Friday, September 10, 2010

The Story of Lot

Warning: The following contains some mention of sexual acts. Reader discretion is advised.

This may seem like an odd title to those unfamiliar with their Bibles but many of us who were raised Christians recognized Lot as the name of Abraham’s Nephew. Abraham, of course, was the guy who made a famous land deal with Yahweh officially establishing a certain area as a promised land. Abraham is also famous for being a notorious bad Father but then again if he was taking lessons from Yahweh one can understand (See: Yahweh is a Bad Father).

Lot spends some time hiking around the wilderness with Abraham and they have some good times together eventually accumulating such massive herds of livestock that they begin bumping heads. In order to avoid any rivalries Lot decides to head off and pitch his tent at Sodom in Genesis 13. Now at first this seems like a good decision, the last thing Lot wants is any bad blood with his Uncle Abraham but in Chapter 19 of Genesis things go bad.

You see Sodom and Gomorrah are apparently the modern day equivalent of Las Vegas and Amsterdam, they are places of sin… or more aptly put places of pleasure and free will. Yahweh, as we have established in previous posts, hates it when we use our free will to do anything he deems bad. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah, at least according to the Bible, are so sinful that they will rape anything that moves which is bad news for a man making a living primarily as a herder of sheep.

So God sends two angels to warn Lot of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Apparently angels are pretty hot because immediately a group of angry and very aroused citizens emerge from the city hoping to sleep with the angels. One has to wonder why Lot has not moved away before since, as we are about to see, he has two daughters who are apparently virgins and desperate to get some. Apparently the night-life in this cities had Lot pitching a tent… if you know what I mean. Yeah bad joke, I know…

So here is the first amazingly sexist and horrific part of the story, Lot decides he wants to protect the anal sanctity of these perfect strangers he has just met (the ones set to warn him) so what does he do… Does he

A) Get some sort of weapon
B) Allow himself to be raped
C) Take his family and GTFO
D) Offer his virgin daughters to be raped

If you answered D you are correct. Yep, that’s Lot’s attempt to save the angels from being sodomized:

“ 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." - Genesis 19:6-8

Take my daughters, violate them in whatever way you wish, just don’t harm these two random dudes who I just met because they are under my roof… The real reason: Women are second class citizens. Thankfully the angels lead them away from the angry rape-mob just as the Shock and Awe begins.

I’ve had plenty of fundamentalists defend this story claiming that those living in Sodom and Gomorrah deserved to die for their sins and while rape certainly is a heinous crime I think that offering your daughters up to be raped by a random angry mob is at least EQUAL to the crime of those committing the rape. So Lot was still righteous enough to be saved even after offering his daughters? Does Yahweh also consider women second class citizens? I think the next part of the story PROVES beyond a shadow of a doubt that he does, or that at least the writers of the Bible want us to think he does.

The next part is the escape with the angels in which Lot’s wife, having empathy for those being brutally murdered behind them in a fiery act of wrath, turns around to look back. Now she is warned not to look back but she’s not as heartless as the rest of them and so she does look back. Instantly she is turned into a pillar of salt… simply for sympathy, empathy, for thinking that some in the city deserved mercy…perhaps even it was simply pity. Whatever the emotions going through her head she sure learned her lesson, except that she was transformed into salt and probably sent straight to Hell and therefore did not learn her lesson. So what is the lesson WE are meant to learn from the story? Is it one about not looking back to sin after we have escape it? The one I take away from it is that Yahweh is quicker to judge women than men. Lot, after all, offered his daughters to be raped brutally by criminals and was SPARED by God while Lot’s wife merely looked back to the cities as they were destroyed and was instantaneously killed.

It isn’t much longer into the story of Lot that things get even worse as far as the sexism goes. The angels leave Lot and his daughters and they hide in a cave. Here the daughters, apparently disappointed that they can’t get their orgy on, lament about how there’s no men around to carry on their Father’s lineage and with their Mother dead they decide to accept the responsibility. So Lot’s daughters, who for some twisted reason have a Daddy fetish, decide to get dear old Dad plastered as Hell and then have sex with him. Not only is this pretty gross it’s also odd considering the fact that a few verses ago Lot was ready to throw them to the crowd of criminals… Again, Women are Second Class Citizens. Then again what do you expect, after all Yahweh created woman from ribs and that was after he had paraded the animals before Adam and none of them were suitable “helpers” (whatever that means).

So both girls eventually conceive and their children go on to be the Father’s of enemy nations of the Israelites. So the incestuous acts are condemned BUT LOT OFFERING THEM AS RAPE BAIT ISN’T? And what’s the moral lesson here? I’m just baffled as to how this stuff remains in the modern Bible… I mean there are kids that read this book! It just goes to show you that committees on what makes it into the Bible shouldn’t have stopped centuries ago, they should have continued until today. My guess is if they had there would be two things in the Bible:

Love thy neighbor and the Golden Rule.

But then love thy neighbor would apply to Sodomites as well and we couldn’t have that could we? People would get the idea its okay to show sympathy to their fellow human when that person is overcome with disaster and bad fortune. Another thing is… What happened to the children of Sodom and Gomorrah? People who have sex as often as them probably have a lot of children, even if many were gay or bi-sexual surely for a city for flourish there must be procreation… And yet the Bible says nothing on the subject. And why not turn the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah away from their sins. If God was truly a God of mercy could he have not done such…

So we see that when taking the Bible literally, like many fundamentalists do, the stories just fall apart. Join me next week for more insights, interpretations and opinions on fundamentalism, Biblical literalism and theism in general. Until then I leave you with the Gospel of Titen:

Love everyone.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Now abides reason, logic and empathy and they’re all pretty awesome.

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