Was Sodom's crime homosexual sex?


#1

Hey everyone. I watched a video online that claims that the sin of Sodom or the crime of Sodom was not homosexual sex but that it was gang rape. Anyway, the sins of Sodom are listed in Ezekiel. Here is the passage:

Ezekiel 16:49-50 NAB And look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in their prosperity, and they gave no help to the poor and needy. (50) Rather, they became haughty and committed abominable crimes in my presence; then, as you have seen, I removed them.

And here is the story of Sodom in Genesis:

Genesis 19:1-29 NAB The two angels reached Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up to greet them; and bowing down with his face to the ground, (2) he said, Please, gentlemen, come aside into your servant's house for the night, and bathe your feet; you can get up early to continue your journey. But they replied, No, we shall pass the night in the town square. (3) He urged them so strongly, however, that they turned aside to his place and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking cakes without leaven, and they dined. (4) Before they went to bed, all the townsmen of Sodom, both young and old--all the people to the last man--closed in on the house. (5) They called to Lot and said to him, Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intimacies with them. (6) Lot went out to meet them at the entrance. When he had shut the door behind him, (7) he said, I beg you, my brothers, not to do this wicked thing. (8) I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please. But don't do anything to these men, for you know they have come under the shelter of my roof. (9) They replied, Stand back! This fellow, they sneered, came here as an immigrant, and now he dares to give orders! We'll treat you worse than them! With that, they pressed hard against Lot, moving in closer to break down the door. (10) But his guests put out their hands, pulled Lot inside with them, and closed the door; (11) at the same time they struck the men at the entrance of the house, one and all, with such a blinding light that they were utterly unable to reach the doorway. (12) Then the angels said to Lot: Who else belongs to you here? Your sons (sons-in-law) and your daughters and all who belong to you in the city--take them away from it! (13) We are about to destroy this place, for the outcry reaching the LORD against those in the city is so great that he has sent us to destroy it. (14) So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had contracted marriage with his daughters. Get up and leave this place, he told them; the LORD is about to destroy the city. But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. (15) As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, On your way! Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city. (16) When he hesitated, the men, by the LORD'S mercy, seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and led them to safety outside the city. (17) As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told: Flee for your life! Don't look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away. (18) Oh, no, my lord! replied Lot. (19) You have already thought enough of your servant to do me the great kindness of intervening to save my life. But I cannot flee to the hills to keep the disaster from overtaking me, and so I shall die. (20) Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to. It's only a small place. Let me flee there--it's a small place, isn't it?--that my life may be saved. (21) Well, then, he replied, I will also grant you the favor you now ask. I will not overthrow the town you speak of. (22) Hurry, escape there! I cannot do anything until you arrive there. That is why the town is called Zoar. (23) The sun was just rising over the earth as Lot arrived in Zoar; (24) at the same time the LORD rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah (from the LORD out of heaven). (25) He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil. (26) But Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. (27) Early the next morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood in the LORD'S presence. (28) As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region of the Plain, he saw dense smoke over the land rising like fumes from a furnace. (29) Thus it came to pass: when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.

They claim that because verse 4 says that every single man of Sodom came to the house it couldn't have possibly been homosexual sex that was the sin. They say "How likely would it be for an entire city to be homosexual?"

So, what do you say?


#2

Yes, but the crime was much more than just homosexual sex. The crime was rampant Sins of the Flesh reaching a point that cried out to God for vengeance. The following link (though from non-Catholic site) does provide an accurate historical synopsis of what was going on at Sodom and Gomorrah:

According to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, the people of the area worshipped fertility gods, chief among them were Baal/Ashtoreth (Astarte, Asherah - she had many names). This was the female goddess of war and fertility, sensual love and maternity. “She and her colleagues specialized in sex and war and her shrines were temples of legalized vice” (Unger, p. 412).

Her worship practices were basically orgies, with worshippers required to have sex with the priests and priestesses. The priests or male prostitutes, according to Unger, who were consecrated to her cult "were styled qedishim, ‘sodomites’ (Deuteronomy 23:18; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46).

