this past summer i was undertaking
a mainline relgion's bible study
that focused on what the bible really
says about the sin of sodom , which
is so often the basis of fundie Xns'
attacks on homosexuals..... (gen 19:1-11)
firstly, the names of sodom
and gomorrha are descriptive
names of the destruction rained
down upon these two cities
sodom from a hebrew word for burnt
and gomorrha meaning pile of ruins
remember from gen 13 that abram and lot
separated from one another as their holdings
overlapped and contentious behaviour was
being exhibited by their prospective herdsmen....
lot choose to go in the direction of the river jordan...
the city that came to be known as sodom
was wealthy and its inhabitants greedy,
as attested to in rabbinical writings quoting
This was the guilt of your sister Sodom :
she and her daughters had pride, excess
of food and prosperous ease, but did not
aid the poor and needy. They were haughty
and did abominable things before me;
therefore I removed them when I saw it.
further traditional rabbinical descriptions of sodom
Rabbi Nathaniel said: The men of Sodom had no
consideration for the honour of their Owner by
not distributing food to the wayfarer and stranger,
but they even fenced in all the trees on top above
their fruit so that so that they should not be seized;
not even by the bird of heaven...
a point was made that the inhabitants of sodom
were so jealous of their wealth that a stranger
coming into their midst was suspected of desiring
to usurp some of that wealth and they were treated
maliciously and despicably, ie raped and robbed, in
order to discourage their settling there... heterosexuals
using rape in the way prison rape is used, as coercion
and a violent show of power...
lot apparently escaped this treatment as he brought
his own wealth with him
the jewish tradition teaches it was their
overwhelming inhospitality that brought
wrath from the heavens upon them....
archeological evidence, or lack thereof, aside...
the point of the lesson in this study aid called
"Claiming the Promise" is an interpretation of
the Sodom story that discounts the hysteria
about "homosexuality" being the sin that incurred
the wrath and destruction assigned to the city of the plains....
the lesson references jesus' remarks
in the 10th chapter of luke
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say,
' The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.'
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.
the spin in this particular bible study book
is that jesus was warning that any town
showing a lack of hospitality would fare
worse than sodom did for its gross failure
to extend a cultural expectation of civility
towards and protection of strangers....
as far as the rest of that narrative,
including "here, rape my virgin daughters
instead" or the pillar of salt bitch-slap for
singular disobedience, or the let's-get
well, that is for some other line of study beyond the scope
of "Claiming the Promise
gotta love those books of antiquity...
nomadic desert living sure can get exciting
bronze age living: it's not for everyone!