To say Jay Vinson’s editorial “Gay lifestyle ‘is a sin'” misses the point is an understatement. He wastes an opportunity to argue against a social policy in favor of proselytizing of his own Christian faith. I find his selective use of scripture disturbing, and though he characterizes homosexuality as sinful, he fails to address how we should treat homosexuals in our society.
Why is Vinson allowed to select which laws in the Old Testament are still applicable while we reject so many others as anachronistic? For example, it would be ridiculous to expect parents to stone rebellious children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), to exile women during their menstrual cycles (Leviticus 15:19-30), or to deny the handicapped a right to worship (Leviticus 21:17-23). If these laws of Christianity are so obviously inapplicable, why keep the law against homosexuality? If Vinson holds that homosexuality is a sin simply because the Bible says so, consistency requires him to follow all the rules in the Bible. I am a Christian, but I do not believe that a woman wearing pants is committing a sin (Deuteronomy 22:5). Hopefully, Vinson would agree. It is safe to say that many of the rules of the Bible are useless in contemporary application because they were created at a time before modern medicine and psychology. I propose the rule against homosexuality falls into this category.
Finally, what does the sinfulness of homosexuality have to do with the treatment of homosexuals in our society? Vinson fails to address the issue raised by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transsexual activists, which insists that homosexuals deserve equal rights as citizens and should not be victims of violence and discrimination. Even if homosexuality is a sin, should gays and lesbians have fewer rights in our society? The obvious answer is that all Americans have earned the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Homosexuals should not be subject to discrimination just as no other citizen should. You may not agree with their lifestyle and I may not agree with yours, but we all have a right to be treated fairly and equally under the law. As Americans, and especially as Christians, we must show homosexuals the respect and privacy they deserve.