Holsinger Resigns From Asbury Seminary

A Kentucky doctor nominated by President Bush to be U.S. surgeon general has resigned as a board member of Asbury Theological Seminary.

James Holsinger, who still awaits Senate confirmation for the surgeon general post, had been under fire from fellow trustees of the school because of a perceived conflict of interest. He also is a member of the Association of Theological Schools.

The board had initiated formal procedures to remove Holsinger, who insists there is no conflict. In his resignation letter Monday, Holsinger said fellow board members had targeted him for critical comments about the board he made to a private agency reviewing the seminary's accreditation status.

"I can no longer serve with integrity on a board which is led by individuals who appear to expect board members to be in any fashion less than fully truthful while providing their opinion to an accreditation visiting team or otherwise," he wrote in the letter.

John McNairy of North Carolina was the board member who sought Holsinger's removal. He said Holsinger also should be investigated for telling the investigators that board members often hadn't read the board's own policies. McNairy called that "a total misrepresentation and presumptuous."

Asbury Theological Seminary has campuses in Wilmore and in Orlando, Fla.

Holsinger's nomination for surgeon general has been opposed by several gay rights groups for positions he took years ago on the judicial council of the United Methodist Church in which he called homosexuality biologically unnatural.

Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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