Sanitizing Sodom by Subverting Scripture

By Jules Gomes Published on March 21, 2024

The Jesuits have a history of subverting Scripture to promote propaganda.

To discredit the clarity of Scripture in counter-Reformation polemics, Jesuit luminaries like St. Robert Bellarmine and Fr. Diogo de Payva de Andrada resorted to the subterfuge of disparaging the Bible as obscure, even on matters of salvation.

When Pope Sixtus V published his edition of the Latin Vulgate, into which he had introduced at least two thousand errors, Bellarmine, who bombastically designated the pontiff as “vice-God,” hushed up the scandal and falsely blamed the errors on the typesetters.

Bellarmine sneered at the Hebrew manuscripts when they contradicted mistranslated Vulgate texts. He upheld, for example, the copyist’s error from the proto-evangelium of Genesis 3:15 which read: ” she [Mary] shall crush your head” instead of “he [Jesus] shall crush your head”—an error finally corrected by the Vatican in the Nova Vulgata of 1979.

The iconic Jesuit even defended fornicating priests over against clergy who quit the priesthood to marry, arguing that “it is a greater evil to marry than to fornicate” (est majus malum nubere quam fornicare).

The Jesuit scripture-shysters are back to their old tricks. Last week, Fr. James Martin, the notorious Jesuit propagandist for the homosexual agenda, published an article by a Jesuit biblical scholar, Fr. Richard J. Clifford, titled “Is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah about homosexuality? No.

Hospitality? or Homosexuality?

Pansexual progressives have indeed been engaging in an exegetical sleight of hand for the last few decades, asserting that the tale of two cities in Genesis is all about hospitality and not homosexuality.

Earlier, Martin published a revisionist reading of the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative by Grant Hartley on his pro-LGBT Outreach website, arguing that the story in Genesis 19 “asks us to consider our own inhospitality.”

But the slippery Jesuits are smart enough not to fire their slingshot at the straw man of the immigrant-hating Sodomites, because even conservative biblical scholars are elegantly nuanced in their interpretation of the fire-and-brimstone story in Genesis.

Prof. Robert Gagnon, in his classic The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, acknowledges that the story is not “ideal” for addressing the contemporary debate “to the extent it does not deal directly with consensual homosexual relationships.”

Nevertheless, to claim that the story does not condemn homosexuality is an exaggeration, since “the inherently degrading quality of same-sex intercourse plays a key role in the narrator’s intent to elicit feelings of revulsion on the part of the reader/hearer,” Gagnon, a conservative biblical scholar, maintains.

A Little About Lot

What makes the inhospitality “so dastardly” is the “specific form in which the inhospitality manifests itself: homosexual rape,” Gagnon emphasizes. The difference between consenting and coerced gay sex is that “in the former both participants willingly degraded themselves while in the latter one of the parties was forced into self-degradation.”

Further, “the theme of multiple offenses conveys how truly bad the perpetrators are,” Gagnon argues in an article titled “Why We Know That the Story of Sodom Indicts Homosexual Practice Per Se.” Would a man who raped his mother or a child not be committing the sin of the incest or pedophilia in addition to rape?

Fr. Clifford is careful not to overpitch the hospitality angle. Instead, he interprets the story as contrasting the patriarch Abraham with Lot, his “nephew from hell.”

Abraham, for example, serves his angelic visitors an extravagant meal, while Lot welcomes them with what seems to be an ordinary meal, Clifford speculates. Lot offers his daughters to the mob because he knows they aren’t really interested in gay rape but in humiliating him as an immigrant.

“Lot’s foolish behavior displays his inability to care for his family,” the Jesuit concludes.

“The sexual assault on the two angelic servants is certainly not a warning against homosexuality.”

Readers need to ask Clifford: Did the Hebrews put gay sex at the top of the list of the most detestable sins — or did they find only male-on-male rape objectionable? Is homosexuality incidental or intrinsic to the plot of the story — in other words, is it a coincidental or a compounding factor? Does the Sodomite sin of inhospitality supersede the Sodomite sin of sodomy in the story?

