What is a Sodomite? What is an Abomination?

I know it is considered unkind and not polite to ridicule something others believe with passion.  But, sometimes it is the only appropriate response.  If there was a Sodom and Gomorrah event, ridicule is what one has to make of the notion it was about condemning homosexuality.

The myth comes from a part of the story where a crowd of men wants to rape some male angels.  Have you ever heard of an entire city of men who were homosexual?  I haven’t.

Whoever wrote the Sodom and Gomorrah story had not either.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say the towns’ men were homosexuals.

Before the story had even taken place, Sodom and Gomorrah were labeled as “evil” cities.  The alledged evilness was not about homosexuality.

The evilness was (Gen. 16: 49-50) having lots of food and not sharing, too much pride and being inhospitable to visitors.   When the character, Jesus, came along he said about the same thing.  He didn’t mention homosexuality.

The “abomination” passage is another red herring.  When the Israelites came into Cannaan, Cannaan had established religious practices. Israelites had to pass laws to prevent assimilation into Cannaan’s culture. One practice was male priests dressed as women apparently having ritualized sex in the temple with women. Maybe it was a fertility rite.  There needed to be a law against such “abomination” or maybe it would catch on with Israelites.

The manual of Christianity is supposed to be the Gospels.  Homosexuality is not mentioned there.

It wasn’t a sin.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/obery-m-hendricks-jr-phd/dont-blame-it-on-the-bible_b_2884094.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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49 Responses to What is a Sodomite? What is an Abomination?

  1. Michael Ross says:

    Your trying to get around the fact the the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality is a wishful tree in a factual forest. If you choose not to believe the Bible that’s your business but any other literate person can read and understand even if you can’t. In Sodom Lot offered his daughters but the men of the city weren’t interested. They wanted other men. I think a mob of queers that wanted to break down lots door and rape the men that were his guests is going a bit beyond inhospitality, don’t you?

    “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 1:21 “They weren’t interested in the Lot’s daughters.”

      And, this is supposed to “prove” the town was made up of homosexuals? There could have been many reasons this is in the story, status, revenge, customs of ceremonial humiliation, who really knows. Jesus did not say homosexuality was the problem. But, he was not trying to make the Bible fit todays dislike of homosexuals.

      “..indulged in gross immoratlity and went after strange flesh…”

      This does not say homosexuality. It could have meant women of other tribes. No matter how you spin it, the Bible does not state clearly two men or two women is a sin. It just uses these kinds of phrases, “gross immorality” and “strange flesh” and other phrases and because today’s literalists use them today to refer to homosexuality they are certain it referred to homosexuality thousands of years ago.

      • Michael Ross says:

        Jesus did not mention homosexuality but Paul in Romans did. An Apostles writings carried as much weight and authority as the very words of Christ.

        “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12)

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Michael 3:21 “Jesus did not mention homosexuality but Paul in Romans did.”

          If you read my link, it discusses Paul. The writer points out very clearly Paul’s references were to heterosexual passions, passions Paul thought were over the top. It is not correct to take what Paul wrote and make it into a sweeping condemnation of homosexuality.

          • entech says:

            You can’t rely too much on Paul, he is so erratic and contradictory, for instance on women In Corinthians he says they should be silent in Philippians he talks about them as fellow evangelists.

            34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
            35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
            1 Corinthians

            2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
            3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
            Philippians 4

          • Michael Ross says:

            Women to remain silent in the churches refers to
            asking doctrinal questions, raising doctrinal issues in the assembly of the church. If they have a question they go to their husband (or father if they are still in his home) and if he agrees, then he brings the issue before the church. That way she has expressed her concern and male authority has been upheld.

            As far as evangelism, women may have private input but not public ministry of the Gospel which is exclusively for men.

          • entech says:

            Exclusively for men, wow. This reminds me of Gaddafi claiming to be feminist by saying about Saudi, the government has no business telling a woman whether she can drive or not.

            ” That is up to the father or brother “, he said.
            :roll: :lol: :roll:

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            There is no doubt whatsoever, two or three generations from now, our decendants, members of whatever Christian denominations survive, including Cathoic Popes, will apologize to gays and society generally for claiming the Bible considered homosexuality to be a sin.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            To those clinging to the notion the Bible considers homosexulity a sin, I’d suggest you think about the personal legacy you leave to your decentants.

            There must be many white adults today who know their ancestors owned slaves. Are they proud of that legacy? How much prouder decendants must be of ancestors who owned slaves and set them free when they realized the moral implications.

