Sodom and Homosexuality (Seeking Constructive Criticism)

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Sodom and Homosexuality (Seeking Constructive Criticism)

(Edit: I have made this a blog entry. If you have some constructive criticism, please reply there instead of here. Thanks!)

Those who think the Bible describes homosexuality as sinful will often point to Genesis 18-19, saying, "God destroyed Sodom and most of its inhabitants for homosexuality." Through my study, I've concluded that Genesis 18-19 says God destroyed Sodom for a different reason and it does not condemn homosexuality. Here I shall explain why I think that.

In Genesis 13, Lot and Abraham decide to go separate ways, each choosing a land for himself. Abraham settled in Canaan; Lot settled in Sodom. With some diligence, you can walk from one city to another in less than a day. Now we shall consider Genesis 18-19 with this information in mind.

In Genesis 18, around noon, Abraham has a vision of God, then three men approach his encampment. He hurried toward them and bowed, offered them food to eat and water to clean their feet with. Sarah, Abraham's menopausal wife, made leavened bread for them. Abraham's concern for their welfare pleased God so one of the men told Sarah she would bare a child. Sarah giggled, thinking he jested. (After the destruction of Sodom, we learn her error when she bared Isaac.) When ready to leave, Abraham walked the visitors a short while to point them to Sodom.

In Genesis 19, in the evening of the same day, two angels approached the gates of Sodom. (It seems Abraham's visitors consisted of these angels and God.) Lot, seeing them approach, rose to his feet, bowed, and offered food and a place to rest. The angels reluctantly agreed. After eating, and before laying down to rest, "all the men of Sodom" surrounded Lot's home, demanding he release the angels so they could "know" them. Lot offers his virgin daughters, hoping to protect the angels, but the mob refused and threatened him. The mob decided to break down the door, but the angels intervened and blinded them. The angels decided, God should destroy Sodom but leave alive Lot and his family. After learning what would happen to Sodom, Lot told his sons-in-law to escape; but they laughed, thinking he spoke in jest or had lost his mind. (We learn their error when fire enveloped them.) Lot and some of his family left Sodom for safety. The mother, not following the angels' instructions, looked back and turned to a pillar of salt.

Genesis 18-19 has obvious parallels. Both Abraham and Lot bowed to the visitors from afar, invited them into their homes, had their wives bake bread, and so on. The parallel focuses on their concern for their visitors' welfare. That parallel continues but the parallel between Canaan and Sodom comes to an end when the mob appears in Genesis 19 to try harming them. Continuing the parallel of Lot and Abraham, Lot and his daughters prepared to sacrifice their welfare to ensure that of their visitors. The parallels connect hospitality with virtuosity and inhospitality with wickedness. Ezekiel 16.48 supports this, saying, "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." The story teaches a second lesson through Sarah's pregnancy and Lot's sons-in-law's destruction: God does not jest.

I can hear the argument coming, "Men comprised the mob in Sodom. The mob wanted to 'know' the male angels. That seems like a clear-cut case of men having homosexual desires and acting on them. The story links the destruction of Sodom to the desires and behavior of its inhabitants. How could you think Genesis 18-19 does not condemn homosexuality?" To answer this, I now turn to the Hebrew wording and the literary and cultural context of the story.

First, the literary context. On what basis would God destroy Sodom? In Genesis 18.32, God says to Abraham, "For the sake of ten [righteous people] I will not destroy it." Sodom had fewer than ten righteous people. Lot, his wife, his two virgin daughters, and his sons-in-law bring us to at least six righteous people. Could Sodom have, at most, three righteous people? How does Sodom have so few? Did "all the men of Sodom" have no children? If they had some, how would God judge them as wicked for the actions of their fathers? If they had none, did they have wives? If so, how would God judge them as wicked for the actions of their husbands? If they had no wives, why do males predominate Sodom? Did they, as boys, decide at a council meeting to homosexually rape travelers? If they had homosexual desires, why not for Lot or one another? If the men had no wives or children, the wicked would naturally dwindle to nothingness without a means to procreate, thus allowing the seed of Lot to have the city to rebuild from scratch, so why would God destroy Sodom? The literary context doesn't seem to make sense from the perspective of condemning homosexuality.

Perhaps we'll find some answers in the Hebrew. The translators provided "men" as a translation of 'enowsh, but what does 'enowsh mean? It means "those of humankind," rather than just "men." The women, and perhaps children, also comprised the mob. Did the children help the fathers "know" the angels or did they want to "know" the angels themselves? Did the mothers approve? Did the women help their husbands "know" the angels or did they want to "know" the angels themselves? If the women and girls wanted to "know" the angels, how does that jive with condemning homosexuality? The Hebrew seems to have answered the questions about whether the men of the mob had wives and children, but now they constitute a part of the mob. Now we have more questions!