Here is how Unger describes “sodomite” based on scriptural references (p. 1035):

“Sodomite (Heb. qadesh, consecrated, devoted). The sodomites were not inhabitants of Sodom, nor their descendents, but men consecrated to the unnatural vice of Sodom (Gen. 19:5; compare with Romans 1:27) as a religious rite. This dreadful ‘consecration,’ or, rather, desecration, was spread in different forms over Phoenicia, Syria, Phrygia, Assyria, and Babylonia. Ashtaroth, the Greek Astarte, was its chief object. The term was especially applied to the emasculated priests of Cybele, called Galli, perhaps from the river Gallus in Bithynia, which was said to make those who drank it mad.”

Spiritually, the people of the plains (as the people of Sodom, Gomorrah, and three other area cities) were called, followed fertility gods and goddesses whose practices relied on sexuality as a magical means of ensuring fertile crops and fertile wombs. The eunuch priests of the Great Mother Goddess (called Aruru, Astarte, Ishtar, and other names, depending on the location) engaged in sex with male worshippers who wanted to earn the goddess’ blessings. Robert Graves described these priests as the “dog priests” or “Enariae,” whose high holiday fell on the Dog days at the rising of the Dog-star, Sirius (Tom Horner, Jonathan Loved David, p. 60). It is from these worship practices that scholars believe the ancient Hebrews drew the derogatory term, “dog,” to describe these priests. But more on this later.

The Great Goddess or Great Mother was the one who granted fertility to humans, animals and crops, according to the people in the land. By worshipping the Great Mother, by any of her names, one could be guaranteed fertility. The worship involved what is called sympathetic magic, i.e., “…to make the corn grow high, one leaps into the air; in order to kill one’s enemy, one sticks pins into his effigy” (page 61).

So, to ensure rebirth of crops, you cast your seed (sperm) into the representatives of the Great Mother, her priests or priestesses. The males were even better than the females, since “they had made a greater sacrifice: they had offered to the goddess their manhood” (page 65).

So, basically, these people were engaging in licentious sexual practices as a way of worship and prostituting themselves. (whiterockchurch.org/articles/archapter1.asp)

Needless to say, the similarities between Sodom and Gomorrah and our current sex-obsessed and violence-obsessed culture are striking.

But what made Sodom and Gomorrah truly wicked was that they were ritualizing acts of sex and violence in order to bring about favorable crops and material prosperity. In other words, they were practicing what the modern satanist Aleister Crowley described as ritual “sex magic.” This is very dangerous as it is a form of Demon worship.


#3

It is very likely, although that is not obviously what the practitioners thought of it.

In many parts of the Arab world, especially from the region of "Persia" (Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, portions of Western Egypt, Golan) , women are not just 3rd class citizens below livestock, and the family sheep-dog, they are considered "unclean," and thereby unfit for sexual activity with men except in certain circumstances.

TODAY (and from perhaps then until today, but definitely occuring today), male practitioners of Islam, from this region, use other men for sexual pleasure, and females for procreation. In fact, should such a man have sexual relations with his wife, he must submit to more than a day's worth of ritualistic "cleansing" before he is considered "clean" enough to again have sex with another man.

Men walk arm in arm as would hetersexual lovers elsewhere, women are untouchable, except not to protect them.

Children are initiated into the custom at a very early age as, like their mothers, they do not acquire a status above "property" until males reach the age of majority, females never do. On watch, or on patrol, you will hear them, even over the loudspeaker calls of the muezzin.

While this may be difficult to believe or comprehend, (in the U.S.) there are more than adequate numbers of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, that can attest to this. But it is, sadly, just something else that we are "fighting for" over there.


#4

We call homosexual sex acts "sodomy" for a reason. The people who advance this line are often leftists looking to distort Scriptures in order to excuse immoral sexual behaviors.


#5

I don't know how much clearer it could be. The wanted to have intimacies with them. What else could that have meant? If it meant anything else, the angels would not have blinded them. Why couldn't the men in the city have homosexual tendancies? They were probably into anything and everything else too as were the women. That would be the reason why God wanted them destroyed.


#6

Part of it. The "Angel of the Lord" and another angel were going to visit the city intending to deliver justice to it on behalf of all the complaints against it (by its victims)*.

The peaceful angelic visitors were warned by Lot not to sleep in the square and he urged them to be his guests (and under his protection).

The men of the city came to Lot's door intending homosexual rape (and possibly murder too). They are blinded by the Angels. And later, presumably destroyed altogether.