            The opportunity is here, now, for gay haters to redeem their moral standing with their decendants by admitting homosexuality is not labeled sin in the Bible and is not moral issue.

    • entech says:

      Some very strange moral stories from that book of yours.
      A loving couple of the same gender – all kinds of horror.
      Sell your daughter as a sex slave – go ahead that is fine. Exodus 21
      And what about 32 virgins as the Lord’s tribute. Numbers 31

      • Michael Ross says:

        Very strange indeed. I must confess I wish some of those verses were not there and I don’t have all the answers. That was a different world we are not familiar with. The sad story of human history has been war, conquest, plunder, and enslavement. We look back in utter disbelief at how ruthless humans have been and still are but we have been conditioned by the culture that has offered the most personal freedoms and, personal safety in our own land without conquering and occupying armies, and the most material abundance for the common man history has ever seen. Is it just by chance it is also the most Gospel saturated land? I don’t think so.

        He is an article that helped me with some of these issues you have raised: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/green-p7.1.1.html

        • entech says:

          The more you try and rationalise away the bits you don’t like the more you cast doubts on the rest.

        • entech says:

          Like many of the sites you recommend this is as narrow and wrong as are many of the extreme anti-religious sites I could refer you to.

          • Michael Ross says:

            The site is libertarian which I am not but agree on many issues. It is not Christian but several Christian writers contribute. I don’t think it is narrow and I believe you would be in agreement with many articles. Did you read the article? One of the best on the subject I have read.

          • entech says:

            Yes, read it. always read whatever ‘most’ people recommend.

            Actually i do think of myself as libertarian, but my definition is not at all what the modern American one has become.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Michael 6:01 “I wish some of those versus were not there and I don’t have all the answers. That was a different world we are not familiar with.”

          Wise words, indeed, my friend. All those vague phrases cited by gay haters about lust, unclean flesh, men lying together, immoral sex acts–none of them says, “men having sex with men”, “women having sex with women”. When people in Biblical times talked of immoral acts, but were not specific, we cannot say with certainty what they were referring to.

          But, we’ve found a solution to that. Take the behavior we most dislike and insert that as the meaning of whatever vague language we find in the Bible.

          Let me ask this. Is there anything Paul ever wrote that indicates he had an understanding of love and domestic life between two people of the same sex? The link I provided said he had no concept of something like this at all. If that is true, it doen’t make sense to assign a meaning to what he wrote that he would never have thought of.

          Every Christian is free to define anything they wish as “sin”. There are endless things named as sin, the same things are blessed as not sin elsewhere. The place you a right on track, Michael, is in saying the period of the Bible was a different time, one we cannot really understand.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            Let’s remove the sanctity / sacredness of the book being referenced, and simplify.

            What if we were talking about the Lord of the Rings. O.k. we know that nothing in Lord of the Rings happened in our reality. We know it’s fiction. Yet, as with any fictional story there’s usually real life themes, ideas, important ideas for us to understand our humanity and our reality. No, we can’t fathom battling Orcs or what it’d be like to be in a world full of magic and wonder that’s portrayed by fantasy. Yet, authors keep writing with a theme and a purpose, in their writing. The Terry Good Kind’s Sword of Truth series, there’s and undertone of rising up against organized religion and an undertone of being anti government dependance. People need to learn to do for themselves what the government tries to do for them…

            It was very anti religion and anti welfare / dependance on government.

            Yet none of the events in his book happened either. IT’s fiction. I tend to suspect that many of the stories in the bible are true in some way, and some may have a fictional side to them. Yet, that does not mean we can not learn from said stories. They all have something of value no matter how old they are…

          • Michael Ross says:

            “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”
            (Romans 1:27-8)
            How can you interpret this to mean anything other than homosexual behavior? Paul was addressing gentile Christians (former pagans). The Jews regarded homosexuality for whatever reason as a sin — period. It was regarded as shameful because it blurred the all-important distinction of gender role.