We find the solution in the cultural context. Why did the mob want to "know" the angels, the outsiders, but not Lot or one another? I can think of three explanations. First, the men helped the women to "know" the angels, thus birthing a small army of Nephilim. Second, mostly heterosexual men of Sodom, like those of other ancient cultures, sexually assaulted outsiders to assert dominance and strip them of their masculinity—an everyday act in modern prisons. Third, combine those explanations. These all work to answer the question, but notice that homosexuality cannot explain the behavior of the mob since it doesn't account for females and that heterosexuality can explain it. If you remove homosexuality from the equation, everything adds up and you get the view of Ezekiel 16.48.

I therefore conclude that Genesis 18-19 says God destroyed Sodom for its heartlessness, for their lust for flesh or power, and nowhere condemns homosexuality as we understand it today.
 

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Visual_Paradox wrote:I

Visual_Paradox wrote:


I therefore conclude that Sodom was destroyed for being arrogant, selfish, violent, culturally unethical, unconcerned with the welfare of others, and their all-around wickedness, and the story does not even mention homosexuality as it is understood today.

Me thinks it was more likely destroyed for being in an earthquake zone.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1497476.stm

 

Either this or the story of it's destruction is pure myth.

 

 

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Thanks for the response EXC.

Thanks for the response EXC. You pegged an imprecision in my wording that I didn't notice when I was typing it. I meant the conclusion to read more like, "If I believed Sodom was destroyed by God, my interpretation of it would be X rather than Y." I will work on rewriting the conclusion to reflect my thoughts more precisely. Thanks for the response Smiling

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I rewrote the text and made

I rewrote the text and made several improvements. I fixed two imprecisions related to EXC's post, reorganized the text into smaller paragraphs, improved concision (cut 405 words), and fixed a misspelling.

If anyone has any suggestions, please reply with them Smiling

(Edit: I've further improved concision.)

 

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Visual_Paradox...

...you and I seem  to see pretty much eye to eye on this issue.  Of course, the kind and level of importance has changed for me, for obvious reasons.

 

Conor


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It's not terribly important

It's not terribly important for me, either. I simply find various topics about the Bible interesting Smiling

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Dude the bible is very

Dude the bible is very clear, especially in the books of Corinthians and Romans basically the Laws

 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Even if there was no homosexuality terminology in the bible. The bible is very clear that God put man and woman together and marriage is only meant for them and since God sees lusting and sex out of marriage a sin then no matter how you slice and dice homosexuality is a sin.

 

 


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Cadalyst wrote:Dude the

Cadalyst wrote:

Dude the bible is very clear, especially in the books of Corinthians and Romans basically the Laws

 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Even if there was no homosexuality terminology in the bible. The bible is very clear that God put man and woman together and marriage is only meant for them and since God sees lusting and sex out of marriage a sin then no matter how you slice and dice homosexuality is a sin.

 

 

Sin=arbitrarily forbidden thing.  Good thing laws aren't based around biblical laws and sins.  Oh, and you seem to have missed the point of the OP.  It's very specific.  It's about Sodom and homosexuality not about passages in Corinthians.

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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"Those who think the Bible

"Those who think the Bible says homosexuality is sinful will often point to Genesis 18-19"

I merely showed otherwise and laws ARE based around biblical laws, where else did we get them from?. O wait! don't tell me, ah yes our laws evolved from nothing. Like we just automatically knew what was right and wrong.

 


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Cadalyst wrote:"Those who

Cadalyst wrote:

"Those who think the Bible says homosexuality is sinful will often point to Genesis 18-19"

I merely showed otherwise and laws ARE based around biblical laws, where else did we get them from?. O wait! don't tell me, ah yes our laws evolved from nothing. Like we just automatically knew what was right and wrong.

Yeah!  If it wasn't illegal to kill people I'd be doing it all the time and I would have absolutely no idea that it was wrong.

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Well that doesn't stop

Well that doesn't stop hundreds of people in this country alone from committing murders. Without God or a lawgiver we can't have universal laws, otherwise it would be objectional morality and murder wouldn't be wrong just different.

Why do some muderers who eventually got away with it come back or admit later they felt remorse. I am talking about some of the worst people from gang bangers, mafia hit men to bad soldiers. They got away with it and yet they know they did wrong


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Cadalyst wrote:Well that

Cadalyst wrote:

Well that doesn't stop hundreds of people in this country alone from committing murders. Without God or a lawgiver we can't have universal laws, otherwise it would be objectional morality and murder wouldn't be wrong just different.

Why do some muderers who eventually got away with it come back or admit later they felt remorse. I am talking about some of the worst people from gang bangers, mafia hit men to bad soldiers. They got away with it and yet they know they did wrong

Because humans are social creatures that depend on the help of other humans to survive.

