Recently there has been a “Border Crisis” in which over 52,000 unaccompanied minors having crossed the United States border since last October. This situation at the border has caused us to reexamine our Christian values as well as our definition for the word “sodomy.”
Most Christians would assume they know the definition for the word, and while they may know of the traditional understanding of the word, it’s definitely not accurate to assume that sodomy has anything to do with same-gender sex.
Many assume sodomy is about homosexuality, but it’s not; sodomy is about inhospitality.
Both progressives and right-wing pundits have inaccurately used the term sodomy to describe same-gender sex alike. The term came from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities that were described to be sinful and evil, and that were destroyed by God. Traditional interpretations have presumed the sin of Sodom was same-gender sex due to the story of Lot and his daughters.
Genesis 19:4-8 says, “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’ Lot went outside to meet them, shutting the door behind him, and said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 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.’”
Indeed, this passage speaks on non-consensual same-gender sex, which what conservative Christians pinpoint as the “sin of Sodom.” Yet what is often completely ignored is the fact Lot—a man of God—offered his two virgin daughters to be sexually violated by these men.
These traditional interpreters fail to include in their deduction, the rest of the Bible’s references to Sodom and Gomorrah.
In Ezekiel 16:49-50, scripture says, “‘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.’”
So did the Bible label man on man actions as the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? No, it was the “overfed and unconcerned”—those who did not help the poor and needy, those who were inhospitable.
Sodom was not destroyed because it was filled with same-gender sex. It was destroyed because the towns were so vile and hostile to strangers that all men within it attempted to gang rape two traveling visitors, demanding they be turned over to their doom.
Jesus, in Matthew chapter 10, refers back to Sodom, when telling His disciples of the fate that would fall on any town who refused to give them shelter or aid. Like the strangers visiting Lot, Jesus’ disciples went out without food, clothing, or any place to stay at night.
Right now, there’s another group of people without food, clothing, or a place to stay.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the United States border since last October, and the conditions they face are terrible. The response to this crisis has only highlighted the already tense situation between the GOP and President Obama, as Republicans were quick to object to the President’s 3.7 billion dollar request for this emergency situation.
The conversations to resolve things haven’t been productive either. “You know what I’m hearing? Round ‘em up, and ship ‘em back,” said Senator Tom Harkin expressing his disgust from the collective response of the GOP. “It sounds like we’re dealing with cattle or some kind of livestock.” Truly, our country is overrun with sodomites.
A result of the publicity of this dire situation, sodomites have come out in full force protesting and screaming racial slurs towards busses full of immigrant children. Many of these same people call themselves Christians, but what they fail to understand is scripture’s severe commentary about inhospitality.
Americans who are angry over food, water, and clothing being given to the needy children detained at our borders, are by definition, sodomites.
In Hebrews 13:2, scripture reminds us “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” a clear reference to the angels Lot protected. In Isaiah chapter 1, we see a prescription for the sin of Sodom. In verse 7, the Bible states, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
Starting to sound familiar?
Then in the Gospel, in case those references weren’t clear enough, Jesus really nails it in a chapter referred to as the “Judgment of Nations.” In this passage, Jesus tells His Apostles that what they did to the “least of these” they did for Him emphasizing the need for us to welcome those in need with food, shelter, and clothing.
The consequence for those refusing to help those in need? A fate worse than Sodom.
Right wing homophobes shout that America is becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah—the way I see it, the way they’re responding to the border crisis, they’re kind of right.
Adapted from original post on The Advocate