Santorum’s Gay Sex Riot Nightmare

So I went to church yesterday. Specifically, Memorial Church, which is conveniently located in the middle of Harvard Yard, and is in this awkward position of trying to serve the whole university community but also being definitely a Protestant church, which didn’t use to be a problem back when only wealthy WASPs came to Harvard. I had marked it on my calendar weeks ago because my old proctor (Harvard’s version of an RA for freshmen) was giving the sermon and he’s an awesome dude.

I’m not going to lie: I had a great time. You know why? Because Humanists fucking love church. Okay, maybe not all Humanists. What I really mean is faitheists. For the uninitiated, “faitheist” started as a slur that aggressive anti-theists would use to mock “accommodationist” atheists (like me). They are convinced that we secretly wish we were religious or that we think religion is great, when actually we just think it’s here to stay whether we like it or not so it’d be more productive to figure out how to cooperate with the religious on common goals than to sit around in an intellectual circle jerk and whine about logical fallacies. And although I wish theism would go away, I am capable of recognizing all the great parts of religion that have little or nothing to do with belief: community, traditions, holidays, contemplation, ritual, celebration of lifetime milestones, beautiful spaces and art and music, etc. So I’m fascinated by religious services and communities and celebrations, and I love attending them and analyzing them and trying to figure out how I could adapt them to be meaningful for me, and I love reading religious texts and gleaning secular wisdom from them, as I’ve been attempting to do with the Sermon on the Mount. So, yeah, I fucking love church.

Also, I picked the best possible day to go to church, because the twelve days of Christmas ended last week, so they were dismantling their holiday decorations, so they invited everyone to come grab a poinsettia plant from the altar. Naturally I took one, because Humanists fucking love plants. I know this because of the time I accidentally walked in on the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard’s meditation group all staring silently at a little bush.

Yes, that is a plush polar bear wearing a Humanist Chaplaincy t-shirt. Welcome to my dorm room.

I actually tried to go to church again this morning, because they do a 15-minute morning prayer service every day but Sunday. But I guess it only runs during term-time (I’m on campus super early to write my self-indulgent Bible blog work on my thesis), because I showed up at 8:45 to find an empty chapel. That’s right: I’m so churchy, even the church can’t keep up.

OT: Genesis 18-19

Genesis 18

Abraham is tanning in front of his tent when he sees three men loitering nearby, who are actually God, but it’s unclear whether or not Abraham knows this. He rushes to greet them and offer them water to drink and wash their feet with and bread to eat, and keeps referring to himself as “your servant” (Genesis 18:3-5) in a disturbingly Dobbyesque way. And they’re like, yeah, sounds good. So Abraham runs back to the tent and orders Sarah to quickly make bread using seven and a half quarts of flour. Which, in case you’re keeping track at home, would make about ten medium-sized loaves of bread. For three guys. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Sarah didn’t have a bread machine to do the kneading for her.

So approximately a thousand hours later, the bread that Abraham offered without actually possessing is done baking. So he takes the bread out to the three amigos, along with some butter and milk and veal, because what really sounds refreshing after a long day of traveling through a hot desert is a nice hunk of veal. For bonus points, Abraham “stood under the tree near them as they ate” (Genesis 18:8), and apparently I’m not the only person who thinks that sounds incredibly awkward.

Trying to diffuse the awkwardness with small talk, I suppose, the dudes ask him (presumably in unison) where Sarah is, and he says she’s in the tent.  Then one of the dudes promises to come back in a year, at which point Sarah will have a son. Sarah’s been eavesdropping from the tent, and when she hears this, she laughs out loud, because she’s postmenopausal. Then God asks Sarah why she laughed, and asks, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14), and insists that she will have a son. Then we get the following delightfully awkward interchange:

Sarah lied and said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was frightened.

But he said, “No, you laughed.” (Genesis 18:15)

And that’s the abrupt end of that section!

Then the men get up and go look at Sodom, and Abraham awkwardly follows them, and God tells Abraham that he has heard many complaints of injustice from Sodom and Gomorrah and so he’s going to investigate. “Have they really done all this? If not, I want to know” (Genesis 18:21), he says, implying that he doesn’t already know, which would make him not omniscient, right? Am I stupid for not being able to reconcile that?

