|Sodom - A place of religious abomination|
Homosexuality is a natural sexual orientation for the same sex in contrast with the 95% of the population which is Heterosexual irrespective of the culture, race or religion. Irrespective, there is a common foundation of relationship, love and mutual support. There is no basis of condemning gays just account of same sex activity in the bible, for these actions were done out of religious practices, or out of sexual torture and subjugation, and not same sex love and affection. If we were to be consistent, we would also have condemned heterosexuality on account of rape between man and woman.
With reference in Genesis 19, used by many to condemn gays, there is no mention that all the people of Sodom were men, nor that all of these men were gays. This would be improbable as usually 95% of the population would be straight in any society and typically 50% women. Where were all the women in Sodom? Furthermore, Sodom would not have grown if they were all men, and Lot with his wife and daughters would have found it difficult to integrate. Hence, the scenario painted is not biblical but contrived to support a pre-conceived argument. Sodom may not have been much different from the rich and wealthy cities of the world today.
What is known about Sodom was that it was a region famous for its worship fertility gods, such as Baal/Ashtoreth. The worship practices were sex orgies, with worshippers having sex with the priests and priestesses. When the bible talks about abomination, it is not same sex marriage or orientation, it is religious idol worship especially involving sex and human sacrifices that was an abomination to God.
Sex can have such a spiritual impact that through faith based sexual orgies of the Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth, the people of Sodom were possessed by the spirit behind it to attack the angels and to rape them. It is not only about sexual abuse but demon procession. They were not gays nor were motivated by same sex orientation and love to have sex with the angels. It was pure sexual abuse with demonic ferocity and hate. The Angels were obvious targets because they were from God. Our righteousness can be tainted through sex when there is a religious element behind it or if the person we had sex with is dedicated wholly to a particular deity.
The power of Sex to join two entities thus soling our righteousness is further emphasized in 1 Cor 6:16 that when the straight men have sex with the female temple prostitute they are united with her. The two flesh becomes one. As the men were having sex with the temple prostitutes were posessed by the spiritual entity, we are in fact having sex with the spirit behind it. As we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), on the account that we are paid by Christ death at the Cross, the unclean shall not be joined with what is clean.
The first mention of Sodom was in Gen 13:13, “now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord”, and then in Gen 14:21, “The King of Sodom said to Abraham, “Give me the persons, but take the good for yourself”. Later in Gen 18:20, “then the Lord said “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grace their sin. I must go down ….”. If Sodom were just gay men happily involved in same sex orgies day and night, there would obviously be no complaint since they were willing parties. However, when we refer back to Gen 14:21, a picture begin to emerge that Sodom was involved in slavery of both men and women and they were crying out to God for they were cruelly abused and treated and the men were likely raped by their captors in order to humiliate and subjugate them. Therefore, the wickedness was how they have treated and abused others. Ezekiel 16:49, the prophet Ezekiel did not mention homosexuality as the sin rather pride and the prosperity gain through the injustice against the poor and needy. This was consistent with why Lot camped there in the first place, attracted to its power and wealth alas built on the sufferings of others. Lot's wife looked back at the City of Sodom still longing for its glitter and wealth, and certainly not after the gay men!
When God appeared to Abraham and Sarah in Gen 18, Abraham immediately bowed down to the ground, and his first words were in Gen 18:3, “My Lord, if ….”. How would Abraham have known that these were heavenly beings even God Himself? In Gen 19, almost exactly the same thing happened to Lot. He bowed his face down to the ground, and said in Gen 19:2, “Please, my Lords ….”. It is highly unlikely that in any culture, we would bow down to strangers and call them “Lords” on account of hospitality. Rather, the men or angels or the Lord, must have had an incredible aura or persona that went with them that would have hinted their heavenly origins. That was why there was such a commotion and all the towns people when to Lot’s home when the news spread that they were residing there.
The people of Sodom were so proud of their prosperity and power that in their pride they even tried to extend their dominion over the heavenly angels, in essence, they were challenging heaven itself. Raping the men/angels in their culture, would signify their cities total dominion over the angels in addition to sexual abuse. That was why, they were not interested in Lot’s daughters. Firstly, they were obviously not gay since they were offered the daughters, and secondly there was nothing to prove if they had raped the daughters. Can a city be so proud of their wealth and power and their dominion over others, that even when God visited the city, they wanted to rape Him to declare their lordship over the heavens?
In Mat 10:11, Jesus made a reference Sodom saying that it would be more tolerable for the people of Sodom on judgment day rather the towns that had rejected the mission of the twelve sent out to the people of Israel. If Sodom had been a gay city as claimed by mainstream Christianity, surely it was more wicked that the towns in Israel made up by straight people. Yet, it was the towns that had rejected Jesus that will suffer more. The issue here was never about sexual orientation, for both cities were predominantly straight. It was because Jesus was made flesh, revealed Himself fully as the Son of God, and not in the form of an Angel, and this was a far greater revelation that the people of Sodom ever had. They only had seen the Angels and rejected their message of salvation, but the towns had rejected God Himself in person.
The story in Sodom has a parallel in Judges 19:22-26 where in the city of Gibeah, the tribe of Benjamin, the men of the city said “Bring out the man who came into your house, so that we may have intercourse with him”. The master of the house pleaded for the men of the city not to do such a wicked thing, but in the same breath offered his own virgin daughter and the man’s concubine so that they can rape and abused them. This parallel incident confirms that the men of the city were obviously not gays as they would not have been interested in the women, but secondly emphasized why it was so much more wicked for them to rape the man rather than the woman because the man has a higher standing than the woman, and raping the man in the same way as the man would rape the woman would essentially reduced him to the status of a woman. There was less of an issue of the man raping the woman because the man was higher in the patriarchal order.
Unlike Sodom, the story of the mass rape in Judges 19:22 is not mentioned in Jude or 2 Peter or elsewhere because Sodom was set in the historical context where angels were having sex with human beings producing powerful beings and this type of sex was considered as utmost wicked and very unnatural act. Secondly, the angels were heavenly beings having a higher status than man whilst the woman was in a lower pecking order in society. Thirdly, Jewish apostles in the New Testament would not have wanted to repeat the story of a real disgrace within their own nation for it had started a civil war. Sodom and the angels were not related to Israel.
There are parallel stories into our modern times. In the case of the brutality by New York Police Officers in June 1999 against Abner Louima, there was torture and anal rape by the Police officers who were definitely not gay and were doing it to teach the victim a lesson rather than same sex love. The forced rape using a stick resulted in severe injuries including a torn rectum and a bladder. The defense tried to frame it as being done as a separate occasion of consensual same sex love. The persecution said this suggestion was “'despicable and, frankly, stupid…. It was insulting to you and it was insulting to us and it was insulting and offensive to Abner Louima,'' the persecution told the jury. Perhaps, the reply by the persecution best sums up how the GLBT people have been framed by many in the story of Sodom.
Ultimately the people of Sodom were abusing and sacrificing the innocent for the sake of their religious faith worship and their theology. We may not be much different, announcing that "God loves you", and the next moment sacrificing gays with our twist and turns of false rethoric and vicious condemnation from the pulpit so that our dogmatic theology makes sense to us. We fear that the natural existence of Gays will desconstruct our notion of bible infalibility. Therefore, we keep sacrificing gays not that they are any greater sinners than us, but so that we can explain our theology and the bible. Will God judge us just as He had judged Sodom for the cries of the people they abused even reached the heavens. Our hypocrisy only further condemns us.