Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pat Robertson Gets It Right

From the "a stopped clock is right twice a day" file, evangelist Pat Robertson has managed to make some sense. This happened once before, back when Robertson pointed out that creationist Ken Ham's embrace of the interpretation-heavy Ussher chronology really didn't jibe with his claims of being a Biblical literalist.

That was three years ago, so I suppose it's about time Robertson got around to making another reasonable statement. On a recent episode of his 700 Club television program, Robertson correctly explained that in fact the "sin of Sodom" had nothing to do with homosexuality - and it says so right in the Bible.

That made it all the more surprising when “The 700 Club” host alluded today to Ezekiel 16:49 to assert that Sodom was destroyed due to pride, not homosexuality: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

“Pride, the Bible says, idleness and abundance of bread, neither were they thankful, that was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah,” Robertson said. “He didn’t talk about homosexuality.”

A number of us who have actually read the Bible cover-to-cover have been pointing this out for years, but it's pretty remarkable to hear it coming from a prominent proponent of modern conservative Christianity. That's because the story of Sodom is one of the main theological weapons that generally gets deployed by said Christians arguing that somehow, being gay is the most horrible sin anyone could ever commit.

Yes, it is a violation of Old Testament law - at least for men. But so are a whole lot of other things that modern Christians just ignore. These days hardly any Christians worry about mixing fibers or eating shellfish or coming into contact with blood, all of which are considered unclean in the exact same way as "a man lying with a man as with a woman."

I would find it profoundly ironic if the Dominionists turned out to be right, except that God really wound up smiting America for inventing poly-cotton blends. Or maybe for promoting shrimp-farming.

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