The men leave for Sodom, “but Abraham remained standing in front of the LORD” (Genesis 18:22), so I guess they weren’t God after all. Abraham rightly demands of God, “Will you really sweep away the innocent with the guilty?…It’s not like you to do this, killing the innocent with the guilty as if there were no difference. It’s not like you! Will the judge of all the earth not act justly?” (Genesis 18:23-25). Abraham suggests that God should spare Sodom if there are 50 innocent people in it, and God agrees; Abraham gradually talks him down to 10, and then God leaves. I don’t know why it has to be all or nothing, though. Can’t God just do a precision zap on all the wicked people if he feels they absolutely must die, and spare all the good people, no matter how many? Then again, why use tweezers when you could use a bulldozer?

Genesis 19

The first sentence of this chapter is, “The two messengers entered Sodom in the evening” (Genesis 19:1). What two messengers? My only guess is that God was one of the three men who visited Abraham, and the other two were angels, and so while God stuck around to chat with Abraham, the two angels went to Sodom without him.

http://images.smh.com.au/2010/10/28/2011711/bruno-420-2-420x0.jpg

Just one of the many gay commies who want to destroy America's economy by scaring off all the angel-tourists with butt rape threats. Also they want to turn your children gay.

Lot is chilling at Sodom’s gate and sees the messengers and greets them and invites them to come wash their feet and crash at his house. They say they’re planning to stay in the town square, but he insists, so they go to his house and he makes dinner for them. Then, in a bizarre turn of events, every single man in Sodom gathers around Lot’s house and yells, “Where are the men who arrived tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them intimately” (Genesis 19:5). This actually clears up a lot of confusion for me. I’ve always wondered what all the conservatives who shit themselves in terror over the “homosexual lifestyle” or the “gay agenda” are actually afraid of. Like, what, you’re worried that if the queers get their way, America’s interiors might be decorated too well? “Sound the alarm! If we let the gays into the military, they’ll make our uniforms too snazzy! They’re going to teach us all to make gruyère soufflés and then we’ll be too busy brunching elegantly to defend Amerrrica from the terrrerrrists!” But now it all makes sense. Rick Santorum must wake up in a cold sweat every night from a recurring dream about gay tourist-raping sex riots, and he tells himself he’s just worrying about how to end the pandemic of such riots sweeping the nation, but really he’s just confused and panicking because he was a little bit turned on by his dream and doesn’t know how to deal with that.

http://www.halfmoonbay.co.uk/assets/product/340/340/1/mugfd4_8924ad269cb52c6c6e41c5ee8b8326af.jpgSo Lot goes out to defend his guests, which sounds nice until about two seconds in, when he offers to let the mob gang rape his two virgin daughters instead. But the men are so depraved that they don’t even want to take advantage of this noble offer, so they grab Lot and pull him into the crowd. Before they can even smear him ritualistically with glitter, like all gays in heat do before they begin their mating dance, the messengers (who probably should have intervened earlier since they are fucking magical) blind all the rioters, which is the worst thing you can do to a homo because you thereby take from him his ability to match his ascot to his assless chaps.

The messengers are all, “Yo, Lot, you gotta evacuate your fandamily ASAP because this place about to blow, but not in the way the Sodomites wanted.” So Lot goes and tells his sons-in-law it’s time to go, but they “thought he was joking” (Genesis 19:14), which I’m pretty sure is Bible-speak for “Oh my god, you just offered our wives to a gang-rapey mob, why would we fucking listen to you?”

Note: at first I assumed that the daughters offered to the mob were not the same daughters married to these men. But later, after Lot escapes with his family, it’s specified that he has two daughters. So that means that the daughters were married, but also virgins? Or that Lot was lying about their virginity, but wasn’t this back when everyone was really into the idea that you could physically tell whether or not a woman is a virgin, because they didn’t understand how hymens worked? So would he really try to lie about that?

The messengers remind Lot that it’s time to go, but he hesitates (maybe because he’s reluctant to leave his sons-in-law?), so they grab him and his wife and daughters and drag them outside the city and tell them to escape to the mountains and not look back. Lot, for some reason, isn’t satisfied with this plan, and is convinced that “I can’t escape to the mountains since the catastrophe might overtake me there and I’d die” (Genesis 19:19), like God’s aim might not be very good or something. So his alternative suggestion is to go to a small nearby city instead. It’s unclear whether the city or the mountains is closer, but Lot makes a big deal of how small the city is – maybe because he thinks it’ll have fewer sinners and so God will be less likely to randomly annihilate it? This whole line of reasoning is incredibly convoluted, but the messengers are like “yeah that sounds fine just go to the damn city already.”

So they go to Zoar, the little city that Lot was so obsessed with. Meanwhile, “the LORD rained down burning asphalt from the skies onto Sodom and Gomorrah. The LORD destroyed these cities, the entire valley, everyone who lived in the cities, and all of the fertile land’s vegetation” (Genesis 19:24-25).

http://images.paraorkut.com/img/pics/glitters/g/god_is_love-4847.gif

Naturally, Lot’s wife looks back, so she gets turned into a pillar of salt, because God is a one-strike kind of guy.

