Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


DOES THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH TALE CONDEMN GAYS?

Christianity is defined by the New Testament and Jesus has having the rock - the rock is firm unchangeable teaching.  Even if Jesus was not thinking of homosexuality directly here he was thinking of it as part of the religious ethic he represented.  He claimed that God is morality - his morality.  That is an idea that Jesus being son of God is getting at.  Jesus is the word of God and God's morality in human form.  The sermon on the mount stresses that Jesus has provided no sandy foundation.

In Genesis 18, 19 we read that God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin was very great. Some tell us that it does not say that the sin was homosexuality alone. That is a lie for no other type of sin is mentioned in the chapters.  Nobody thinks the cities only committed one sin homosexuality.  They must have had many sins.  But there was one sin that caused God to act so drastically.

 LGBT activists go as far as to say it does not link it with homosexuality at all.  They say the sin was lack of hospitality and hospitality in those dangerous times was lifesaving. It wasn't about mere manners.  But why those two cities only?  Do you really think any city or town in an isolated area like those two wanted to welcome strangers? 

The story does say that the men and male children wanted to have sex with the angels who were in the form of men but it does not say they were planning a gang rape or that they had a habit of that even if they were.

The story is that God told Lot and his family to leave the cities for the sin there was terrible and they needed destruction. Angels pretending to be men came with the warning and the men wanted to "know" ie have sex with them.  The angels struck them blind.  Some say the Sodomites were into gay rape so their condemnation does not signify condemnation of homosexuality in itself. In that part of the world, it was known for soldiers to use homosexual rape to humiliate their enemies by treating them as women. But again there is no hint of anything like that in the text.

They did not say they wanted to rape the angels. It could be that they broke into Lot’s house not to rape the angels but to defy Lot and tempt the angels to join them in naughty intimacies. The angels were strangers not enemies and the sodomites were not soldiers. There is no hint of rape in the text. The men obviously were so gay that they thought they would have no trouble getting the angels to comply.

Some say that Lot was holy and would not have been living among such bad company for it would corrupt good morals. But we don’t know the circumstances. Perhaps Lot was unattractive and he and his family kept to themselves. The story stresses that every man in the city came to look for sex with the angels indicating that homosexuality must spread when it is tolerated. Lot and his family would not have been there unless the city was meant to be just an ordinary city and not a gay ghetto.

The blindness indicates that they could not see their sin as sin.  So they are called gay.  The youngest men in the city were as bad and the implication is that they were boys. The text does not say they necessarily knew they were angels not men.  Anti gay Christians say the story is a hint that gays will distort God and Jesus to validate their sin.

It certainly is true that gay activists insult gay rights by lying that homophobe Jesus was an ally.

It might seem that the sex offered to the angels would have been regarded as sinful because it was physical and devoid of love. But the Bible never commanded that a husband must love his wife. The levirate law is one case where a man is forced to marry his dead brother’s wife to raise children for the brother and that is as far from romantic as you can get. Also, the woman did not take the marriage vow and was too young to know what was happening. Purely physical and cold sex was encouraged by the Law of Moses. Marriage was a business arrangement in those days. It is undeniable that the absence of love in sex was not what bothered God for it couldn’t have annoyed him to the extent that he sought to destroy the cities. It must have been the homosexuality. It is too far fetched to imagine that anybody in the Bible would have been accepting towards homosexuals.

Lot was considered worthy and holy by God despite offering his own daughters to be ravished by the mob. The girls were virgins and there is no doubt that Lot wanted them to rape his girls. So it is better to desecrate your own flesh and blood than to tolerate homosexuality. If Lot got gay feelings presumably it was better for him to rape one of his daughters to avoid going with another man. When Lot offered his daughters it seems to some that the sodomites were bisexual. But it could also be that Lot believed from the angels who were speaking from God that homosexuals are lying when they say they can’t change their feelings and being gay is just hatred for God so they could have converted to heterosexuality easily for homosexuality was so unnatural.
 
Some say when Lot offered his daughters to the men of Sodom to rape them he was acknowledging that the men were heterosexual. That isn't necessarily so. Perhaps Lot was desperate and not thinking straight. Perhaps Lot couldn't understand how men could resist his daughters even if these men only had sex with men. The men must have went with women enough to keep the city populated. But that doesn't mean they were heterosexual.
 