Lot is spared - even though his defense of his visitors was a ghastly attempted compromise of offering his virgin daughters to the men in place of his visitors.

Lot thought this would perhaps mollify the crowd (into leaving everyone alone out
of shame? by committing an alternate, but "lesser" sin?) but they were insatiable until blinded.

Lot's family is spared ... but the wife disobeys and looks back and is destroyed. Lot himself gets drunk unto unconsciousness. His daughters, upon seeing Sodom destroyed, reason they'll not find husbands to give them children and commit incest with their drunken passed out father! Yoy.

Even the "good" folks from Sodom were mightily flawed. This is a cautionary tale for avoiding bad company if ever there was one.

  • He revealed that he was going to Sodom and Abraham tried to have the city spared on behalf of the good people there. Knowing there weren't many Abraham persistently reduced the number of good people needed to save the city (through intercessory bargaining) from 50 down to 10. The ten weren't found in the wicked city - but Lot and his family were allowed to flee.

#7

My abnormal psychology textbook of 46 years ago, noted that homosexuality was common and accepted in ancient times. It was not until the influence of Judeo-Christian ethics that there was prejudice against the practice.

But, this is a secular description of the behavior with an "anti" tone to it.

The EWTN document library has a number of papers on the subject of homosexuality that the OP may wish to refer to.

certainly, the Jewish Scriptures treat sexuality as a gift from God and it is a blessing on mankind. It's exercise is not a part of Torah religious practices. The latter are easily and frequently distinguished from the pagan practices of surrounding middle eastern cultures and religions. The divine command is to procreate in a family setting.

It may very well be that the sexual predators in the Genesis account view their attack as a fulfillment of their religious faith.

It seems to be a whole other matter, which is not clear in my mind, why the entire towns were destroyed. Perhaps the implication is that the entire town was infected with the pagan practices to an intolerable level.

The transgression of Lot's wife was, it seems, that of disobeying a direct divine command. The interpretation of this is much more obvious, but it reflects back on the sin of the townspeople.


#8

They have fallen for (or are helping to propogate) the recently invented myths that “homosexuals” are an absolutely distinct class of people or “third sex”, and that everyone who commits homosexual acts must have been “born that way”.

In fact ALL of us are quite capable of committing ANY sin, including murder, especially when caught up in the mass-behaviour mentality of a rioting mob. In fact it has quite often happened in situations such as war or in prison, that every man present has taken part in a mass gang homosexual rape. Yet the vast majority of them would not describe themselves as homosexuals ( a relatively modern term) and they had never previously and would never later commit any other homoseual acts.


#9

HansTrappist makes a good point about the problem being the “use” of sex as a ritual to enact fertility magic. I’ve always been under the impression that despite Lot referring to the angels as “gentlemen” when he invites them into his home, angels are by definition neither male nor female, and therefore this passage is not about specifically homosexual sex so much as it is about the townsmen attempting to commit an act of sexual violence against a pair of foreigners simply because they are newcomers to the area, which violates the commandment to love thy neighbor. Since the whole town took part in the threatening, there may have been intent to commit adultery involved as well.


#10

Jimmy Akin has a good article refuting the oft-held canard that Sodom's sin was that of inhospitality...


#11

[quote="impala3, post:9, topic:310130"]
HansTrappist makes a good point about the problem being the "use" of sex as a ritual to enact fertility magic. I've always been under the impression that despite Lot referring to the angels as "gentlemen" when he invites them into his home, angels are by definition neither male nor female, and therefore this passage is not about specifically homosexual sex so much as it is about the townsmen attempting to commit an act of sexual violence against a pair of foreigners simply because they are newcomers to the area, which violates the commandment to love thy neighbor. Since the whole town took part in the threatening, there may have been intent to commit adultery involved as well.

[/quote]

Angels by definition have NO physical bodies at all. However as on many other occasions in Scripture, these angels took on the appearance of human beings in order to communicate with men. The Hebrew original is quite unambiguous that on this occasion these angels took on the form of adult male human beings, and that the Sodomites threatening to rape them were also adult male human beings. There is no suggestion of heterosexual rape of the angels-appearing-as-men.


#12

Thank you everyone for helping me out. I think my issue has now been settled.


#13

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