If youíre going to quote the whole Sodom and Gomorrah story from the Bible, think about it first. Do you really want to base your entire argument on that particular piece? When my daughter was three-years-old, we watched the end of one of those old Bible movies, and the end was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. My little girl turned to me with big eyes, and said, "Is God a monster, Mommy?" I said, "Of course, not." "Then why did he do that to all those people?" To that, I had no good reply, so I went out searching for Bible scholars, who would surely have a better take on the events than I did. What I found was that this story has puzzled Bible scholars for centuries, and that they donít really have a good explanation either. Lot, the only "good" man in the whole city, offers his virgin daughters to the male mob to be gang raped so he can save his Angelic visitors. I know that protecting your guests is very important in the culture, but that seems a little extreme. Do you really want to base your judgment on the story of a man who offers his daughters up for rape, and after escaping, with the help of Angels, from the doomed city, has sex with those same daughters, himself? Is this really the religious example you want to stand behind? I mean, if youíre against male homosexuality, as Lot was, are you also for rape of women and incest? Of course, not. But why is one attitude more outrageous than the other?
One of the most poignant guest speakers I ever heard in Church was a guest pastor. He was from a wealthy parish, or had been, and he told us a story. A story of young girl, who was exhibiting signs of serious depression. He talked to her, and came to find out, that she was being sexually abused by her father and her brother. The father had convinced her that the Bible said it was all right for a father to have sex with his daughter. One of the stories he used to pressure his child into sex was Lotís story. When the guest pastor finished speaking, the silence in the church was thunderous. We all sat there, stunned. Stunned at the evil of it. Stunned that a book that had so much good in it, could be used for such wicked purpose. Iíve never forgotten that moment. It was the moment when I began to put serious thought into how I read the Bible, and how other people might read it.