The angels brought Lot inside when the men of Sodom vowed to do to Lot what they would do to the angels and then the angels struck them blind from the oldest to the smallest but they still tried to find the door to break into the house. This suggests that homosexuals are predatory and put sex first. Even when they are struck blind miraculously sex and rape is all they are interested in doing.
 
If the angels had appeared as ugly men there might have been no trouble so they were to blame for all this as much as were the sodomites. So God likes to send angels to attract weak people to sin. What kind of God sends angels disguised as hunks to a gay den of iniquity? The episode is wholly consistent with the Old Testament view that God likes tempting people to sin. It should be taken literally in this for the Devil was invented later to take the rap for tempting so when the texts would have been interpreted as blaming God that is what they are doing.

In Genesis, the angels were going to stay in the square and not with Lot. It was mistakenly assumed by readers that nobody else would put them up for the night. But the angels may not have had to stay with anybody for they were angels and maybe the square was a heterosexual ghetto or a safe army base.

The sin of homosexuality is seen by Genesis as so bad that just for looking back at the city one could become a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). Looking back implies that you want to go back there or are showing concern for the inhabitants. The second is the most likely for who would want to go back?
 
There is no doubt from the context that the sin in Genesis 18 and 19 is homosexuality and it does indeed declare that it is a sin that cries to God for his revenge to come down as the A Catechism of Christian Doctrine question 327 declares.

The apostle Jude blames “sexual immorality and perversion” as the reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Jude 1:7.

EZEKIEL

The claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that God destroyed them for was lack of hospitality towards the poor ignores the fact that it was not said anywhere in the Bible that the cities were destroyed for any other sin but homosexuality. They might have been inhospitable but that was not what they were destroyed for.

The claim is based on Ezekiel 16:46-51 which says Sodom was inhospitable and neglected the poor. It calls Sodom the sister of Jerusalem.  It does not say its lack of social conscience was the reason it was destroyed by God.  It changes subject, "They were haughty and did detestable things before me.  Therefore I did away with them as you have seen".  The unspeakable sin then was the reason for the attack from God. 

 Even saying they were destroyed because of the abominations they committed through pride which is a general thing could cover their homosexuality.

So Ezekiel is DELIBERATELY misinterpreted. Besides, running after strangers who visit your city for sex is hardly hospitality so Ezekiel might still have had the homosexuality at the back of his mind.

Let it be repeated, Ezekiel 16 says that Sodom didn't give a damn about the poor and that was their sin along with pride and idleness. You might accuse a homosexual of the sin of pride meaning that since all sin is in essence pride that his form of pride leads him to homosexual vice. You might say a homosexual is idle for he doesn't try to overcome his sin and his temptation to it. 

Some surmise that the prophet Ezekiel got a new revelation telling him that Sodom was inhospitable to the poor. Commonsense shows that if a city is just out for sex it is inhospitable and going to hate the poor.  A revelation is not needed.  Ezekiel does not claim to be giving an exhaustive list of Sodom's sins so remember that. 

If Ezekiel misinterpreted Genesis they are trying to cover up that he erred by assuming that he got a divine revelation saying it was not homosexuality. If so then it is most probable that it was a misinterpretation. 

It is interesting that people want Ezekiel to make a case for the sin being inhospitality despite saying the Sodom tale only condemns male rape not male lovemaking.

Ezekiel speaks of male woman sex in very disgusted ways so by the rules of Bible interpretation his treatment of Sodom says he could not bear to be clear on the sexual sins.

The reference to the Jewish people prostituting with male idols - really just male? - is loaded.  Its in verse 17.  Why just male? 

A SIMILAR TALE JUDGES 19

1 In those days Israel had no king.

Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.

5 On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” 6 So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” 7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. 8 On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.

9 Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.

11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”

12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.

16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”

18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”

20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing.

24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go.

26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”

COMMENT: The text does not mention male rape or hint at it.  The men seem to be bisexuals. They are called evil just for wanting sex with a man.