To kill another human not only goes against our natural instincts (except for some disturbed pyschopaths) but it runs against our natural tendency to empathize.  These are all traits that were selected for in our evolutionary history.  It helped our species to survive.

Even soldiers will mock their enemies among their buddies in an effort to dehumanize them to help themselves not get so upset by killing them.  Even if they have to kill them to save themselves.

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Dude you just said it was

Dude you just said it was based on the laws of knowing what is right and wrong and now you say, it is instinct, then you do know the difference of right and wrong? 

The bible says different- we are children of the devil/ we are children of God's wrath. He has every right to kill us because we disgust him- we are vile, sinful creatures.

Under the right conditions, circumstances etc... every man woman and child on this planet is capable of committing the most brutal, heinous ats of violence. We see it all over the world from Ruwanda to Nazi Germany.

Man's natural instinct is sin. We knows its wrong to murder because were told so by Him. "He wrote his laws in every man's hearts" even when we get away with it because God convicts us but we suppress it anyway.

As soon as a baby is born he or she is doing wrong and if that baby throws a tantrum and had the strength of a man twice your size, he would rip off your arm and beat you to death with it.


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I didn't concern myself with

I didn't concern myself with what was said about homosexuality outside Genesis 18-19 so everything else is irrelevant to the topic at hand. I'm bored though, so I guess I can respond to your arguments Smiling

 

Cadalyst wrote:
Dude the bible is very clear, especially in the books of Corinthians and Romans basically the Laws


Actually, it is not very clear, as I will show.

The 1 Corinthians 6.9 translation you offered is horrible.

Malakoi means "the soft." Prejudice led people to think of that as effeminate, and prejudice led to thinking of effeminate as homosexual, but "the soft" actually refers to rich men who wore soft, expensive clothing. The verse is referencing the same group as the saying that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man entering heaven.

Arsenokoitai, on the other hand, is a combination of two Greek words, Arren (male) in the form of Arsen (guys) and Koitai (go to bed). Arsenokoitai literally translates to "guys who go to bed" and means "guys who have sex." I highly doubt 1 Corinthians 6.9 was saying heterosexuals had no chance of inheriting the kingdom, so the word must be idiomatic. Where can we find the meaning? Well, Arsenokoitai appears only three times throughout the entirety of ancient Greek writings. The first is the one we're considering, so it's no use. The second is also found in a list with no context to enlighten us. The third and last occurs in a Greek Father's commentary on exactly this passage. He gives the meaning "guys who have sex with boy prostitutes."

Presumably, the reason for his definition is that Paul was using the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, and there you will find that Leviticus 20.13 has "arsen koitai." Leviticus 20.13 says it's an abomination for men to lie with males as if they were women. But what does "as if they were women" mean? Leviticus 20 was condemning the religious rituals of nearby Pagan temples. The ritual was supposed to keep their soils fertile and ensure a good growing season. To complete the ritual, you'd become the avatar of Molech or Baal and have sex with an avatar of the goddess Ashtereth. To lie with the avatar, you must give an offering valuable enough to persuade the avatar with you. The avatar was often played by young girls and boys in masks. Young boys were often the avatar of the goddess and the men, aftering paying, would lie with them "as if they were females." I suspect the Hebrews thought it was abominable because the boy didn't know better, having been essentially brainwashed, and the men visiting the temple would strip him of his masculinity—ssentially what the mob of Sodom tried to do to the two angels.

1 Corinthians 6.9 condemns rich men who spoil themselves instead of giving to the poor, men who have sex with boy prostitutes, and many other things but nowhere does it condemn homosexuality as we understand it today.

As for Romans 1.26-27 (please give verse numbers so those reading this discussion will know what you're talking about), doesn't condemn homosexuality either. This verse is talking about Roman Pagan idol worship in the Julio-Claudian era, which involved rough orgiastic sex involving many, many members, both male and female one big event of rough group sex. Notice that Romans 1.26-27 says the men "were working to keep burning up lust for one another." This means the lust wasn't arising within them naturally, which means they were heterosexual and didn't have any genuine attraction to other men. The heterosexual men and women actively supressed their heterosexuality out of religious duty in order to participate in the orgiastic idol worship. And their sex was rough too. It says in Romans 1.26-27 that they "received in their bodies the proper marks for their perversion." I've know a few homosexual couples and they never had marks on their bodies from what they do in their bedroom. Romans 1.26-27 doesn't condemn homosexuality, it condemns the violent and unnatural orgies in Pagan idol worship.

The only way Romans 1.26-27 can be considered a condemnation of homosexuality is if one accepts that all homosexuals are actively suppressing their heterosexuality, but that notion is ludicrous.

