by Mary Griggs
Pat Robertson is at it again. After saying that America brought the 9/11 terrorist attacks on ourselves because of our support for civil liberties, that Hurricane Katrina happened because of abortion and that Haiti made a pact with the devil which brought on the devastating earthquake, he is now predicting that God will destroy all of America because of the New York Assembly’s vote in favor of marriage equality.
The vote was historic but there was certainly no call for Pat’s hysterics:
“I think we need to remember the term sodomy came from a town known as Sodom and Sodom was destroyed by God Almighty and the thing that they practiced was homosexual activity and even they tried to rape angels who came down there, so that’s the kind of people they were,” Robertson said. God “sent an angel down there and He said to Lot and his family, ‘get out now because I’m gonna destroy this whole area.’”
Now, I could go off on how two hurricanes went ashore at Norfolk, Virginia following his statements on Haiti as a sign that G*d isn’t so pleased with Pat’s attributions. However, as a former bible student, I’m just going to show that his interpretation of Sodom differs from what I’ve read.
To begin with, I’m not sure how Lot can really be held out as a personification of family values. I mean, the dude offered his virgin daughters to the angry mob outside his house! But, I digress. Pat seems convinced that the story is about homosexuality. My reading is that it was about failing in one’s duty of hospitality.
Putting the story in context: during that period of time, there were a lot of spies roaming around the countryside, feeling out the defenses of the local cities. Lot was a foreigner living in Sodom and he invited two strangers into his home. The locals were a bit suspicious and demand that he turn the strangers over for them to ‘know.’ I freely admit that the word used could mean intimate sexually. It could also mean to interrogate or to rape.
Rape was then and is now a fairly common tactic of terror. The bible is full of stories of it being used as a righteous weapon against G*d’s enemies. In any event (and any legal code), homosexual rape of angels can not be compared to same-sex marriage. Additionally, the crowd wasn’t just comprised of men. If it had been and they were all gay, why did Lot offer them his daughters? He surely had male servants!
The moral of the story isn’t sexual immorality. It is about violating the Code of Hospitality. This isn’t just my reading. Here is what the prophet Ezekiel had to say: “‘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.”” (NIV 16:49-50)
With the efforts of the Republican lawmakers to cut social programs for the poor and elderly while making policy that benefits only the wealthy, I can totally see that America meets the qualifications for being fat, proud and self involved. Maybe we are headed for destruction. I just don’t think marriage equality would be G*d’s reason for doing so.
Honestly, the world has had same sex marriage for a while–in 2001, the Netherlands became the first country legalizing same-sex marriages and they were joined in this country in 2004 when Massachusetts passed marriage equality.
Further, I seem to also remember Jesus being pretty specific about the most important commandments to follow–love G*d and love each other. (Matthew 22:37-40 and Mark 12:29-31) What I saw on the faces of those New Yorkers the night the bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo was love and I think that would please Him most of all.