            By the way, I believe the Supreme Court will hear arguments for the constitutionality of DOMA this week. Only two of the dissenters in the 2003 case (Scalia and Thomas) which overturned Texas’ criminalization of homosexuality remain on the bench and, despite the addition of conservative Justices Alito and Roberts, liberals are expected to carry the controlling majority in deciding any issue of gay rights. Kennedy(who wrote the majority opinion in 2003) is considered the swing vote. On that basis I predict your side will win. Will the Supreme Court declare itself supreme over Almighty God as it did in 1973? The President already has and, of course, the spineless Congress only has their wet fingers in the air to see what might get them reelected. What is your prediction on the outcome? I believe the decision will come in May.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 4:09 Romans 1: 27-8

            This passage refers to heterosexual men, not homosexual men. The heterosexual men are having “unnatural sex” with women. Was that sex standing up, or standing on their heads? I don’t know. Whatever is meant by, “men with men working that which is unseemly”, it seems unlikely heterosexual men were having sex with each other. “Working together” could have meant gang rape of women. It could have referred the ceremonial end of battles or disputes where there was a ceremonial rape of a male loser by one of the winners. Maybe masturbation parties.

            I can only repeat, it does not say homosexual men were having sex with other homosexual men. As my link points out, Paul never refers to people attracted to the same sex. Nor, does Jesus.

          • Michael Ross says:

            Enough said about Romans 1. I WAS wondering about your take on the Supreme Court case. Is this on par with Roe v. Wade.? Would it legalize gay “marriage” in all states? I can’t find anything that speaks to the scope of this decision.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 7:02 re: Supreme Court

            I can’t say I understand either what is happening or will happen. There have not been many decisions like Roe v Wade, U. S. wide. There was a long article about Ruth Bater Gisburg in the New Yorker recently. She thought Roe was a mistake, there should have been more resposibility left to the states, a less sweeping decision. If history is any indication, the gay issue will give something to both sides and leave both angry about something.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      I actually Agree (for once) with Jon’s take. I was raised a highly conservative, pentecostal (evangelical) background. And in studying Genesis in various classes (From a Catholic university, to state colleges), I did not find a single verse or reference where the bible said that being Gay was evil and I firmly believe that there really is no reference to homosexuality. I think heteros feel threatened by homosexuality and therefore turn to the bible to support their views.. That’s what we do as a Christian nation is it not?

      As for that story, I have read it several times, and I don’t know the full point of the story, if we accept it as a historical recounting of two destroyed cities it reveals some things to us.. A) The two beings that visited lot were not identified as angels by the author. I’m surprised Jon that you made that assumption. I believe the King James Version, the translation is said to be “Two Lords”.

      “Lot, in the first instance, calls them “my lords,” which is a term of respect that may be addressed to men”

      Genesis 31:35. He afterward styled one of them Adonai, with the special vowel pointing which limits it to the Supreme Being.

      http://bible.cc/genesis/19-1.htm

      Our translations of the bible refer to the two lords as “angels” becuase of the second reference to them being “adonai” or supreme beings. So it is assumed in our translations that these two beings are Angels. Which I find highly disturbing. At the same time, maybe angel is an appropriate definition, though, I highly doubt the author here had actual reference to the word “angel”.

      So, with that said, the two “messengers” were of higher respect / ‘Lordship’ over Lot. He offered them food and shelter for the night. He was very open and welcoming to strangers whom bore some sign of respect for Supreme being. The author here fails to describe them which really irritates me. As a fledgling author myself, a thousand words paints a picture, and I would like to have seen the two supreme beings given the highest respect by Lot to be described. Were they tall, short, what color skin? What were their faces like? Something must have alerted Lot to immediately thinking of them as “Lords”, and adonai… supreme beings. Yet he offered them food and shelter, which means they were corporeal, tangible, physical beings. Not abstract as angels are described in the new testament as being in the sky and full of light etc.

      These beings appear sentient and near human as he didn’t freak out, he just gave them his highest regard..

      They went from Lot being open and welcoming to the city wanting the new beings for themselves. Yes, Lot offered his daughters.. Let me ask you. . If the president of the US (obviously a president you liked / admired) showed up at your door… And you rolled out the red carpet for him/ her, and in town the towns people wanted these new supreme beings, would you not possibly say here take anything, these beings are powerful and they’re here with me. Sure, Lot was selfish, and self absorbed in this. It makes the story more believable… A hero, must be portrayed as human, overcoming his human traits for a believable character in a story. Here he fails his family, and offers his family in place of these beings. The whole town and gathered in a mob. Imagine going into a town with the President in toe? Imagine the mobs that would form. Who wouldn’t want the president on their side? When one can be with family anytime, however, this once in a lifetime to be with these lords and for them to be on Lots side, had to be an overwhelming feeling. He probably would have sacraficed anything for Lot.