Cadalyst wrote:
Even if there was no homosexuality terminology in the bible. The bible is very clear that God put man and woman together and marriage is only meant for them and since God sees lusting and sex out of marriage a sin then no matter how you slice and dice homosexuality is a sin.


You're misusing the term homosexuality. Homosexuality isn't an act, it's an orientation, just like heterosexuality. It's quite possible to be a celibate homosexual, attracted to those of the same sex but not acting on those attractions, just like celibate heterosexuals. Both groups experience lust so lust cannot be used as an argument against one but not the other unless you argue for disproportionate lust among homosexuals but there's no reason whatsoever to accept that conclusion. The promiscuity argument here won't work because there's ample justification for thinking promiscuity results from denying them the marital incentive toward monogamy. There is absolutely no biblical justification for forbidding celibate homosexuality.

Further, I'm not aware of any instace where the Bible says marriage is allowed or forbidden to homosexuals. To come away with the interpretation of forbidding marriage you must read your own prejudices into the text, in which case you're no longer interpreting but contorting the text. Also, one could argue that because Genesis 2.18 says it isn't good for men to be alone that we can infer that homosexuals would be left alone if they didn't find similar partners and therefore it is bad for homosexuals to not fall in love with other homosexuals. And if we can infer that homosexuals falling in love with eachother is supported biblically, then there's a good argument for extending marriage to include homosexuality. Further, the marital institution would give incentives to homosexuals to abstain from promiscuity which would translate into a reduction of sin. Aren't Christians supposed to work toward reducing sin in the world? There are good Bible-based reasons to not condemn homosexuals because of whom they're attracted toward and to extend marriage to include homosexual partnerships.

(This is all irrelevant to the U.S. Government's institution of marriage, which is secular in nature. It does't matter what religious persuasion a person has, there's no valid reason to bar homosexuals from entering secular marriages.)

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Cadalyst wrote:Dude you just

Cadalyst wrote:

Dude you just said it was based on the laws of knowing what is right and wrong and now you say, it is instinct, then you do know the difference of right and wrong? 

Dude, the first post I made was sarcasm showing you how idiotic your statement was.  I guess that flew right over your head, huh?

Cadalyst wrote:

The bible says different- we are children of the devil/ we are children of God's wrath. He has every right to kill us because we disgust him- we are vile, sinful creatures.

Under the right conditions, circumstances etc... every man woman and child on this planet is capable of committing the most brutal, heinous ats of violence. We see it all over the world from Ruwanda to Nazi Germany.

Man's natural instinct is sin. We knows its wrong to murder because were told so by Him. "He wrote his laws in every man's hearts" even when we get away with it because God convicts us but we suppress it anyway.

As soon as a baby is born he or she is doing wrong and if that baby throws a tantrum and had the strength of a man twice your size, he would rip off your arm and beat you to death with it.

If we disgust god he has no one to blame other than himself.  He made us.  However, it's not like he exists.  And yes everyone is most likely capable of doing brutal acts of violence.  I have a book that speaks of this.  People are capable of doing that.  However, it is most often done among a "community" of people doing it to another people that they dehumanize.

Sin is nonexistant.  Figment of your imagination.  Just like gods.

Babies would be brutal at first if they were super strong.  However, that is because they don't understand the consequences to their actions yet.  That's something you learn growing up among your fellow humans in a society.  Not from an ancient book written by men that didn't even know that stars were other suns or that the Earth went around our star and not the otherway around.

The bible states that bats are birds, that insects have four legs, that snakes and donkey's can talk, that unicorns exist, etc. 

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The bible is very clear on

The bible is very clear on homosexuality! It is a no brainer. Paul is as clear as day especially when he was in Greece and Rome.

I thought human beings were born with a natural instict, so now it's learned behaviour?

The bible is not a science book but I can point things in the bible long before man dicovered it, how about the passage, he hangs the earth on nothing.

The rest is just strawman tactics that have been explained time and time again, and if you were a "Christian" for 15 years you would know the theological rebuttal on unicorns talking etc......


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Cadalyst wrote:I thought

Cadalyst wrote:

I thought human beings were born with a natural instict, so now it's learned behaviour?

The bible is not a science book but I can point things in the bible long before man dicovered it, how about the passage, he hangs the earth on nothing.

The rest is just strawman tactics that have been explained time and time again, and if you were a "Christian" for 15 years you would know the theological rebuttal on unicorns talking etc......

Natural instinct=Not kill your fellow humans.

Learned behaviour=What it takes to kill your fellow humans.

No, the bible is definetly not a science book.  It's pathetic fiction.

I called myself Christian for 30 years.  You sound like me 15 years ago.  This is simple logical thinking.  *snaps fingers*  Try to keep up.

