Andrew Marin [“His God Doesn’t Hate Fags,” August 18] claims that it would be “theologically sloppy” to hold that homosexuality is not sinful. I suggest the theological sloppiness centers in defending biblical literalism itself. Because the Bible says so little about homosexuality in only a few short, scattered references, perhaps masturbation is a better test case of the sloppiness of biblical literalism. In Genesis 38:9-10, God slays Onan for “spilling his seed upon the ground.” Yet today we know that masturbation is an important part of adolescent sexual development, despite what a literal reading of the Bible might suggest. Likewise we know that homosexuality is a healthy and normal variation of human sexual behavior. I’m glad Mr. Marin isn’t on a crusade to stop teenagers from masturbating or “convert” gays to heterosexuality. But the underpinnings of any valid theological study of sexuality will need to be far stronger than the reheated fundamentalism Marin has attempted to pass off as new.

Steve McMillin

Hyde Park