Clobber passage 1 - Genesis 19:4-5, The Sin of Sodom & Gomorrah
The Christian Right have used the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19:4,5 to paint homosexuality as a sin. It was clear that the men wanted to have sex with the angels, and since they were of the same sex, the homosexual sex was considered a sin. But would it have made any different if they had sex with Lot's daughters which he offered to them. The same argument if consistent would imply that heterosexual sex is a sin. The question asked here is not so much whether the nature of sex is sinful be-it same sex or different sex, it is about sexual abuse. The social structure then was very much based on male first, followed by women and children. Women have no rights and for procreation . When a nation overcome another nation, it was not uncommon for the men to have "rape" the other men in order to humiliate them and treat them as women, hence making them a lower class. Sexual abuse is the sin not homosexuality or heterosexuality. It was much more than being inhospitable. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because the people living therein were extremely wicked (Gen 19:20). It was not just a small portion of the population, from whence we could justify it was Gays since they are only 5% of the population, but the entire population of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicket.
The people of Sodom were said to be exceedingly wicket and sinful. This resulted in an outcry against this city by the people who have suffered under them that even reached to the heavens. Who were this people who were so ill treated by the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that they cried out bitterly to God? What were the sins against God that were so great. A clearer picture emerges in Ezek 16:49 when Ezekiel describes Sodom not in terms of homosexuality. The Sodomites were arrogant, and wealthy people who cares very little about the poor and needy in their midst. It is very likely that Sodom and Gomorrah were rich and very powerful cities that really cared very little about others, and acted as a law onto themselves with full impunity doing whatever they like to do not concerning of the impact nor consequences. The bible first mention on Sodom was in Gen 13:13 where they were described as very cruel people ('wicked') and did great atrocities ('sin against the lord'). It was a warlike nation which plundered nations around and put people into slavery. In Gen 14:21, 22 it was clear that the King of Sodom were very much into slavery trade, and Abraham wanted to have nothing to do with them nor their wealth. Therefore their plundering of the nations and peoples around the region leaving behind deaths, putting people into bondage, and raping the victims (raping both men and woman as an act of forcing them into submission) became infamous for extreme wickedness and sin which is aptly described in Gen 13:13. It had nothing to do with homosexuality.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible came to light because of Lot, Abraham's nephew. God had already made up His mind to destroy the cities and because of Abraham, angels were sent to 'extract' Lot out of the danger zone. Why would anyone stay in such a city? In Gen 13:6, we see that Lot's livestock which even matches that of Abraham and the land was not able to support both of them. Therefore in Gen 13:10, Lot left to settle in the plain of Jordan near Sodom because it was a very good land, well watered for his very large livestock. Therefore Lot's decision was guided by business opportunities and wealth. Lot soon settled within the city and became very successful. When the angels arrived at Sodom, they found him at the "Gate of sodom" where usually the leaders and powerful man of the city congregate as the centre of power and business. Lot invited the angels to stay over with him. Soon the news of Lot's visitors spread and a large group assembled outside Lot's house in Gen 19:4. They demanded that to have sex with the Angels. and Lot pleaded with them in Gen 19:7 not to behave so cruelly and wickedly.
The story of lot was also about child abuse by Lot who obviously did not consider the men having intrinsic same sex orientation but who were equally eager to have sex with women. It would be cruel to let her daughters being raped repeatedly by the men. It may however reflect and further emphasised the structure of the society then which does not value women and assigned them to the lowest class. The "Christian" Family Associations who claimed that sodomy is a treat to family, should return to the biblical teachings and to come against Parental abuses.
The question that we are bringing " Can two people of the same sex in a loving monogamous relationship" which is a totally different model of behaviour. In summary, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was that they were very wicket people, full of cruelty and evil including sexual abuse. To misuse the verses so out of context to refer to homosexual act as a sin by itself, is to condemn a people without cause and to reduce the authority and respect for the scriptures. We may be not much different from the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in the way we ill treat gays in our midst. We may bring ourselves the very same judgment .
The laws of Sodomy in Singapore (Section 377A) and Malaysia is a remnant of the British colonial rule. Section 377 became effective from 1 January 1862 in India and was adopted by the British, also as section 377 into the Straits Settlements Penal Code in 1871. The cloned and transplanted law came into operation in the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca on 16 September 1872. However, in Britain, the Sexual Offences Act 1967, decriminalised most acts of homosexuality in England and Wales between males over the age of 21. In United States, anti-homosexual laws have been invalidated by the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas. In the 6-3 ruling, the justices struck down the criminal prohibition of homosexual sodomy in Texas. Lambda Legal, which brought the case, hailed the decision as "a legal victory so decisive that it would change the entire landscape for the LGBT community".