AIDS activist Jerry Thacker withdrew his name two weeks ago from the list of Bush administration nominees to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS amid a firestorm of criticism.

After gay groups charged Thacker with calling homosexuality a "deathstyle" and AIDS "the gay plague," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer distanced the President from the endorsement.

"Those words are as wrong as they are inappropriate. And they are not shared by the President," Fleischer told a press briefing. "The views that [Thacker] holds are far, far removed from what the President believes."

On Wednesday The Washington Post reported that the incident has continued to cause waves in the advisory council. Executive director Patricia Ware, who recommended Thacker for nomination, recently relinquished her position. "Administration officials said Ware was being promoted to a more influential role," the Post reported. "But several sources involved … said she was moved to avoid further embarrassment over the selection of Jerry Thacker."

Thacker, a marketing consultant in Pennsylvania, tested positive in 1986 for HIV following a blood donation. After additional blood tests, Thacker discovered that his wife and daughter were both also infected. His wife had apparently contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during her third pregnancy.

Founder of the marketing consultant firm Right Ideas, Thacker then started the not-for-profit Scepter Institute to educate Christians about HIV/AIDS. Through the foundation, Thacker speaks to churches and organizations on AIDS policies, the realities of the disease, and the importance of abstinence and fidelity.

Todd Hertz, assistant online editor for Christianity Today, talked to Thacker this week about his ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueCambodians Usher in a Miraculous Moment for Christianity
Cambodians Usher in a Miraculous Moment for Christianity Subscriber Access Only
How the Southeast Asian country went from an underground church to a church-planting boom.
RecommendedSasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
Ben Sasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
The Nebraska senator wants parents to get serious about shepherding kids into responsible adulthood.
TrendingISIS Kills 29 Christians on Church Bus Trip to Popular Monastery
ISIS Kills 29 Christians on Church Bus Trip to Popular Monastery
(UPDATED) Egypt cancels Ramadan’s opening celebration as Copts resist revenge.
Editor's PickDo This in Remembrance
Do This in Remembrance
Participating in the “high holy day” of American civil religion is beneficial for Christians, so long as we do so thoughtfully.
Christianity Today
Jerry Thacker: Politics Muddies Fight Against AIDS
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.