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  Nancy Pelosi - Too Far Left?
by J. Grant Swank, Pastor
16 November 2002

New Democractic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is even too liberal for the Democrats.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, positioned for House minority leader, may be too far left for the future good of the Democratic Party, some within the party assert.

She has promised to "highlight those differences" between Democrats and the "extreme policies put forward by the Republicans." Voting with the liberals on numerous issues, from partial birth abortion to school vouchers to gun control, she voted against Bush’s homeland-security issues.

Further, Pelosi belongs to the House "Progressive Caucus"—a "front" for the furtherance of Socialist principles. Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders, in the House as an Independent, and the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, were also members.

Michael Warder, vice president for development at the Claremont Institute in California, states that "it looks like a front to a very left wing socialist agenda. It seems like it’s (composed) of some characters who. . .are attempting to give Socialism a good name."

Underlining Pelosi’s allegiance to the liberal perspective, just last June she publicized her sentiments in proudly endorsing San Francisco’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Celebration. It was in conjunction with the passing of San Francisco Police Officer Jon D. Cook.

Ms. Pelosi began her oration with these telling words: "I rise today in recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride in San Francisco and to pay tribute to the memory of Jon D. Cook, the first openly-gay San Francisco police officer to lose his life in the line of duty.

"This weekend marks the 32nd annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration entitled, ‘Be Yourself, Change the World!’ This is our time to celebrate San Francisco’s proud history of advocacy for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and to recognize the important contributions the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Community makes to our city and to our nation."

May I ask you how many times the words "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender" have to be stated in a brief prelude before the supposedly intelligent urban audience gets the extremely clear underlined message in red ink?

And may I ask how many times these words are reiterated prior to honoring a life snuffed out in undue time?

"Officer Cook was killed when his police car collided with another police car as they both pursued a suspected violent felon. Before joining the force, he worked as a research scientist searching for a cure and treatments for HIV/AIDS. He also served honorably as a lieutenant in US Air Force intelligence with a top-level security clearance.

"Officer Cook touched the lives of many people in San Francisco. More than 2,000 attended his funeral mass, including friends and family members, over 600 fellow officers from throughout Northern California, and hundreds of residents and community leaders from the Castro and Mission districts that he served.

"His fellow policemen and women remember him as a dedicated officer who always wanted to be at the scene; residents remember with gratitude the way he looked out for them. ‘Jon loved being a cop,’ recalled his domestic partner of three years. ‘He loved serving his community. He loved being in situations where he could help people. He wanted to go to where the trouble was and fix the problem.’

"The contributions of Officer Cook and so many others in San Francisco bring into sharp focus the need for basic protections of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. As we mourn the loss of Jon Cook, we also reaffirm our commitment to the fight for equal rights for all and our belief in the beauty of our diversity."

No no no! That’s not the way to pay respectful tribute. NOT!

There is a genuinely proper and dignified way by which to remember the passing of those dear to us. But there is an alarmingly shoddy, tawdry manner by which to oversee such occasions as well. And Ms. Pelosi’s conduct was not becoming one sincerely in mourning for the deceased.

She used Jon. She used Jon for her own political advantage.

For those who sincerely care about people, why underline Jon’s sexual orientation? Why drag that into the detail of a dedicated officer’s contribution to his community? Why can’t his commitment stand alone as laudatory enough? Period!

Shades of the recent 3 l/2 hours supposed funeral - memorial for Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone?

Governor Jesse Ventura got the vibe when sensing politics overshadowing what should have been a reverential tribute to the dead. Beforehand he warned his wife, Terry, to "be prepared, this will be political." And sure enough, it was, sadly.

But back to Ms. Pelosi: if June’s speech is evidence of her sense of respect and "high road" approach to servantship in public office, heaven help us. Add to that her extreme left leanings and there is reason for caution regarding lifting too highly expectations for this Congresswoman.

Email J. Grant Swank


Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor, New Hope Church, Windham ME

Graduate of accredited college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at Harvard Divinity School.

Married for 41 years with 3 adult children.

Author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various Protestant and Catholic
magazines, journals and newspapers. Writer of weekly religion column for
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD newspaper, Portland ME.

Hobbies: Traveling to So American, Europe, Middle East, Canada; writing;
watercolor painting; meeting new friends.

Current occupations: Pastor; Teacher at Alternative Learning School for
at-risk youths.

Pastorates: Calgary, Alberta; Indianapolis IN; Akron OH; Fishkill NY;
Manchester CT; Walpole MA; Windham ME.

Winner of First Prize Writing Contest which yielded a three-week guided tour
of the Middle East.