Please inform me of the theological rebuttals for the following verses:

Lev. 11:20-3 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
 

Leviticus 11:19 "These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, 14and the kite and the falcon in its kind, 15every raven in its kind, 16 and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, 17and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, 18and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, 19and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat."

The unicorn: Deuteronomy 33:17, Numbers 23:22 and 24:8; Psalm 22:21, 29:6 and 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7.

Get ready for some heavy duty "how can I make this crap make sense" rationalizing.

 

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Quote:The bible is very

Quote:

The bible is very clear on homosexuality! It is a no brainer. Paul is as clear as day especially when he was in Greece and Rome.

Cad, it's okay. We're an understanding bunch, here. You don't have to repress your feelings or sexuality while you're on these boards. Anyone can see that you're just projecting; it's time to come out of the closet. You're safe.

How long have you known you were gay?

Quote:
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Cadalyst wrote:The bible is

Cadalyst wrote:
The bible is very clear on homosexuality!


No, it's not.

Cadalyst wrote:
It is a no brainer.


No, it's not.

Cadalyst wrote:
Paul is as clear as day especially when he was in Greece and Rome.


Paul referred to Pagan idol worship, never mentioning homosexuality as it's understood today.

Cadalyst wrote:
I thought human beings were born with a natural instict, so now it's learned behaviour?


Neither. Humanity has a diversity of instincts per biological subject. Scientists of have found a correlation between hyper-heterosexuality in mothers and aunts and homosexuality in sons and nephews. This means maternal hyper-heterosexuality could genetically pass to offspring, increasing the chance of homosexuality—of also finding males attractive. I do not know of any studies about the paternal side, but I see no reason to think it would work differently. Hyper-heterosexuality could bring forth homosexuality and bisexuality in this manner. I see many possible natural instincts so your question seems to contain a false dichotomy in presenting "one instinct" and "learned behavior" as the only possibilities.

Cadalyst wrote:
The bible is not a science book but I can point things in the bible long before man dicovered it, how about the passage, he hangs the earth on nothing.


You need to put the verse in its context. The author simply said the earth does not sit on a turtle, that sits on a turtle, that sits on another turtle, ad infinitum. You have tried to extract an entire perspective of cosmology from a simple rebuke of one form of Paganism.

The Old Testament does contain a view on cosmology but it disagrees sharply with the modern view. The author of Job 37.18 attributed solidity, "like a cast metal mirror," to firmament, the outermost layer of our atmosphere. He missed the mark completely, but where did he get that idea? He got it from reading and interpreting Genesis 1 in a super-literal manner, which describes the wind of Elohim blowing over the deep waters and then Elohim made the firmament to separate the water inside from the water outside. Water outside the firmament, the outermost layer of our atmosphere? If our seas and oceans consist of just a portion of the primordial waters, how much water would we find outside the firmament? You'd need a sturdy structure, solid and firm like a cast metal mirror, to prevent the water from crushing those inside the firmament. Elohim arranged the stars inside the firmament, which rotated to move the constellations through the sky, and had the Sun whirl around the planet except for when Yahweh supposedly stopped the Sun over Gibeon for Joshua. The Old Testament does contain a cosmological view but it disagrees, quite dramatically, with the modern view.
 

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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:

The bible is very clear on homosexuality! It is a no brainer. Paul is as clear as day especially when he was in Greece and Rome.

Cad, it's okay. We're an understanding bunch, here. You don't have to repress your feelings or sexuality while you're on these boards. Anyone can see that you're just projecting; it's time to come out of the closet. You're safe.

How long have you known you were gay?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HA!

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I'm not going to get

I'm not going to get involved in the discussion of homosexuality, that comes down to intolerance, ignorance and one's own sexual insecurities.  On the subject of Sodom and Gomorrah; there is no evidence archeologically that they existed.  The bible is contradictory as to the time they "existed" and even the events surrounding their destruction.  Geologically, there is no evidence that the fertile plains in which they were supposedly located ever existed either.  god's reason for the destruction of S&G had to do with the lack of hospitality of it's inhabitants, not homosexuality, that's simply what a bunch of homophobic, misogynistic, closest child molestors in the church have twisted the meaning of this particular midrash to mean.

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I like your scholarship..

I like your scholarship, Visual_Paradox....keep up the good work...those are good questions for me to think about.


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If being gay is wrong how

If being gay is wrong how comes Captain Jack from Doctor Who and Torchwood is always saving the world?

And please don't come up with any crap about Doctor Who being fiction as you've already gone around quoting the bible!

 

 


Visual_Paradox
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JustAnotherBeliever wrote:I

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:
I like your scholarship, Visual_Paradox....keep up the good work...those are good questions for me to think about.

