Friday, April 08, 2011

Christian sacked from Drugs Advisory Council

Hans-Christian Raabe is a Christian GP who was appointed in January to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), an unpaid post. On 7 February he was dismissed as it has emerged that he had previously co-written a study linking homosexuality to pedophilia.

The paper he had written was a review of peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, one of which had been quoted approvingly by the Home Office itself. It is a matter of scientific fact that homosexual pedophilia is relatively more common than heterosexual pedophilia, by a factor of 6 times. So it appears that he has been dismissed for stating a scientific fact that happens to be politically incorrect.

There is of course more to it than this. The ACMD is a controversial body that lost its chair, Professor David Nutt when he resigned over the government's decision top reclassify cannabis from a class C to a class B drug. He re-entered the debate by criticising Dr Raabe's appointment since Raabe supported a policy of total abstinence for drug addicts rather than harm reduction with methadone. If the advisory body is going to exclude one point of view on the advice of a dissident chairman, it suggests that someone at the Home Office is trying to fix the committee.

The other voice calling for Raabe's dismissal was that of the pernicious Dr Evan Harris, a Liberal MP who lost his seat at the last General Election. Harris is a Dawkins-type atheist who objected to an Evangelical Christian having a post on such a committee. He blogged about the old publication. What Raabe's views on homosexuality, which are those of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, have to do with his ability to advise on drug policy is beyond me. Nor is it clear why he should be expected to declare them at interview. I certainly didn't declare my views on homosexuality when I was interviewed for membership of the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee. I can't think of anybody who has been.

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