In a move critics called “Orwellian,” a Boston hospital fired a well-respected urologist — merely for citing health concerns relating to homosexuality. And now those critics have taken up the cudgels for the doctor, protesting outside the hospital, which they say cares more about politics than health (video below).
The victim is Dr. Paul Church, a 65-year-old grandfather of six, who was notified of his termination from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) on March 30. The problem started, wrote WND.com in June, “more than 10 years ago when BIDMC began promoting LGBT activities, including Boston’s annual ‘Gay Pride Week.’ Church expressed concerns to hospital officials and on the hospital’s Intranet, noting that by supporting homosexual activities and strongly encouraging staff participation the administration was acting against its mission statement.” As Church explained, writes WND:
The facts, he said, are on his side.
“Although it has declined over the past few decades, two-thirds of all new HIV/AIDS infections in the U.S. are the result of men having sex with men. Fifty percent of ‘gay’ men will be infected with HIV by age 50. Those numbers are out there and they are staggering,” he said.
But the facts that Church has used, from the Centers for Disease Control, appear to matter little in the case, he suggested.
Or maybe not at all. As Mass Resistance (MR), the group now protesting on the doctor’s behalf, wrote about the case:
The hospital did not at any time dispute the truth of his medical statements, nor did they address his other concerns.
They did not claim that Dr. Church ever discussed this with patients, or treated patients any differently if they were involved with these behaviors.
Instead Dr. Church was met with increasingly harsh efforts by the hospital administration to silence and censor him. They told him that his admonitions about homosexual behavior constituted “discrimination and harassment,” were “offensive to BIDMC staff,” and could not be tolerated.
In July 2011, he was called into the Chief of Surgery’s office and told he should consider resigning or else he would face an investigation. He refused to resign. So a few months later a formal “Peer Review Committee” of BIDMC staff physicians was called together to “assess” his “conduct.” He again presented them with the medical facts, which they did not dispute, but ignored. The committee instead sent him a “letter of reprimand” ordering, “You shall have no communications [in any manner, to anyone in the hospital] concerning your opinion about sexual orientation, homosexuality, or other protected status.”
It was an unusual order — that a physician be banned from discussing critical medical facts relating to his expertise, that could affect the health of people the hospital serves.
For sure, as Church’s actions are not at all unusual. Doctors often warn smokers, the obese, and heavy drinkers that their behaviors greatly increase health risks. Should such physicians be silenced lest those groups be offended?
The tug-of-war between Church and BIDMC continued, with the doctor calling the hospitals’ LGBT e-mails “religious harassment” and requesting they not be sent to him. BIDMC refused. Church then voiced his concerns in 2013 and ‘14 as well, as the hospital intensified its LGBT activities, prompting the institution to react “with vehemence,” as MR put it. In September 2014, BIDMC brought “charges” against the doctor. And in March of this year the hospital told him he would be terminated, again calling his views “offensive to BIDMC Staff.”
This topic raises many interesting issues, the notion of “offensiveness” among them. A claim of offensiveness is invariably a ploy. The claimant is almost never offended (“Offense cannot be given, it can only be taken”); he just doesn’t happen to like what you’re saying, usually because it contradicts his agenda. But actually stating “I don’t like your opinion!” makes you sound intolerant. So instead you shift the onus onto your target by saying he’s “offensive” and thus make him seem the intolerant one. It hides your status as a stifler of open discourse with the cloak “Defender of Feelings.”
Of course, offensiveness cannot be a reliable guide for rules based in the objective because it’s completely subjective; most everyone is offended by something and most everything offends someone. As to this, the BIDMC said the “staff” found Church’s comments offensive. Really? Every staff member? Did they conduct a poll? It’s safe to say that many employees find the hospital’s actions offensive (in the leftist sense of using the word), but are afraid of suffering the doctor’s plight. So as is always the case when devising policy, BIDMC isn’t ensuring inoffensiveness — it’s merely picking and choosing whom to offend.
Then there’s the offensiveness of unjust double standards. I’ve often pointed out that, contrary to myth, the homosexuality lobby isn’t requesting “equal rights” but special privileges — and it’s getting them. Homosexual men can now be Boy Scout leaders, but no one would even consider making heterosexual men Girl Scout leaders. Governments now force bakers and other businessmen to service homosexual events (faux weddings), but would never compel them to service affairs celebrating adultery or fornication. Likewise, would the hospital celebrate Adulterer Pride or Fornicator Pride events? If not, why the exception for “Gay Pride” events? Why are they so special?
The difference is not one of acceptance; fornication is generally accepted today while adultery generally is not, as the Ashley Madison hack demonstrates. Yet neither adulterers nor fornicators feel compelled to exhibit pride; they just do what they do. Thus, is it possible that LGBT “pridesters” are much like the man who acts gratuitously macho but really is insecure about his masculinity? Is it compensation? One might suspect that what they really feel is quite the opposite of pride.
Another difference is that social engineers have convinced many that homosexuality is not just an inclination but an identity. Yet affording special privileges on this basis reflects bias, as identity is now supposedly a completely subjective matter. Note that Facebook not only offers 58 “stock” “gender identities” (could be more by the time this piece is published), but, responding to users who said the selection wasn’t “inclusive” enough, instituted a “custom gender” option allowing up to 10 descriptive terms. So a man’s… — excuse me, a sentient bipedal Earthling’s — identity could be: 1Frequently 2Fornicating 3Adulterer 4Who’s 5Hoping 6My 7Wife 8Doesn’t 9Find 10Out. Ridiculous? Perhaps, but is it any less so than Two-Spirit, Pangender, Neutrois, and Transmasculine, four already “established” “genders”? And, against this backdrop, garden-variety choices such as “adulterer” and “fornicator” shouldn’t even raise pink eyebrows.
The point here is that, had BIDMC been celebrating adultery or fornication, Dr. Church certainly would make the same criticism: An institution whose business is health shouldn’t be celebrating sexual behaviors carrying inordinate health risks. Some will now say this analysis conflates identity with behavior, but in practice this is a distinction without a difference. How many people wearing the banner “LGBT” live chaste lives? Such people often called their way of being a “lifestyle,” and while this is a euphemism it does get at a truth: To them it is not just a way of being — it’s a way of living. Thus, the unjust double standard here isn’t practiced by Dr. Church, but by BIDMC.
Despite this, the good doctor is still terminated, although he has continued working at the hospital pending an appeal at a hearing that took place July 29 and 30. And given there’s still no word on the outcome, one may wonder if MR’s recent protests are having an effect. But it’s hard to be very optimistic in an age that subordinates medical correctness to political correctness.
Image: Screenshot of YouTube video showing protests