The Bible says usury is a sin, but no one is up in arms about payday or title loans.
The other day, one of my friends posted a meme on Facebook talking about how homosexuality is a sin, and naming some verses from the Bible. Then, he went and made this comment on how “God destroyed a whole city because of it.”
Now, it’s about time we as Christians stop gay bashing altogether. It makes us look stupid, and it’s counter-productive. While there are actually lots of reasons to leave homosexuals alone, there’s one argument I find particularly asinine, and it’s this whole destroying cities thing.
For those unfamiliar with the scripture, the cities in question were Sodom, and Gomorrah. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was living in Sodom when he was visited by some angels described as handsome young men. While there, the men of the city came to Lot’s door as a mob, demanding him to give over his guests so they could have sex with them. The conclusion is drawn, therefore, that the cities were destroyed because the men were gay.
Acting on the assumption that the scripture is true, in that God mandated the destruction of these cities by fire & brimstone, it’s still impossible to determine exactly which sins were primarily responsible. And no, it wasn’t homosexuality. Sodom and Gomorrah could have been wiped out for any number of a vast array of abominations, or all of them taken together. These places were bad. In an earlier chapter, you see Abraham joining forces with a king from there, and after emerging victorious, the king declined gold and other loot in favor of taking the human captives. Combine this with what we know about old pagan rituals of the time, including bizarre, orgy-style worship and human sacrifice, and one can imagine a culture of profound depravity. Add to this, there are numerous segments throughout the Old Testament which list among the sins of these cities as greed, lies, adultery, apathy, arrogance, shamelessness, haughtiness, violence, and inhospitality. In fact, when Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah wrote about them, homosexuality isn’t even mentioned.
It should be clear, therefore, that according to the Bible, it wasn’t a major factor in the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. What’s most intriguing, however, is of all the ‘sins’ one could postulate as the decisive cause for destruction, that someone would name homosexuality. In essence, the argument is that compared to homosexuality, institutionalized gang rape is relatively innocuous.
Either that’s what you intend to say, or you haven’t read the scripture much and/or don’t make a habit of applying any layer of critical, independent thought into it, and prefer to just regurgitate other people’s talking points. Which is to say that you don’t truly believe the scripture has any value, else you would read it and apply critical, independent thought.
Regardless of how you slice it, the conclusion is the same: that aversion to homosexuality has nothing to do with religious grounds, or anything beyond our own, personal prejudices, fears, and preconceived notions. How someone could be so terrified of what two men or two women do together that has nothing to do with them is beyond my level of comprehension.
As for what the Bible says, that same Bible says that if a virgin is raped, she has to marry the guy.