November 26th, 2009

Cocktopus

I could write a better god with my ass tied behind my back!

I was giving some thought to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah the other day.

Most of you will be in broad terms familiar with this fairy tale, but let me sketch it out in brief terms anyways. In the ancient middle east, there were, according to this story, two cities named Sodom and Gomorrah which were exceptionally sexualized societies. The details are a little sketchy, but it seems that homosexuality was not frowned upon, and it is heavily implied that gang rape was a pretty socially accepted sort of thing as well. These were, in short, people who were pretty committed to this whole “sexing” thing. The christian (or, at the time, Hebrew) god, Yahweh, decides that he doesn’t care for the looks of this place too much, and, in one of his frequently not-actually-all-that-omniscient-after-all moments, decides he needs to investigate this town. He makes a deal with his sycophantic toady, Abraham, that if there’s so much as a single person in the city who conforms to his morality, then he’ll let the matter slide.

He sends a couple of his angels on a fact-finding expedition, where they lodge with Abraham’s nephew in town, Lot. While there, they make quite the impression upon the population, who mob Lot’s house in an attempt to get freaky with these angels. Lot, whose sense of family values seems to be about as shakey as that of his uncle, decides that he would rather see his daughters gang raped in the street than allow two angels who could plainly take care of themselves to be confronted by an unruly and evidently horny mob. The mob is having none of it, though, and the angels announce that, as a result, their god is going to have them murder every living thing in the cities. As such, Lot and his family are told to leave and not look back, which 75% of them manage to do (Lot’s wife bringing the family’s total grade down from a solid A+ to a merely respectable C by glancing over her shoulder as she ran and being killed by the angels for the act in a kind of puzzlingly vindictive dick move).

When they’re up in the hills, with the city being rendered a flaming and stinking ruin (the benefit that using fire AND brimstone rather than just fire is not made exactly clear, but one assumes that the unpleasant aroma is meant to be some sort of additional penalty), Lot and his two daughters settle down for the night, and his daughters demonstrate that they were not altogether untouched by the culture of their hometown, as their very first impulse is to drug and rape their father, which they do with gusto.

There’s something that occurs to me, when I think about all of this, though; even if we assume that each and every person in these cities were somehow irredeemably evil, and we assume that Yahweh has the moral prerogative to murder them all as a result (which is a central assumption within the story, so I won’t really get into it here and now beyond calling it “bullshit”), there’s still the sticky question of the children and babies which resided in town, especially vis a vis murdering them for the fact that they happened to have had the wrong parents.

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