So apparently Pat Robertson, with his very own special blend of cray-cray (bless his heart) is playing the part he and his ilk play so well. As he read from his ever predictable script on the 700 Club Thursday, he warned his faithful viewers that, in response to the SCOTUS ruling this week, God could do something ‘drastic’ like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Thank you Pat for providing me the opportunity to share once again that the narrative about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was NOT about homosexuality.
It is a story about wantonness and dominance over others, about radical inhospitality (a grievous sin according the the bible we share), about malignant power used to reject God’s shalom.
In fact, the Bible itself expressly describes the sin of Sodom elsewhere as radical inhospitality. Check-it, good ole Ezekiel claims the real “guilt” of the Sodomites was the fact that, although they had “pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease,” they “did not aid the poor and needy” and were “haughty” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). Even your main man Paul in a little note he scribbled out to the Hebrews warns Christians by alluding to the true sin of the Sodomites as inhospitality: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
Never mind the little part about the story of S & G where a father offers up his virgin daughters to be raped as a consolation prize. Yeah, thanks dad.
BUT, if’n you want to talk about the judgement of the nations, well our very own J-Man, Jesus himself has a dicey word or two about that in the book of Matthew. Let’s pause and read that passage now (conveniently labeled in bibles all over the world as The Judgement of the Nations – go figure):
The Judgement of the Nations
31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” 44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” 45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’
Let me boil it all down for you. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus Christ ever condemn LGBT people. However, Jesus does expressly condemn people who turn their backs on strangers and the most vulnerable citizens among us. Jesus says straight up that whoever fails to welcome such people has failed to welcome Jesus himself. Hmmmm, kind makes you think huh? Oh wait, maybe not.
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson helps us out a bit with a wise and faithful word on the text of terror in question today.
Whatever else one makes of this story, it cannot be used to decry loving, committed, lifelong-intentioned, monogamous relationships between two people of the same gender. It is simply not about that kind of relationship. The story is about homosexual rape – and like any rape, it is an act of violence, not an act of sexuality. In short, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all references to it elsewhere in scripture, provide no guidance for modern day believers about the morality or immorality of same gender loving people. It simply does not offer an answer to the questions we are asking.
So say it with me real slow…the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had noooooothing to do with homosexuality.
Thanks for being on the show.