Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)
- TITLE: Should Christianity Handout Apologies?
By K Godfrey Easter
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All my life Christian pulpits have capitalized greatly on the ancient biblical story. Christian activists still protest the funerals of soldiers slain in combat because of how convincingly the infamous story has been sermonized. But recently, an insightful Newsweek.com article paints a more believable estimation of the sin that moved a loving God to completely obliterate the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah than what has been popularly preached.
Multitudes remain immovably persuaded that God destroyed the ancient twin cities because of the ‘the sin of homosexuality.’ However, this entrenched belief is almost wholly founded upon questionable pulpit interpretations of the story, as Genesis, Chapter 18 presents it. The revealing article, along with several books written in recent years, unveils a more acceptable truth than what has been overwhelmingly passed off as Gospel.
“The Military’s Secret Shame” profiled the underreported stories of male service members being raped by fellow soldiers. In relation to the article, Headline News Anchor, Richelle Carey, reported, “Last year, more than 110 military men made confidential reports of sexual assaults.”
Experts emphasize that rape isn’t about sex, but about power and intimidation. In fact, many incidents in the Bible exploited by shepherds to condemn homosexual activity were actually carried out by heterosexual men committing heinous sex acts. These accounts reveal brutal sexual assaults by men against other men and women for the purpose of humiliating, dehumanizing and overpowering their victims. Carey also reported that rapists in the military, “Target lower ranking officers because they may be the most vulnerable. They don’t want to come forward because they fear retaliation and often do not want to hurt their careers.” Similar acts of sexual atrocity commonly occur in prisons across America to this day and in the U.S. Military, as well, according to Newsweek.com.
Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D., in his remarkably insightful book, “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality (Alamo Square Press),” wrote that, “The story of Sodom is no more about sex than it is about pounding on someone’s door. The point of the story is abuse and assault, in whatever form they take. To use this text to condemn homosexuality is to misuse this text.”
In the biblical story, God never told Abraham that He was fed up with the cities because of homosexuality. Yahweh forewarned His friend Abraham of the impending doom headed toward the cities because less than ten righteous people could be found dwelling therein. As I read headlines nowadays it has become easier for me to swallow God’s logic than the misguiding notion that He destroyed the cities because its inhabitants were all gay. In fact, by the time Abraham had haggled God down to the prospect of finding just five righteous people, God, in His sovereignty, abruptly ended the conversation by royally dismissing Himself from Abraham’s presence. God was perhaps as disgusted with the church of Abraham’s day as Jesus was with the hypocrites of His and unfortunately, I remain with the insanity of Christianity today.
In the end, the Newsweeks.com article lends greater credence to the struggles of pro-gay activists for social equality. Since the article surfaced, I’m even more convinced that pulpits have zealously wielded an embellished account of Sodom and Gomorrah against an innocent and horribly misunderstood segment of society. While gifted shepherds wax increasingly apathetic to the injustice and unfairness that their words have incited throughout the years, this article forces thinking Christians to reconsider the highly questionable pulpit interpretations that continue to destroy the emotional lives of God’s innocent sheep to this day.
In summarizing his writings on Sodom and Gomorrah, Dr. Helminiak concluded,
“There is a sad irony about the story when understood in its own historical setting. People oppose and abuse homosexual men and women for being different, odd, strange, or as they say, ‘queer.’ Lesbian women and gay men are just not allowed to fit in; they are made to be outsiders, foreigners in our society. All this is done in the name of religion and supposed Judeo-Christian morality. Such oppression is the very sin of which the people of Sodom were guilty. Such behavior is what the Bible truly condemns over and over again. So those who oppress homosexuals because of the supposed ‘sin of Sodom’ may themselves be the real ‘sodomites,’ as the Bible understands it.”
If Christianity wasn’t so blind she’d see that she may actually owe the worldwide gay community one gigantic handout of an apology, especially in how it has misused the biblical downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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