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Reply #41: Biblical stories can be viewed in many different ways... [View All]

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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-14-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #30
41. Biblical stories can be viewed in many different ways...
I'll provide some justification for my view of the story of Lot and answer your response. Remember, your opinion may well be as valid as mine. I am always open to consider other viewpoints. (Note: Most Christians especially Fundamentalists tell me that I'm on a path to Hell. I tend to question far too much and I don't accept things merely on faith or because they're the "literal word of God".

and if you know your history and custom, none of those are about sexual orientation in the slightest.

The stories of Sodom and Gibeah may be better understood against this background. As commentators have realized the demand to 'know' the visitors to Sodom must be a demand that they submit to homosexual intercourse.19 That Lot offers his daughters instead and the Levite his concubine shows that the demand was for sexual intercourse (Gen 19:5-8; Jdg 19:22-26). Given ancient oriental attitudes it is by no means strange that the men of Sodom asked to have intercourse with men in Lot's household. What is surprising and deeply shocking is their total disregard for the accepted principles of eastern hospitality. Visitors, whether anticipated or not, must be treated with the utmost courtesy and kindness. Here the men of Sodom show utter disregard for the rules of hospitality, and suggest Lot's visitors submit to the most demeaning treatment they can devise, a treatment elsewhere used on prisoners of war.20 So the sin of Sodom is not primarily homosexuality as such, but an assault on weak and helpless visitors who according to justice and tradition they ought rather to have protected (Ezk 16:49).

Yet having said this, undoubtedly the homosexual intentions of the inhabitants of Sodom adds a special piquancy to their crime. In the eyes of the writer of Genesis and his readers it showed that they fully deserve to be described as 'wicked, great sinners before the LORD' (13:13) and that the consequent total overthrow of their city was quite to be expected. It is often noted by commentators that the destruction of Sodom parallels the destruction of the world by Noah's flood. In both cases we have a complete population being obliterated and only one family escaping thanks to divine intervention. There are many verbal parallels between the stories too. It may also be noted that the motive for divine judgment is similar in both cases. The flood was sent because of the great wickedness of man demonstrated by the illicit union of women with supernatural beings, 'the sons of God'. In the case of Sodom another type of illicit sexual intercourse is at least contributory in showing it deserves its destruction.

And drawing a conclusion that because having children was important translates into opposing homosexuality is a very big stretch.

It therefore seems most likely that Israel's repudiation of homosexual intercourse arises out of its doctrine of creation. God created humanity in two sexes, so that they could be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Woman was man's perfect companion, like man created in the divine image. To allow the legitimacy of homosexual acts would frustrate the divine purpose and deny the perfection of God's provision of two sexes to support and complement one another.

Not sure what the purpose of the last two verses were placed for though.

The Bible is full of stories with many twists and turns. Did the Old Testament God disapprove of homosexuality but hold a different view of incest? I find it interesting that Lot wasn't at fault, the blame was placed on the daughters. There is the excuse that they believe there were no other men left on earth. Women must not have had much education in those days. Lot's uncle, Abraham was only a days walk away and there was the nearby town of Tzo'ar.

Perhaps the first report of father-daughter incest appears in the Bible in the book of Genesis 19. The seducer this time, however, is not the father, Lot, whose wife had crystallised into a pillar of salt, but rather the daughters, who conspire to extract their father's seed. Their unconventional manoeuvre, today it would be labelled "drug rape," is implicitly and partially excused by the Bible by their desire to fulfil the first divine/evolutionary decree, procreation: "Our father is old and there is no man to lie with us as is the way all over the earth" (Genesis 19, 31). Capitalising on his fondness for wine, "they got their father to drink wine on that night, and the elder one came, and lay with her father, and he knew nothing of her lying down or her rising up." The following night the scene repeats itself, this time with the younger sister, while Lot remains in his inebriated ignorant stupor. Both liaisons resulted in pregnancies. "And the older one gave birth to a boy, and she named him Moab, he is the father of the Moabites of this day. And the younger also gave birth to a boy, and she named him Ben Ami, he is the father of the Ammonites of this day" (Genesis 19, 37-38).

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