Context Is King in Interpretation

As with all biblical texts, the story of Sodom needs to be read in the context of ever-widening concentric circles, beginning with the Abraham-Lot narrative, going on to the wider plot of Genesis, extending to the Torah, and finally encompassing the whole Bible.

In Genesis 13:13, the writer is already excoriating Sodom’s citizens as “wicked, great sinners against the Lord.” In Genesis 18, God says He will “go down to see if they deserve destruction” because “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave.” This is hardly language condemning inhospitality!

Rather, in the context of the overarching plot of Genesis beginning with chapter 1, God’s wrath strikes people in specific situations — namely, when human beings transgress the natural barriers God has intentionally built into creation.

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In Genesis 1, God creates barriers separating light from darkness, waters above from waters below, waters from land, day from night, humans from animals and, finally, male from female. God blesses these distinctions and calls all that He has created “good” and “very good”!

Catastrophe looms when separations are spurned. Eve and Adam violate the distinction between permissible and forbidden fruit. The violation of distinctions peaks in Genesis 6 when, in a bizarre story, the “sons of God” have intercourse with the “daughters of man.”

God sees “how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth” and sends the Flood, removing the barrier between the waters above and the waters below and the barrier between land and sea.

God then confuses the language of the hubris-ridden citizens of Babel when they seek to build a tower to heaven and blur the distinction between heaven and earth, God and man.

Capital Punishment for an Abomination

The divine destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah must be interpreted in the context of male-on-male sex with no regard for the divine distinction between male and female.

No wonder, then, that Leviticus labels homosexuality as an “abomination” (tōʻēḇā) prescribing that the same-sex partners “shall be put to death — their bloodguilt is upon them” (18:22, 20:13). It is not just sodomite rape, but sodomy per se, that triggers capital punishment.

Homosexuality is tōʻēḇā — a term also used to describe idolatry, adultery, incest, cheating, and child sacrifice — but the death penalty is limited to acts of adultery, incest, and sodomy.

Significantly, the prohibition against homosexual intercourse in Leviticus follows the verse prohibiting child sacrifice to Molech (18:21-22). In Leviticus 20, it is framed between prohibitions of adultery and incest and prohibitions of incest and bestiality.

Pressure Is Key to the Plot

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar sparked outrage in 2016 when he said it was “clear that [homosexuality] is abomination. The Torah punishes it with death. This is in the first line of serious sins.”

Literary critics explain how pressure in a plot is vital for revealing the character’s essential nature. “The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation,” notes screenwriting guru Robert McKee in Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting.

Clifford is right in pointing out the story’s rhetorical strategy in contrasting Abraham and Lot. But what reveals Lot’s true character is that the pressure brought on him is not merely gang rape, but homosexual gang rape. He doesn’t think twice about throwing his daughters as meat to the mob.

There are other clues, like sterility, pointing to homosexuality as an overarching rubric in the story. “As a sterile activity not producing offspring, homosexuality matches the barren landscape [of the Dead Sea] in which the cities are located,” notes Prof. Calum Carmichael.

Lot’s daughters even lament later that there isn’t a man available to have sex with them!

With a Jesuit pope turning the biblical theology of blessings on its head and approving blessings for same-sex couples in his declaration Fiducia supplicans, it is not surprising that his minions are resorting to exegetical acrobatics.

What St. Bellarmine was to Pope Sixtus V, Fr. Martin and Fr. Clifford are to Pope Francis. The Jesuits are back to their jiggery-pokery of sabotaging Scripture in favor of papal propaganda.

Never forget, it was St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, who ranked power over truth when he famously declared: “What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines.”

 

Dr. Jules Gomes, (BA, BD, MTh, PhD), has a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of Cambridge. Currently a Vatican-accredited journalist based in Rome, he is the author of five books and several academic articles. Gomes lectured at Catholic and Protestant seminaries and universities and was canon theologian and artistic director at Liverpool Cathedral.

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