As y’all may or may not know, I’m a pastor’s child. I grew up having to read the Bible constantly, and those stories can just be so crazy. But I never really get the chance to talk about them and what they mean. So, I feel like summarizing and sharing stories and talking about my thoughts on them. Because of the way I was raised, I was supposed to use these “real life” stories to learn how to be a better Christian in this world. But maybe they have more applications, even if I’m not a Christian. And please, if I get details wrong (although I will double check my sources), correct me! Here we go!
Abraham and Lot/Sodom and Gomorrah
Y’all, this mess was crazy. Book of Genesis, first book of the Old Testament. Abraham, the father of all Abrahamic religions, had just made a covenant or promise with God that he would be the forefather of the Jewish nation. He was Abram, now he’s not. Great. So Abra(m)ham has a cousin named Lot, and Lot is living his life in the city of Sodom. OK, so Lot has his wife and his two virgin daughters (so very important that they are virgins) who are engaged to be married. But God tells Abra(m)ham that he’s gonna destroy Sodom and the neighboring town of Gomorrah because it’s so sinful.
So you know, the sins aren’t really specified, we don’t know what’s going on in Sodom and Gomorrah. But in the New Testament, Paul, a writer of many books in the New Testament, talks about how it’s an “unwelcoming place.” Most people know of Sodom and Gomorrah as a place full of “sexual perversion.” Specifically gay shit.
OK, Abraham is like, “God, wait. Look, I know you’re gonna do this, but just give these people a chance, if there are like, 50 good people in the town of Sodom, don’t destroy it.” And Abraham is God’s chosen man, so God is like, “OK, Abie. You got it.” Then it turns into a comedy show because then Abraham is like “Wait. If there are 45?” God says sure. “How about 40? 30? 20? 10?” When I was reading that, I was like “Abra(m)ham! You have no hope in this town, do you? Your cousin Lot and his family alone would make for 6 people. But God played along, and was like “OK man, if there 10 good people in this town, I won’t destroy it.”
We can see where this goes, because that was a damn joke. How are you gonna go from 50 to 10? So, three angels disguise themselves as traveling men going through towns, and Lot takes them in because it was gonna be night and the angel men needed a place to stay. It’s night, all peaceful in Sodom, and then apparently all of the men, young and old, show up at Lot’s house. And they’re all “We know you got those men in there. We want to have sex with them, bring them out here.” Right, so a mass rape? OK, but here’s where it gets tricky. So, translations are a funny, funny thing in the Bible. OK, so from all my different understandings, the Hebrew word in that sentence might translate to “know” as in to “get to know them.” And that has been translated a lot into “having sexual relations.” So, I want to “know” him means I want to “fuck” him. But that also might not be true, but my conservative Christian Bibles were like “These men in the town, young, old, pretty, ugly, able-bodied or not, all of them want those travelers.” And I was like “Did anyone see them come in the town? Like how did they know the angel men were in town?”
Lot is not gonna have it, he’s hospitable. So he’s like “Hey y’all, these men traveled forever, they don’t want this. But hey, my two daughters are virgins. Take them instead.”
Please remember, Lot was going to give his daughters to a mob of men to protect a bunch of strangers. His daughters who were engaged (and I don’t remember if their future husbands were a part of a this mob, because that would be just a mess), were gonna be pimped out by their father. Abra(m)ham, you messed up.
Notice that there are no women in the crowd and the women who are in Lot’s family don’t say anything at this point. His wife was just gonna let Lot give away his daughters? His daughters didn’t say anything? And women in the Old Testament did shit, so I don’t know what’s going on. Also, there don’t seem to be women in the town, so I don’t know what type of town this is… But it didn’t matter. Because the mob said “We don’t want your daughters, give us the men.” And the angels blinded everybody and told Lot, “Well, God’s about to destroy everything in this town, so you and your family need to go.” And the family consisted of Lot, his wife, and his daughters (all women involved are nameless). And they were told, “Run to the furthest town, and whatever you do, do not look back.” So much for 10 holy people.
So the sun is gonna rise, and the family is running. Just sprinting, Usain Bolt style somewhere away. And then God makes it rain sulfur onto Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying everything. And guess who looks back? Lot’s wife. BAM! Turns into a pillar of salt.
I don’t know if I could do what they did. Knowing me, I would be taking pictures, getting my selfie sticks out, documenting what is going on. I’d just be screaming like a chicken that lost its head, running around trying to figure out what I’m doing and where I’m going. But she looked back and poof, salt. Lot and the daughters kept running.
I’m like, “That’s traumatic. The matriarch of the family was turned into salt.” But she didn’t obey, so she had to pay the price. And they end up in the town of Zoar. And Sodom and Gomorrah are no more.
Lot does not like Zoar, he doesn’t trust the people. Abra(m)ham is far away from him, or something, I don’t know, I guess Lot decides not to see Abra(m)ham. So Lot takes his daughters to a cave. They live in a cave. His daughters start plotting. The older one talks to the younger one, and the older one is all “Hey girl, so, we don’t have men, and our father has us in a cave. And we’re virgins. So we gotta do something, to have our children. I got it. Let’s get daddy drunk, and we’re gonna have sex with him, and he’ll get us pregnant.” And like any supportive sibling, the younger sister is all “OK! You go first.” And the older sister does it, and the next day or whatever she’s all “Younger one! I did it! Your turn girl!” And the younger sister does it, and she’s like “Yeah! We did it!”
I was forced to read that whole Sodom and Gomorrah mass rape (no one I knew ever called it rape) scene as an indictment on “homosexuality” but when Lot got drunk and fucked his daughters on separate occasions, that was all good? And then, parallels started coming into my mind. Like, Noah (of the Ark) got drunk (after he got off the ark of course), and his son Ham saw him naked and laughed, so Noah cursed him and said that he and his descendants were basically going to be the scum of the earth. And centuries ago, white Christians used that story to justify enslaving Black people, because Black people were the descendants of Ham. But Lot’s daughters had sex with their naked, drunk father, and they start new nations? And it’s all good?
We don’t hear about Lot after that, and I don’t know if God ever told Abra(m)ham what the hell happened, but I guess I’m supposed to take away the lessons that if I’m gay and join a pack of men who want to rape someone, I better get ready to get burned by a rain of sulfur. And if I’m a family man who offers his daughters to a mob and is told to leave town in order to save himself, I should know that it’s OK to have incestuous relations with said daughters if it means I’m preserving my family line. Also, if I’m a woman, I should just be quiet, or else I’ll get turned into salt. Do y’all agree?