I don't know if I'd call it scholarship, though I do appreciate the compliment Smiling

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Cadalyst wrote:"Those who

Cadalyst wrote:

"Those who think the Bible says homosexuality is sinful will often point to Genesis 18-19"

I merely showed otherwise and laws ARE based around biblical laws, where else did we get them from?. O wait! don't tell me, ah yes our laws evolved from nothing. Like we just automatically knew what was right and wrong.

That's right. All cultures ignorant of the Bible are lawless.

And, V_P, have you seen the movie For The Bible Tells Me So? It covers the interpretation of the Sodom passages extensively as being about hospitality.

As for Paul, why would someone who never met a real Jesus be a trustworthy source for Christian belief? Sounds like a homophobic man trying to slip his agenda into the religion.

Instead of a Blog

Think this can't work? - Think again.

"...what we always meant by socialism wasn't something you forced on people, it was people organizing themselves as they pleased...And if socialism really is better...then it can bloody well compete with capitalism. So we decided, forget all the statist shit and the violence: the best place for socialism is the closest to a free market you can get!" - Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction


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I had never heard of that

I had never heard of that movie but it looks very interesting Smiling


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Visual Paradox is right...

Cadalyst wrote:

"Those who think the Bible says homosexuality is sinful will often point to Genesis 18-19"

I merely showed otherwise and laws ARE based around biblical laws, where else did we get them from?. O wait! don't tell me, ah yes our laws evolved from nothing. Like we just automatically knew what was right and wrong.

 

 

My understanding of the NT passages against homosexuality are more against pagan practices such as male temple prostitution and Dionysian orgies etc. than the act itself. Homosexuality, per se, was quite common and accepted in the Greco/Roman world.  And, of course it is very common in the animal world...Bonobo Chimps spring to mind.

The Sodom story is a condemnation of lack of hospitality shown to the travelers...all important for survival among nomadic people and a major sin to be not offered.  As for morality, do YOU think it was OK for Lot to offer his daughters to the lust of the mob??  I don't! 

And morality did NOT evolve from nothing, it evolved as an essential component of the survival of the species.  Over the Milena the primitive tribes that acted in cooperation and mutual support survived and passed on their genes.  Those that did not perished.  The maintenance of a cohesive tribe was and is essential for the survival of individuals and those not conforming must be removed from the tribe...or killed.  Society enacts laws to ensure its own protection and it in our own interests as individuals to observe them. 

Morality is not absolute as proved by the primitive ethics of, for example, the Jews in OT times compared with the civilised ethics and morality of western man since the Enlightment.  Morality is relative.

............................................................

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition". - Isaac Asimov


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I just finished watching

I just finished watching "For The Bible Tells Me So." A few moments had my chest tightening up as though I were about to cry and a few moments had me laughing. It was very good, well worth the time to watch. It reminded me of a friend I had in Indiana who was lesbian and cried to me, thinking she was going to Hell, and at the time I was a Christian with no particular view on homosexuality and I couldn't find any words to respond, just sitting there quietly with my arm around her. She would love this movie, but I do not know how to contact her Sad

As for the topic of whether its okay for Lot to offer his daughters, there's not enough information to truly understand what the author envisioned when writing it. When most people read the story, they seem to think the daughters were subservient to the will of the father, but the story allows an interpretation to the contrary. It could be understood as the daughters offering to put themselves in harm's way, just as Lot had done, to protect the visitors, and they were pressuring their father to allow them to do so. Lot would be emotionally torn on the issue of whether to allow them, so his decision might not be the most ethical but certainly understandable. It should also be noted that allowing his daughters to sacrifice their happiness was itself a sacrifice for Lot, because non-virgin daughters would likely remain unmarried, becoming a burden to Lot and his wife. In this view, the entire family was sacrificing themselves for the good of the visitors. Considering that the parallel running throughout Genesis 18-19 focused on hospitality and personal sacrifice, this interpretation fits the literary facts quite nicely. This interpretation is also supported by the incest scene, which involved the daughters sacrificing their virginity and their potential prosperity in marriage in order to continue the bloodline of Lot, who was personally protected by the divine.

Another curiosity of the story is the mention of sons-in-law. This means there were at least two men that were married into Lot's family. Marriage, though, is consummated by taking the wife's virginity. So, how did they consummate the marriage if Lot's two daughters were virgin? (The Skeptics Annotated Bible has that marked as an absurdity.) There were two other daughters who were not named. Those daughters, along with the sons-in-law, remained in Sodom while Lot, his wife, and his two virgin daughters were escaping. I think the two unnamed daughters are the key to understanding why Lot's wife, their mother, looked back, and consequently turned to salt.

