Florida Governor Jeb Bush last week tried to squash a potential threat to his re-election campaign by immediately naming a new head to the state’s scandal-ridden child welfare agency.
Bush appointed Jerry Regier to lead the agency less than 48 hours after Kathleen Kearney resigned. Under Kearney’s leadership, the agency admitted it had lost 4-year-old Rilya Wilson without noticing for more than a year.
Hours after Bush made the surprise appointment, reporters at the Miami Herald typed Regier’s name into the popular web search engine, google. They discovered Regier had co-authored an essay in 1989 published by the California-based Coalition on Revival, called 'The Christian World View of the Family'. In it, Regier writes that spanking which causes '’bruises or welts'’ is acceptable punishment. Among some of the essays additional highlights:
- Women should work outside the home only if the family is in a financial crisis and should consider the work “bondage.” *”The radical feminist movement has damaged the morale of many women and convinced men to relinquish their biblical authority in the home.'’ * Gays shouldn't be parents * Christians shouldn’t marry non-Christians * Divorce is acceptable only when there is adultery or desertion * Abortion is wrong.
He also urges Christians to take “whatever actions we can, within our biblical and constitutional limits, to realign county, state, and federal legislation regarding family issues in order to make it conform to the Bible’s view of reality and morality.’’
Jeb Bush’s spokeswoman claimed the governor wasn’t aware of Regier’s writings before the appointment.
And Regier himself claims he didn’t write the essay. He says his name was on the front cover of the essay because he was the co-chair of the committee that wrote the essay.
- BJ Medley, director, Oklahoma NARAL, The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League
- Karen Geevers, president, Children’s Advocacy Foundation (Florida). Her organization is suing Florida’s child welfare agency.