Sodom and Gomorrah My Ass!

I love to write my Sunday sermons. I am especially uplifted and filled with the Spirit when I can debunk a set of ‘Truths’ upon which the oh-so righteous evangelicals base their bigotry. I hope that Toledo’s most-righteous bigot continues to read my blog because, Barb, this one’s for you. Naturally, I do not expect her nor any of her righteous Bible-thumpers to change their mind, but I do enjoy deflating their morally impeccable balloons.

Take that tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, for example, in Genesis 19:24-28. Genesis, to the righteous, resolute Bible literalists, was a series of ‘historic’ events penned by Moses around 1300 BCE. On the other hand, modern [unbiased] biblical scholars regard Genesis as a set of tall tales and epic heroes woven together as homiletic midrash written by rabbis in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. Quite a contrast indeed.

According to Wikipedia, ‘Midrash is a way of interpreting biblical stories that goes beyond simple distillation of religious, legal or moral teachings. It fills in many gaps left in the biblical narrative regarding events and personalities that are only hinted at.’ In other words, it is religious spin. Enter the tale referred to as Sodom and Gomorrah.  Christian fundamentalists love this story, this midrash, because to them it ‘justifies’ their homophobia, their hatred of gays and lesbians.  For the Bible says…

Well, the Bible says lots of stuff, most of which is non-historic. Take Noah as a perfect example. How many dinosaurs fit on his ark? Enough said. But what about the Sodom and Gomorrah tale? Evangelicals site this story as God’s rebuke of homosexuality.

Science tells a quite different story.  Science? Gulp! Naturally, evangelicals dismiss science because scientists have been presenting quite a bit of data lately which contradict tales in the Bible. Is this why most of the GOP presidential candidates dismiss science??

The latest scientific investigation of this Bible story suggests that the story is believed to describe an asteroid impact in 3123 BC in Köfels Austria. Austria? Yes, in the Austrian Alps. Rather than the Deity reigning down fire and brimstone upon a sinful set of towns, impenitent sin, and a lesson of God’s wrath, the fire and brimstone were debris from the impact which drifted south to the Mediterranean area. Cinders from the debris cloud no doubt incinerated flammable materials [wooden structures, roofs, clothes and hair] as it fell to earth.

The clue to this discovery came from a cuneiform clay tablet known as “the Planisphere”   [link]

It is a copy of the night notebook of a Sumerian astronomer as he records the events in the sky before dawn on the 29 June 3123 BC (Julian calendar).  Half the tablet records planet positions and cloud cover, the same as any other night, but the other half of the tablet records an object large enough for its shape to be noted even though it is still in space. The astronomers made an accurate note of its trajectory relative to the stars, which to an error better than one degree is consistent with an impact at Köfels.

Don’t you just love science! By the way, the ‘story’ of this impact and the resultant ‘fire and brimstone’ could have fostered the ancient Greek myth of how Phaeton, son of Helios, fell into the River Eridanus after losing control of his father’s sun chariot. To the non-scientific mind, the impact of 3123 BCE provides a pool of interpretive wealth from which tales, myths and midrash can be built.

So, the next time you hear some oh-so righteous fundamentalist talk about the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah and its ‘link’ to homosexuality, retort: Sodom and Gomorrah my ass!

[no doubt, in a few hours, there will be a retort of this post on the most-righteous blogs with a plethora of biblical references as ‘proof’ that it was God’s wrath rather than an asteroid.  But then, what else would you expect from a science-denying, ‘believer’?]

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14 thoughts on “Sodom and Gomorrah My Ass!

  1. “CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE”

    We are familiar with the recent CITIZENS UNITED case. Well here we go
    again.

    Basically, Citizens United said corporations are people. The case, however,
    sanctioned only the individuals of corporations to make political contributions.
    However, the Justices upheld the ban on corporations per se making any
    political contributions.
    Well, here we go again! There is a recent Fourth Circuit of Appeals
    case coming which says that corporate per se and individual campaign
    support is free speech. The significance of this Appealate decision is
    that it automatically mandates that all lower courts enforce the decision until
    the Supreme Court hears a case that will overturn the Appeals Court or it
    can simply let the Apeals decision stand. Apparently, the Justice Department
    intends to petition the Supreme Court. However, as of now, the Court of
    Appeals decision is the law of the land……

        1. I love these tangents…great minds always veer off the main road and take a little side trip through the underbrush, you never know what you will find!

  2. Well, at least it is the 21st century and not 5000 years ago, lol…

    And, last night I watched the Iowa Faith and Freedom political meeting.
    There was the head of the GOP Party, Cain, Bachman, Santorum, Paul,
    Gingrich, Perry, and Ralph Reed tell the other “pin-heads” that their
    God destroyed people who violated the family, and they all want a
    Constitutional Amendment to stop homosexuality and elect god-fearing judges.
    Many references were made to the defeat of three judges who ruled for
    homosexuality in Iowa.
    Furthermore, stupid religious principles as nunciated in the Bible led to
    these Supreme Court decisions of the last 15 years. These “pinheads”
    apparently see corporations as morally good, coming from a just god who
    is rewarding them with profitability. The rest of us are bad and deserve god’s
    wrath as in Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Was I stretching my freedom of speech? Well, at least, I didn’t blame
    Kaptur for the legal case, lol……

  3. Ezekiel 16:48-50 has an interesting take on Sodom and Gomorrah where God compares Jerusalem to Sodom:

    As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

    “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

    I love that, “tales, myths and midrash.” I think I’ll use that one.

    Not if I beat you to it Mike!

    1. Laci- so what the Lord was saying was not an indictment of homosexuality, but rather a rebuke of the arrogant, overfed and unconcerned?

      My my, how easily ‘religion’ can be spun for one’s own agenda.

  4. Have you ever looked up what Sodomy means? It’s supposed to be bad and used to be banned by law. I don’t want to be peeking into anyone’s bedroom, but if you didn’t do at least one of those things with your partner, then it was more than likely the last time you ever had sex with that person, gay or straight. (I have a brother I suspect of being “restrained” in the bedroom. Behind his back I refer to him as The Missionary Man.)

    My favorite defense of the Bible remains this little ditty: If the King Jame’s Version was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for me!

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