Meanwhile, Abraham watches the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Finally, to wrap up this charming chapter, Lot and his daughters flee to the mountains, where the daughters become distressed that “there are no men in the land to sleep with us as is the custom everywhere” (Genesis 19:31). So they get their dad blind drunk and rape him in his sleep, get pregnant, and have his children/grandchildren.

Highlights

It’s nice that Abraham has some moral compass and is appalled by God’s willy-nilly destruction of an entire city.

Lowlights

Abraham makes Sarah bake a shitload of bread on short notice. God gets mad at Sarah for laughing at the idea of postmenopausal reproduction. The portrayal of an entire city of gay rapists provides material for homophobic bigots millennia later. Dad offers his daughters up for gang rape. God destroys a whole city and everybody in it. Then he kills a woman for curiosity. Girls can’t imagine any purpose in life besides reproduction so they feel compelled to be inseminated by the father who just offered them up for gang rape.

NT: Matthew 7

Matthew 7

Jesus tells everyone not to judge each other, and especially not to be hypocritical about it. The CEB is kind of clunky about it, but I think the KJV of these verses is probably where we get “Judge not, that ye be not judged; for what measure ye mete, it shall be meted ye again, measure for measure.” This is also where Jesus tells people to take the log out of their own eye before pointing out the splinter in someone else’s. This is also where he tells people not to throw pearls before swine.

And this is where we get “ask and you shall receive.” Jesus is really on a roll with the idioms here. He claims that “whoever seeks, finds” (Matthew 7:8), so I must not be looking hard enough for God. Jesus also asks, “Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread?” (Matthew 7:9), because Jimmy Kimmel was not in the audience on the mountain. Jesus tells everyone that “you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you,” which would be awesome advice if it didn’t seem so incredibly fucking hypocritical coming from the incarnate version of the God who once destroyed the entire world in a massive flood and will condemn you to ultimate suffering for eternity if you don’t say the magic words and click your heels three times.

Jesus says that the path to death is wide and the path to life is narrow, so most people miss the right path and end up fucked. He also warns people to “watch out for false prophets” (Matthew 7:15), wolves in sheep’s clothing, and says that you will know good prophets by their fruit, because a bad tree will only produce bad fruit and vice versa. Jesus liked to mix his metaphors.

Jesus warns that not everyone who uses his name will get into heaven; there will be a lot of people turned away at the door by Peter, heaven’s bouncer, and they’ll be like “What is this shit? I want to talk to the manager!” And Jesus will come out and be like “What seems to be the problem?” And they’ll be like “I totally bought tickets online but Peter won’t let me in!” And Jesus will be like “Look, you’re not on the list, and I don’t know you, so you’re going to have to leave.” And they’ll walk away grumbling and pissed that they got all dressed up for nothing.

Jesus promises that following his advice will be like building a house on bedrock, but ignoring it will be like building a house on sand. When he’s finished, everyone is really impressed “because he was teaching them like someone with authority and not like their legal experts.” Zing!

Highlights

Every idiom ever comes from the Sermon on the Mount, apparently.

Also, I love love love the Golden Rule. No, no, not that Golden Rule – the one about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Lowlights

It’s just unfortunate that God doesn’t remove the log from his own eye before condemning the shit out of the splinter in ours.

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8 Responses to Santorum’s Gay Sex Riot Nightmare

  1. Edelweiss says:

    Lot’s daughters were pledged to be married to his sons-in-law; they weren’t married yet. That’s why they’re still virgins.

    Also, I don’t know where you’re reading that the men of Sodom pull Lot into the crowd. That never happens. Quoting from the CEB: “They pushed Lot back and came close to breaking down the door. The men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house with them and slammed the door.” The men inside are the angels. The men outside merely push Lot back before the angels bring him back inside.

  2. Edelweiss says:

    It depends what translation you’re reading how they characterize the relationship. The NIV, for instance, reads: “So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters.”

    I am no Hebrew scholar, so I am not qualified to judge the original terms here. But given the law in Deuteronomy 22 that a woman who has sex prior to marriage should be stoned, that would seem to argue in favor of translations that state they were merely pledged to be married.

  3. Pingback: Suicidal Demon Pigs and the Myth of Free Will « Blogging Biblically

  4. Conrad says:

    You’re such an accomadationalist, you better hope no one sees this as proof oh how you secretly believe religion is true and want us to live based on old-testament laws.

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