Saturday, March 22, 2014

SodoMIGHT wanna check again

First of all, let me apologize for my month-long break from blogging. I've always been very silent about my faith, and after my blog reached 4000 hits I was feeling a little over-exposed and overwhelmed.

However, taking this break has not been sitting well with me. There is so much to be done and so much to learn regarding this issue, and I'm reminded of it every single day.

That's why I'm back! (Are you all saying YAY right now?)

As a reminder, I'm using www.blueletterbible.org for all of the original translations and study tools. Never take my word for anything.

I'm going to go in chronological order of the six gay-condemning verses, which means I'm starting with Sodom and Gomorrah.

In case you haven't read it, it's in Genesis 19.

To summarize, two angels dressed as men arrive at the city of Sodom, and are greeted by a man named Lot. Lot is a super nice dude who offers to let them stay with him and feed them a meal. The angels agree to go home with him. As they are getting ready for bed, ALL of the men in the city, "both young and old," surround Lot's house and say, "bring the men out so that we can have sex with them!" As the angry mob is trying to break the door down, the angels strike them all with blindness. After this, the city of Sodom is destroyed.

Alright, so that sounds pretty gay right? Men wanting to have sex with men?

Scholars on both sides of the argument have widely agreed that this story is not about homosexuality at all. I'm not even sure how one would argue that the sin of Sodom includes homosexuality after doing a little research.

But because many Christians are deathly allergic to critical thinking, I'll help you out.

This story is about two foreigners entering a city and not being welcome. It's clear this city doesn't do very well with visitors because they angrily call them "foreigners" and threaten them with gang rape.

Yes. Gang rape. That is what this story is about.

In ancient times, it was a common practice for men to rape other men to show their power over them and "defeat" their enemies. The idea was to humiliate and dominate.

Here are a few things that support the notion that this story is about power rather than male-male sex for pleasure: 

1. As Justin Lee points out in his book Torn, it makes more sense that these men were participating in an ancient practice of domination rather than the entire male population of the city being gay (let's be real, if they were all gay, they'd be a lot nicer).

2. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are brought up 20 different times in the Bible, and there is not one mention of homosexuality.

Ezekiel 16:49
"'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

 3. Being hospitable was something that people of ancient times took very very seriously. In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot even offers up his own virgin daughters so that the two men he has taken under his roof will be spared. Which goes along with point 1, if it were true that EVERY man in the city, young and old, were flaming homosexuals, why would Lot offer his daughters to try to satisfy them? Maybe he didn't know he was living in a gay city...

The main sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is widely accepted as being inhospitable and unwelcoming to guests.

So while this story is the reason Christian's call homosexuals "sodomites," a look closer shows that it is absolutely not relevant and holds no weight in the discussion of committed, loving, gay relationships.

To be clear, I'm still against gang rape.