Anyone who’s ever dived into the debate of what the Sodom and Gomorrah story in Genesis was actually condemning is probably familiar with the ideas that they were destroyed because of either or a combination of their luxurious living at the expense of the poor or their ill treatment of visitors. These facts are often pointed out to counter the conservative argument that Sodom was condemned for its same-sex practices.
Upon reading the text, here’s what I’ve noticed: we don’t have any indication that the men of Sodom were interested in same-sex relations until after God had decided to destroy the city.
We don’t know if the crowd’s desired treatment of the two angels was typical of how it always treated guests, but there’s a couple of reasons to suggest that this was not normal practice in Sodom.
First, if every male who passed through Sodom was raped, then how did Lot manage to make it without being assaulted? Why does Lot treat Sodom as if it’s a safe enough place to settle down, and if it was dangerous for men like him, then why didn’t he leave?
And second, if Lot knew that having sex with other men was a regular desire of Sodom’s male population, then why does he offer them his daughters when he knows full well the crowd wouldn’t find them desirable? Lot’s actions regarding his daughters here is despicable, but why even suggest handing them over to a crowd that wouldn’t want them?
I’m not sure we have any biblical warrant for thinking that homosexuality was a regular feature in the life of Sodom, whose crimes nonetheless made it worthy of the fate it received. But I could be wrong, so I hope my readers will chime in.
Is there any reason to think that homosexuality was a recurring part of Sodom’s life?
Sound off in the comments.