Many of you know the story- the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their wickedness (Genesis 19.24-25). The most titillating offense- and therefore, probably the most memorable one, was sexual promiscuity, including, but not exclusively, the homosexual type.
For centuries, the word sodomy was used to denote sinful sexual acts and came to specifically reference homosexuality- especially in the 19th century. However, many Christian and Jewish biblical scholars have said (often to deaf ears) that this is not the Great Sin of Sodom. The ears stayed deaf. Even the Prophet Ezekiel was not to be heeded when it came to the subject. He said the great sin of Sodom wasn’t the promiscuity, it was that the citizens were “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16.49). In other words- they were narcissistic assholes.
Nikolas Kristoff has an excellent Op-Ed in the NYTimes today talking about the ways in which the understanding of the Sins of Sodom are changing- even (gasp) among evangelicals.
Worth a read.
Oh, and the next time you hear or read the words sodomy or sodomite, just think “asshole”….