The Senate confirmation of Chai Feldblum, an openly gay professor at Georgetown, has been held up, the subject of a "hold" by a conservative Senator. Her confirmation has also been under attack from the American Principles Project (APP), an advocacy group founded by conservative scholar and Princeton professor Robert George.
Earlier this year, APP led an effort to block the confirmation of Kevin Jennings as the “Safe Schools Czar” by the Obama administration. Jennings, who is also gay, said some things in the past about educating young people about gay and lesbian issues that raised eye brows and which could surely be contested, although his fundamental concern for the safety of gay and lesbian students is an obvious and important one. I am not sure if it is coincidental that the two nominees APP has focused on are gay, but I do know that the quickest way to raise a buck in conservative circles is to bait gays.
What is ironic about APP’s opposition to Jennings positions as the Safe Schools Czar, however, is that another one of Professor George’s projects seems a bit less concerned about the safety of children. George was the principal author of the Manhattan Declaration, a conservative screed signed by a variety of religious luminaries including people I admire. One the website for the Manhattan Declaration, there is a page noting the religious leaders who have signed on. One of the signatories is Bishop Joseph Hart, the retired bishop of Cheyenne. Bishop Hart was a priest in Kansas City, Missouri before becoming a bishop and last year the diocese settled six sex abuse claims lodged against him. I guess Professor George is not that concerned about children’s safety after all. The hypocrisy is grotesque.
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