By Scott Tibbs, December 01, 2005
This was in today's paper in response to my letter.
The Red Cross policy to not accept blood from homosexual men is not "irrational" nor is it "homophobic. It is a recognition of the statistical reality that homosexual men are more likely to contract AIDS than others. Hatred for or bias against homosexual men is not behind the policy. The reason for the policy is to avoid unnecessary risks for people taking blood.
Whatever effects the Red Cross policy has on the culture is secondary to the question of whether or not the policy is a necessary avoidance of risk. In any case, supporters of homosexual rights can "educate" the public on their views as to whether or not AIDS is a "gay disease".
Furthermore, to tie the Red Cross policy to protests from the Westboro Baptist Church and the Old Paths Baptist Church is asinine: those who truly hate homosexuals will hate regardless of what the Red Cross does. In fact, if the Red Cross were to reverse this policy, Fred Phelps would probably set up a web site with the domain www.GodHatesTheRedCross.com
As I understand it, HIV screenings of donated blood do not "almost make this a moot point", since the test screens for anti-HIV antibodies, not the virus itself. The virus could be present and go undetected by this test, allowing infected blood to go to a patient.
Yes, it is possible that an specific homosexual man would have a safer lifestyle than a specific heterosexual man. That, however, does not erase the fact that homosexual men are overall statistically more likely to be carrying HIV than heterosexual men. There are exceptions to every "rule", but exceptions do not make the "rule" invalid for all times and circumstances.
The first paragraph of Lewis's letter is very informative. Tolerance is quite different than acceptance, but Lewis's use of the second word proves that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34) The opposition to the Red Cross policy is about forcing acceptance of homosexuality, rather than tolerance of homosexuals.
Finally, whatever feelings of persecution Lewis might feel, my original statement stands. It is not about you! Donating blood is a selfless act, a giving of your body and time to save the life of someone that in most cases you do not even know. Donating blood is for helping those in need of transfusions due to injury, surgery or other problems. The focus of this debate is, and must be, about the people getting the blood. If those people did not need blood, there would be no need to donate in the first place.
This is not the place for political protests. People like Lewis (and Lehman before him) display a particularly revolting level of selfishness, a selfishness that toys with the lives of people in need and places Leftist politics above people's health.