Slippery Slope, Part Two

See if you recognize this story.

 

            Two angelic men come into an isolated town.  They have nothing to sell, no servants, and no apparent business to conduct of any kind.  They stand in the center of town, just watching the people.

 

            Men in the town notice them.  They do not like what they see.  Two strangers in their midst – could these “pretty boys” spread their perceived perversion to others?  They had to be taught a lesson. 

 

            In the cover of darkness, the men of the town gather at the place these two strangers were staying.  They demand that the owner of the house send out the angelic men so they can be taught that their kind is not welcome in this town.  The men of the town are intent on punishing and humiliating them so that they never return. 

 

            In this town, any stranger is suspect.  But men perceived as gay are definitely not to be tolerated.

 

            It took me several years to climb back up the slippery slope that mislabeled this story.  It is the story of Sodom in a way that takes in all the facts told in Genesis much more accurately than the way it is usually understood. 

 

            If anything, the word “Sodomy” should be referring to gay bashing, not being gay.  The slippery slope that has led to much suffering and death for the gay community began only in the years soon after Jesus when a philosopher of the time became disgusted with the extremes to which Roman citizens took their homosexual activities in public.  The story of Sodom and Gomorrah had never been used that way by Jewish or Christian writers until then. 

 

            Christianity has been sliding down this slope for two millennia.  We have a long climb to get back to understanding the story properly and correcting our perceptions of homosexuality.  The story was told as a cautionary tale about abusing the strangers in your midst, not as a condemnation of strangers, no matter how strange they may seem to you.

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous on Apr 03 at 7:12 pm

    I still don’t like the part where Lot offers his daughters to the angry mob.



  2. Ken on Apr 04 at 3:07 am

    I think this interpretation is a bit loose. Sodom was engaging in all sorts of activities including sodomy. The strangers were suspect because they did not join in the debacle that everyone else was enjoying. They were too righteous, not sodomites. In point of fact the strangers were angels that had come to prepare for the destruction of the city at the instruction of god. Strangers should always be suspect at first until they can be proven that they can be trusted, and strangers that want to destroy where you live and take away all the fun you are having should never be trusted but thrown out of town as non-violently as possible.



  3. Anonymous on Apr 04 at 5:04 pm

    From what I’ve read, welcoming strangers was a really big super important deal. Rather than showing hospitality, they respond to the strangers with violence. I’m not seeing anything in the story suggesting that the angels were perceived as gay, but it’s an interesting way to think about it. What amazes me is how much the gender things has been emphasized, the men of Sodom demanding sex with the male angels, rather than the violence of their demands- threatening rape, threatening to break down the door of Lot’s house.

    “Rape, whether perpetrated against another man or a woman was then, as it is today, about power, not sex.” (http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/genesis-19-the-sin-of-sodom/)



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