Literalist Christians have added a lot of baggage to it. They insert homosexuality into it and present the story as a retelling of history. It seems quite clear to me that the story was a fable and meant to be understood as condemning inhospitality. Meanwhile, many nonbelievers, such as those that worked on the Genesis 19 section of the Skeptics Annotated Bible, have added their own nonsense to the story that isn't there, including homosexuality (they mark heterosexuals trying to humiliate their victims sexually as being homosexual, which is stupid), the idea that the story lies about the vrginity of the daughters (they mark that section as an absurdity), and many other things. If you strip away all the baggage, added by theists and atheists alike, and take the story for what it says and what the parallelism reveals between the lines, the story is actually quite good.

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Cadalyst wrote:Quote:Dude

Cadalyst wrote:

Quote:

Dude the bible is very clear, especially in the books of Corinthians and Romans basically the Laws

Dude !  It's not.  Read the OP again.  Why, it's almost as if the bible were written & constantly re-edited over a thousand years by humans who realized they could easily manipulate the simple w/ their own agenda.

Answer me this, Cadalyst:

Why among this list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of god, are there no child molesters ?  Pedophilia has been fairly common all throughout history.  Where's the pedophilia "terminology" ?

Was god asleep the day his anointed writers were supposed to write an admonishment for that down ?

Is the forced rape of a child who is frightened half to death unimportant to god ?  to the godly ?  That's odd because picking up sticks on the sabbath and shellfish admonishments were important enough for your god to be specific about.  

This would certainly explain the warped sense of morality so many of the "godly" have.

Quote:
Even if there was no homosexuality terminology in the bible. The bible is very clear that God put man and woman together and marriage is only meant for them

If only it were so easy as "god" creating man and woman.  Life would be so...ahem...simple !  Apparently your god also created humans who were both.  Where do they fall in your equation? 

Intersex humans (those w/ varied degrees of sexual ambiguity) are more common than most realize & many of them have the sexual organs of both male and female.  Technically they are either both or neither male nor female, depending on one's perspective. Intersex species are also fairly common among plants & animals (Asleep again, god?)

The most common response to the birth of an intersex child is to whack away body parts w/ surgical knives until they resemble god's perfect plan (Apparently even the "ominipotent" need the assistance of a scalpel now and then).  

Where do you stand on marriage between them ?  

I say two penises and two vaginas among two people over one wedding night has got to be more fun (& morally superior to) than a priest/pastor exploring the caverns of a pre-schooler, wouldn't you ?

The bible (like any mythical writing) is flawed as much by its many ommissions as by the bias of those wrote it and edited it over a thousand years.  Your attempts to simplify its writings into a way to live your life and judge other humans just makes you simple !

My apologies to the OP for the slightly off-topic derailment that this post has taken. 

 

 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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You raise alot of valid

You raise alot of valid questions in this blog.  I have debated the soddom story many times before, and the most common conclusion people come up with to dismiss GOd destroy the city for homosexuality reasons is to throw it to rape.  I can somewhat agree with saying God destroyed the city because of the men wanting to rape his angels.  The problem is that logically if the men wanted to have sex with the angels, they were obviously already have sex with each other and just needed some fresh meat.  This is entirely speculation, but it seems to me this would be a logical conclusion, because men don't just one day wake up and decide to have sex with another guy.

 

You asked...

"If they had some, how would God judge them as wicked for the actions of their fathers?"

The Bible is extremely clear on man's position in the household/family.  The man is the leader of his family, and his entire family (until the children are grown) can be judged by GOd based on his actions and decisions.  This isn't exactly "fair"....but "the sin's of the father....."

The NIV version says....

"Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.""

Thats verses 4 and 5 of chapter 19.  I think your using the nkjv or kjv but I may be wrong.  The NIV is commonly used amoung Biblical scholars because it is the most accurately translated, you may look up that claim and find out for yourself but I speak no lies!  lol....

The Bible is extremely clear on homosexuality.  The old Leviticus law God actually would stone two men if they were found having sex.

ROmans 1:24-27

 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

Homosexuality is referred to as "perversion", "Unnatural" "sinful desires" "degrading of their bodies..."

Paul talks more about homosexuality but I believe this is enough.  You really need to study the Bible more before making claims it does or doesn't say something.  Good blog though.


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Hey Matt, thanks for

Hey Matt, thanks for responding.

I find your interpretation problematic. You said, "because of the men wanting", "if the men wanted", "men don't", and so on. You seem to have missed my point about giving "men" as a translation of 'enowsh, meaning "those of humankind." That includes male adults, teenagers, and children as well as female adults, teenagers, and children. When considering the role of females in the story, the homosexuality interpretation does not work.

Even with just the men it doesn't work. Homosexuality is an orientation, not an act. The story makes it clear that the angels visited Sodom not to conduct surveys on orientations but to look at their actions. One can attribute their destruction to uncontrollable lust, desire to denigrate outsiders, and so on, but one cannot logically place blame on homosexual orientations. It just doesn't work. A thorough exegesis does not allow such an interpretation. That can come only from eisegesis, which historians and biblical scholars both look down upon.