      I feel the beings humored Lot. He asked if there were any that feared God in the town would they spare it? He wanted to take them into town, show them the town isn’t so bad, they should spare it. He gets there and the beings are mobbed for sexual favors. Nothing says the beings are male or female.. After all, are angels male or female? Do supreme beings / adonai, have sexual organs?

      So, this is a story where if it happened, it’s almost right out of a horror story. The humans had gone crazy and had formed a crazy mob mentality where the whole town was under the influence of something. Well two towns.

      The supreme beings judged the cities needed to be condemned. My own assertion on this is that the supreme beings could see the reaching influence of the cities. The story states that the stench of the cities has reached all the way to heaven. I suspect that if the cities had been left to continue, human social and cultural development would have taken a different turn. And that our world would be way different than it is today. The cities are described to be trade centers, and very crucial to the civilization of the time. their impact on human civilization on a whole could have taken us a much different route.

      I would even assert that these are not angels at all, or if they are, that this is a story of one of our first described encounters with an influential alien civilization. The fact that there was no hint of surprise or wonderment about the beings instills that people at the time were accepting of the beings. They were different, but yet, were common enough that they didn’t freak out when they saw them.. I would derive from this story the fact that these beings were common in our civilization.. At least as common as one sees a famous sports team or famous singer.. Not so common that every other person one interacts with is a supreme being.. Lot treated them as very special “Lordly” types of beings. They were not so common that he could treat them as equals.

      Again, I emphasize, nothing to do with homosexuality… Period. Everything to do with group dynamics. Lot asked if there were but 100 god fearing people in the town would he spare it… And they said, yes, if there were but 100 it would be spared. They needed Lot to see there was no one worth sparing the town’s lives. Lots plea was compassion for the human race. However, Lot was proven wrong.. Funny, that in our modern doomsday flicks. Our presidents or leaders of our nations are the ones that plea for our lives…

      In this story, Lot is a nobody. Someone living off the road away from the town.
      Him and his wife… Growing old together just living in quiet solitude. And he’s the one that is documented to converse with and attempt to bargain with alien beings…. Kinda profound to human history if you ask me.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        It was Abraham that bargained with God to spare S&G

        • Wolfy32 says:

          Was it? Well, whoever it was. :) Same story wrong character. HA!

          I had read references to both Lot and Abraham, and got confused myself.

          My mistake!

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wolfy32 1:56 Thanks for sharing you considerable thought about the Sodom and Gomorrah story. I would write the story off in the way I do most parts of the Bible. Each part of the Bible was written by some unknown author. It was written for a specific audience of that time with a specific goal of convincing that audience of something wanted by the author at that time. What the S & G story was supposed to mean is lost forever, period.

        • entech says:

          In Jewish thought angels are beings of pure spirit with no physical form. Angels take on a physical form and intervene in quite a few stories from the Torah (including this one), although Maimonides said the physical descriptions were metaphorical.

          Given the descriptions in some stories, cherubs with flaming swords, the story of Balaams ass saving him from the angel with the sword and intent to smite him and other tales you would wonder why the men of Sodom would not have run rather than find them a source of attraction. And why Lot would have felt the need to intervene is a mystery, after all the angels blinded all the townspeople anyway.

          The continuing story of the daughters getting the father drunk so that he would impregnate them is a bit strange too. If he was so drunk that he didn’t know anything he was probably too drunk to do anything. If the whole thing is a morality tale why didn’t God supply a slave girl to “carry on his seed” as he did for Abraham, although a continuing theme seems to be that incest is OK but keep away from your neighbours wife, but more importantly keep away from your neighbour.

          Jon describes it correctly @ 3:20

  2. jh says:

    The Israelites went to Canaan, not Cannon.

  3. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Michael, why is it no one ever talks about Lot offering his daughters to be gang raped if these visitors would just go away?

    I would think the family values crowd would be up in arms over this.

  4. Wanna B Sure says:

    I have wondered why Sodom got all the credit, and name recognition, and Gomorrah was only an also mentioned spot. Did Sodom have a better chamber of commerce, or was Gomorrah a retirement village for old Sodomites, with not too much going on there? I guess one will never know. On a possibly related issue, there is a sacred hill in New York called Cumorrah. Could there be a connection? Could it be that plural wives was where Gomorrah was at, and they served over salted meals to the men on golden plates? One will never know. Spookey.

  5. Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

    Totally “OK” to kill a homosexual if gawd told you to, Yup sounds like a moral and just supernatural ass hat to me.

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