and because their sin is very grievous
Genesis 18.20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous…
The verses that follow in Genesis have always perplexed me. If god is omniscient, why did he need to send angels on a fact-finding mission? And yet, he sent angels to see how many righteous people he could round up in Sodom and Gomorrah (by the way, there has yet to be discovered any definitive archeological evidence that supports the idea that Sodom and Gomorrah existed). God planned to destroy the cities, despite his promise in Genesis. It seems that our god had a temper.
Sodom is described to us as a very gay city. When the angels of god arrived in Sodom, they ate a feast prepared by Lot. Soon, the men of the town gathered around the dwelling:
Genesis 19.4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.
There is always ample room to question anything written in the bible, for fear that it has been mistranslated or undergone a later editorial change. It seems to me that there is no debate that the men who gathered wished to have sexual congress with the new arrivals. And so, my first thought on reading these verses was that they must have been really attractive male angels. I wondered, also, if sexual acts with a male angel even counts as homosexuality, but I will let that pass. It also, briefly, made me hope that heaven really existed, for if angels could have sex, well then perhaps heaven wouldn’t be so boring. My other thought is that it couldn’t possibly be true that every man in Sodom was gay. If that were true, it is likely that there would be very few new children added to the population. In any event, they asked for the men to be sent out:
Genesis 19.5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
This would make Sodom the gayest city ever. What’s really troubling is Lot’s actions after the demands were placed on him. (Of course, I am left to wonder why angels could not make up their own minds). Lot casually offered his two virgin daughters (at least he believed them to be virgins) to the mob outside his door:
Genesis 19.8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
This story should strike you as morally repellant. It gets worse. After the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah, Lot’s two daughters get their father drunk and fornicate with him:
Genesis 19.30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
Genesis 19.31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
Genesis 19.32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Genesis 19.33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Genesis 19.34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Genesis 19.35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Genesis 19.36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
So, the bible offers us incest as a means to repopulate. But, we already knew that. After all, the Garden of Eden was populated by two people, meaning that sisters and brothers would have “to know” one another. After the flood, Noah’s families would have to mate, cousin to cousin, perhaps nieces with uncles and nephews with aunts, too.
If you can read all of the way to chapter 19 in Genesis and still believe it, you have lost any ability to critically evaluate, interpret, and question anything presented to you. Genesis, to this point, is mostly unbelievable, but there some elegant turns of phrases and some colourful literary devices. As history, it fails spectacularly. There are much better pieces of literature, but the bible is not without certain merits. If we understand Genesis as a mechanism to describe our origins, it might have had some utility, but now that we have a greater understanding, we should close the book on it as an historical document and read it as one would read Paradise Lost.