criticizing Holsinger's previous stances on human cloning and embryonic stem-cell research, which oppose those of President Bush, according to the Washington Times. The U.S. Senate web site says that Holsinger's hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, July 12 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-50.