In this post, I will discuss homophobia and religion (and throw in a little misogyny too), as well as the moralistic fallacy.
Recently homophobia among religious conservatives has been especially popular, thanks to the law legalizing gay marriage in the US. But let’s look a little closer at the go-to Bible verse to justify hatred of LGBT people. Let’s examine the source:
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.
So the crowd is gay because they want to rape the two male angels. But as for Lot, the righteous man who God saved, notice what he did? He offered the gay rapists his two virgin female daughters. (Yes, the word “female” is redundant here, but no more so than this ancient nonsense used to justify bigotry.)
So what is that nonsense actually saying? Don’t rape men (especially if they’re angels), rape girls, because women are inferior anyway. So it is OK to rape women, but raping men is a sin. Of course as a conservative Christian, you must totally ignore that Lot offered them women, because that messes with the whole gay hating agenda.
Later on, Lot’s wife looks back and is turned to a pillar of salt for opposing God’s will. So why did she turn back? Was she lusting for the gay rapists?
It should be pretty clear that to read this and come out with the idea that homosexuality is sinful, you have to ignore all the problems with the passage, some of which are:
- Do gay male rapists like girls?
- Women are inferior?
- Rape of girls is OK?
- Rape of men is not?
- The “righteous” man offers his innocent daughters to be gang-raped, and no judgement is made on his morals?
In other words, to read that and conclude that homosexuality is wrong, you have to already believe it to be so. You read your preconceived idea that being gay should be condemned right into the passage and then use it to justify your prejudice, ignoring the glaring problems with the passage, even though they should be enough to conclude that the whole thing is bullshit. You don’t get your morals from your bible or your religion, you take the “morals” that you already have and impose them on your religion. This is the moralistic fallacy, the idea that morals come from God. If that were true, all religious cultures would have exactly the same morals. But they don’t.
In this case, the “morals” are quite despicable. You have to read those passages really selectively to use them to justify your homophobia. But the irony is that most Christians probably don’t read their own bible at all. They just accept that being gay is against God’s will. The best way to understand how nonsensical the bible is, is to read it.