The Bush agenda continues. This administration, which revels in secret, behind-the-scenes machinations designed to quietly move this country toward right-wing extremist policies (gee, does that sound like some middle eastern countries we know?) has chosen possibly the worst person to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV/AIDS. Jerry Thacker will be sworn in next week. A former Bob Jones University employee, he says he contracted the virus from his wife after she received a blood transfusion. From the Washington Post:
In his speeches and writings on his Web site and elsewhere, Thacker has described homosexuality as a “deathstyle” rather than a lifestyle and asserted that “Christ can rescue the homosexual.” After word of his selection spread among gays in recent days, some material disappeared from the Web site. Earlier versions located by The Washington Post that referred to the “gay plague,” for instance, were changed as of yesterday to “plague.”
“This individual is an extremist ideologue who persecutes and demeans an entire class of people impacted by this disease,” said David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign. “That type of person has no business advising the president of the United States on how the government should address the epidemic.”
Carl Schmid, a Republican gay activist who worked on President Bush’s 2000 campaign, said he is disappointed and frustrated that HHS disregarded warnings that Thacker’s selection would overshadow the commission’s valuable work.
“We need to have a scientific-based approach to the problems of HIV-AIDS and not this radical agenda he’s pushing,” Schmid said. Aside from the harshly anti-gay tone of Thacker’s rhetoric, Schmid said, his major objection to Thacker is his aggressive lobbying for abstinence-until-marriage education.
“Abstinence-until-marriage does not help anyone in the gay community, because we can’t get married,” he said. “If you are a gay youth, who is addressing your concerns?”
Thacker’s beliefs on homosexuality are known as “reparative therapy,” a philosophy that considers homosexuality aberrant behavior that can be modified through religious faith. Professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association say that approach has no medical or scientific basis.
I wonder if anyone is keeping a comprehensive list of all the little baby steps the Bush administration is taking to drag this country back to the dark ages? Things like using the “war on terrorism” to erode the most important freedoms inherent in American citizenship; giving health insurance coverage to embryos and fetuses rather than the pregnant woman in an attempt to make a blastocyst “a person”; appointing extremist right-wing judges with poor civil rights records; showing their true stripes on Affirmative Action and race relations…
What an amazing, civilized and peaceful country we are – many others would be contemplating the overthrow of their government at this point. Not us. We’re stuck with what the Supreme Court gave us.
Speaking of which, did you know that Gore/Leiberman not only got more votes than Bush/Cheney, but the received more votes than any Democratic ticket in history, and more than any Republican than Reagan? And yet, Bush won? Huh? I think we need Jimmy Carter to oversee our elections in future.
OK, I’m revved up this morning. I’ll stop now, I promise.
Update: This afternoon, the controversial Jerry Thacker withdrew his candidacy for the post on the AIDS advisory commission.