Friday, May 13, 2005

THE REPORT in The Nation about the latest example of "do as I say, not as I do" moral turpitude on the religious right is all over the political blogosphere by now. Dr. David Hager, a Bush appointee to an FDA advisory committee on women's reproductive health, is a very conservative fundamentalist Christian evangelical. He opposes the morning-after pill, legal abortion, and premarital sex. He was one of a handful of FDA members who persuaded the regulatory agency to ignore the FDA advisory committee's strong recommendation to make emergency contraception available over the counter. He authored a book called As Jesus Cared for Women as a model for how male ob-gyns should treat their patients; and in public lectures held himself up as an examplar of the Jesus Model for How to Treat Women.

At the same time, in his private life, he was forcing anal sex on his then-wife, Linda Davis (while she was in narcolepsy-induced sleep); having an extra-marital affair; and bribing Davis with huge sums of money to allow him to sodomize her.

Here is a sampling of commentary from various bloggers:

From Pen-Elayne:

Someone with a stronger stomach for hypocrisy and deviance than me ought to make a list of all the right-wing moralists, from Jim Bakker on down, who practice the very opposite of what they preach. I find myself in complete agreement with everyone who's observing that the reason these "family values" cretins seem so overly concerned about regulating other people's personal behavior is that the skeletons in their own closets are far worse than anything they accuse others of engaging in. It's almost a classic misdirection tactic (and we know how well accusing the other side of doing something when you yourself are guilty of far worse - i.e., the Karl Rove strategy - works in politics).

From Hullabaloo: should be emphasized that many of of us knew Dr Hager was a scumbag when he was appointed back in 2002. And he has subsequently proven to be the extremist we knew he was by personally blocking, in unprecedented fashion, the FDA's decision to make Plan B, the morning after pill, a quasi OTC drug.

But, he was a very religious man so everyone had to shut up and let him have a job he was abjectly unqualified for because to do otherwise would be theocratically incorrect.

Dr Hager was primarily known at the time as the writer of scriptural cures for women's reproductive problems. But his cure for infidelity was just plain creepy:

Picture Jesus coming into the room. He walks over to you and folds you gently into his arms. He tousles your hair and kisses you gently on the cheek. . . . Let this love begin to heal you from the inside out."

I'm no Christian, but that sounds damned close to blasphemy to me.

Between the mule fucking, the narcophelia and the sexual fantasies about Jesus, I'm beginning to feel like a provincial schoolkid. To think that we impeached a president over a couple of half baked blowjobs in a hallway --- and listened to years and years of non-stop moralizing from these Republican perverts. I'm a pretty sophisticated person and I don't usually pass judgements on people's fantasy lives or their sexuality. But the Christian Right with their wild shedding of the most shocking of sexual taboos are starting to freak me out. And I'm from California.

From Shakespeare's Sister:

While I should be surprised by the blatant and galling hypocrisy of a man who repeatedly rapes his wife sitting on a panel arguing against a drug that may bring peace of mind to rape victims, I am so jaded by the nonstop parade of conservative fuckheads who want to roll back the rights of women and gays as punishment for their “deviant” behavior (such as having the unmitigated temerity to fuck someone without the express purpose of making a baby), but end up being revealed as perverted in ways of which most people wouldn’t ever begin to dream, that I can barely muster shock, no less outrage.

From The Left Coaster:

Number of paragraphs the Washington Post devoted in its front section today to the errant aircraft that ventured into Capitol airspace yesterday: 58

Number of paragraphs the Post dedicated to a front section story this morning about Dr. W. David Hager’s influence over Bush Administration women’s health policy, which it cribbed from a 46-paragraph story in The Nation yesterday: 16

Number of paragraphs that the Post dedicated to the heart of the 46-paragraph Nation story based on an interview with his ex-wife, that while Dr. Hager had assumed a prominent role in the religious right and the Bush Administration as a go-to guy on women’s health issues, his first wife was accusing him of raping and sodomizing her for years: 0

From Majikthise:

President Bush is a wonderful man who just loves a good contradiction...

Nominating someone who hates the U.N. to be U.N. ambassador...

Nominating someone who supports the use of torture to run the justice department...

Nominating a guy who forcibly sodomizes his wife to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration...

Uh…what was that?

I think Elayne is on to something when she speculates that the people who take such a narrow-minded and literalist view of religious belief that they feel compelled to regulate the intimate relationships of others are the ones who are most likely to engage in the same behaviors they want to control in everyone around them. Jim Bakker, certainly; and also Tom DeLay, trumpeting moral values while he takes junkets paid for by lobbyists and blasting Terri Schiavo's husband for wanting his wife taken off life support when DeLay helped make that same decision for his own father. Not to mention James West, the mayor of Spokane, who complains that he is the victim of a "brutal outing" because of the revelations that while he was publically supporting brutally repressive policies denying gays and lesbians their civil and human rights, he was having online sexual conversations with young men and gay sex in real life. What about Clarence Thomas, trumpeting conservative moral values while talking pornography with Anita Hill? Or Phylis Schlafly, supporting homophobic policies while her own son is gay? Or Alan Keyes, who threw his own daughter out of the house, refused to pay her college tuition, and called her a "selfish hedonist" because she came out as being lesbian? In fact, here is a whole list of ultraconservative public figures who have gay sons or daughters. And let's not forget Bob Barr, Republican from Georgia, who voted YES to deny funding for family planning in U.S. foreign aid packages, YES on banning so-called partial birth abortions, YES on making injury to a fetus in the course of committing another crime a federal offense, and YES to legislation making it a crime for pregnant teenagers to be taken across state lines for an abortion -- despite the fact that when his first wife was pregnant with their third child in 1983 and there were health and financial concerns, he told her it was "entirely her decision" to have an abortion and drove her to the doctor's office to get one. Oh, and speaking of Bob Barr, he also had an extramarital affair with his future second wife when he was still married to his first wife. When his first wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy, she asked her husband to stop campaigning for a seat in the state legislature so he could accompany her to chemotherapy appointments and generally be there for her; and he refused.

If these are family values; if these are biblical moral values; then we're better off without them.

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