Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Sermonette: God is a psychopath

Genesis 19 is in the running for weirdest book of the Bible. Here's how it begins:

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 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 and shut 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. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
Now, if you will recall from last time, there were actually three angels who set out from Abraham's house to Sodom, but apparently one of them got lost. Why they had to go there is also a bit mysterious. Since God is always speaking to people directly, presumably he could have tipped off Lot without sending the emissaries. Anyway, it seems that angels are sexually irresistible to the men of Sodom, but Lot, being a good and righteous man, will let the men of Sodom rape his daughters instead.
 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
Oh, okay, the angels were never in any danger in the first place, because of their magical powers. On the other hand, they aren't omniscient -- they don't know if Lot has relatives -- even though they just heard him mention his daughters.  BTW there is a dispute about the translation here. Most version have it that Lot's daughters are already married, which would make his claim that they were virgins a lie. But I suppose that's a white lie if you're offering them to be raped anyway. Was it God who was going to destroy Sodom, or these guys? Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Don Quixote said...