Speaking of which, I think you've confused scholars and apologists when you talked about the NIV. Many Protestant apologists favor the NIV. I don't. It has a very peculiar mixture of word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation philosophy and one can find no consistency in the approach. Sometimes they throw both translation philosophies out the window to benefit traditional apologetics. One can see this in their rendition of the story of Sodom. Translating 'enowsh as "men" has no basis in either word-for-word or thought-for-thought translation—it's a deliberate distortion. I personally like the NRSV and NASB for reading, such as when I want to refresh my memory on a particular subject, but I go to the original languages for more serious purposes. As for scholars, most of the top ones rarely use translations in doing their work, preferring manuscripts, such as the Leningrad Codex, and pertinent manuscript fragments in the languages in which the authors or scribes wrote them. They know translators make many decisions not for scholarly reasons but political and economic ones. Consider, for example, the sales of a translation that rendered adamah (i.e., Adam) as "Soil Man". It wouldn't sell. Many average scholars use translations but usually take the original languages and manuscripts very seriously because that informs them about the limits of the available translations. Practically all scholars, though, provide English translations for the reader's convenience or when they want to gloss over details irrelevant to what they intend to communicate. That can sometimes make it easier to confuse them for apologists. It is important to keep apologists and scholars separate in your mind; don't confuse the wheat and chaff.

As for Romans 1.26-27, I addressed that verse earlier. "The heterosexual men and women actively supressed their heterosexuality out of religious duty in order to participate in the orgiastic [Pagan] idol worship. And their sex was rough too. It says in Romans 1.26-27 that they 'received in their bodies the proper marks for their perversion.' I've know a few homosexual couples and they never had marks on their bodies from what they do in their bedroom. Romans 1.26-27 doesn't condemn homosexuality, it condemns the violent and unnatural orgies in Pagan idol worship."

You said, "You really need to study the Bible more before making claims it does or doesn't say something." Ditto Smiling
 

 

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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In romans 1:24-32 paul

In romans 1:24-32 paul describes the depravity of the gentiles. He cited homosexuality as the prime example and proof of their reprobation. In this behavior they demonstrate thew reality that rejecting God leads to a perversion of everything that is good and right. Indeed, widespread homosexuality remains irrefutable proof that a culture stands under divine judgement.

     Tioday however,many interpreters assert that reading romans 1 in light of the cultural background of the greco-roman world reveals that paul was not really condemning homosexuality itself  but was reproving a particularly lustful, promiscuous  version of this sexual inclination. In other words according to these scholars homosexuality in the context of a caring, loving relationship is not olny acceptable but outside of the realm of pauls concern. 

      This interpretation is based upno a distortion of what we know about ancient practices and beliefs. Homosexuality  was extremely common in the greek world and by New Testiment times had become widespread in the roman world as well. Then, as now, there were homosexual orgies, but many other varieties of homosexual behavior were practiced as well, and we cannot say with certainty that pagan homosexual behavior was strictly the orgiastic type. Greek men often engaged in homosexual relationships with adolescents boys; many in fact, regarded this as a coming-of -age experience. Some homosexual attraction was described in highly romantic terms; both male and female poets celebrated their love for members of their own sex (sappho,c.630 B.C was the most famous poet is this genre, although the presise nature of her relationship with the women of her poems is debated). The roman emperor hadrian was so overcome with passionate love for a young man named antinous that when the object of his affection drowned, the grief stricken emperor decreed that he be worshiped as a god. The jews by contrast , regarded homosexuality as by nature depraved-an attitude founded upon biblical text such as leviticus 18:22. Jewish writing of this period  treated homosexual activity as meriting death and damnation. Paul, far from dissenting from this view point , rigorously rendorsed it (1cor 6:9). It is important to note, however,  that neither paul nor his jewish contemporaries distinguished between lawful and illicit homosexuality. For them, such a sexual preferance was by nature wrong in any context.

           Evidence exists that even the greeks may have been aware that this behavior was deviant. Aristophanes, the greek comic poet, mocked homosexual behavior (even as he employed it as a comic device). For example, in "Women at the thesmophoria" he ruthlessly ridiculed the notorious homosexuality of the poet agathon. It would be an overstatement to claim that aristrophanes opposed homosexual practices, but his comedy betrayed an uneasy conscience about such behavior within the culture he inhabited. Plato, on the other hand, in his early dialouges spoke approvingly of homosexual behavior. Yet near the end of his career he obseved in his laws that homosexual intercourse was widely recognized to be unatural.  

i am theist and i dont know how to put it under my name Laughing out loud