Holsinger Hearing

I wanted to liveblog the hearing this morning, but work kept me from it.

I did catch the second hour live. Holsinger backed away from his 1991 pseudo-scientific ramblings about homosexuality, saying it no longer represented who he was. But when Ted Kennedy pushed on the matter, questioning, for example, his used of a study of patients in a Danish STD clinic to make generalizations about all gay people, Holsinger’s answer was less than satisfactory. He said, in effect, that

a) he wasn’t writing a scientific paper at the time. But he cloaked it in the language of science, he used scientific studies, and he based his authority in the paper on his being a doctor. So even if it was not an article in a medical journal and was a position paper for a church board, he was making claims using (or, more accurately, misusing) science. The fact that he does not admit that makes me wonder how far he has come from that paper.

b) he said we needed to keep in mind the context for the paper and that he selected that Danish study specifically to be able to convince other members of the board on the issue they were debating. What he neglected to add was that the issue he was trying to convince his fellow board members of was that gay people are unnatural and do not deserve equal rights.

I’m going to try to catch the first hour on video somewhere. I’m curious to see what the 3 committee members who are also presidential candidates had to say.


1 Comment

  1. September 5, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Milking a church cash cow





    The strange saga of the United Methodist Church’s $20 million and Surgeon General Nominee James Holsinger

    Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D. and Lawrence H. McGaughey, Esq.
    August 31, 2007


    Dr. James W. Holsinger, President George W. Bush’s nominee for Surgeon General has been a controversial figure in the United Methodist Church (UMC) for decades. He was elected through the efforts of a well-organized group of activists, along with two other conservatives, to the church’s Judicial Council (“supreme court”) in May, 2000, which gave the Council a rightwing majority. Holsinger has been the President (“chief justice”) of the Judicial Council since 2004. During the years that Holsinger has been on the Council, a number of unprecedented and divisive rulings have been made.

    While Holsinger has been on the UMC’s Judicial Council, he also served on the board of trustees of the Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF) from July 2000 and chaired the trustees starting in 2003. The UMC and the GSF were engaged in a long and costly lawsuit beginning in May 2000. Two former members of the Judicial Council who worked with Holsinger from 2000-2004, Sally C. Askew, Esq., and Sally B. Geis, Ph.D., stated that Holsinger never mentioned being party to a lawsuit against the UMC, nor did he at any time address possible conflicts of interest involved in being a member of the UMC’s “supreme court” while engaged in significant litigation against the UMC.

    The litigation involved the sale in 1995 of a 330 bed UMC hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, to a for-profit corporation and the disposition of the $20 million realized from the sale. The hospital’s trustees refused to hand over the proceeds to the rightful owners, the Kentucky Annual Conference (KAC) of the UMC. Instead, the self-appointed trustees placed the $20 million into a fund under their sole control in an undisclosed location. Then the trustees proceeded to form six corporate subsidiaries, including one (www.charityball.Inc – a non-functioning URL) that was incorporated in Alaska and Wisconsin (Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing, 2007). Additionally, in direct conflict with the stated values of the UMC the trustees engaged in gambling fund-raising ventures, one of which lost $27,500.

    According to court records, the foundation’s trustees refused to tell the KAC what happened to the $20 million from the sale of the UMC hospital for nearly five years…


    Rev. Andrew J, Weaver, Ph.D.
    260 18th Street #2
    Brooklyn, NY 11215-5476

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do
    it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”–Howard Thurman

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