Happy Pride Saturday! Since lately, marching from my front door to the mailbox is painfully demanding, I thought I'd settle for figuratively running my mouth instead. As the grand-daughter (as well as the niece of several) Southern Baptist preachers, I've heard a Bible story or twelve. I have a passing familiarity with two favorite biblical references of rabid anti-gay protesters. Putting aside the interminable list of no-no's of Leviticus (or, as I like to call it, The Book of If God Was More OCD Than Adrian Monk) there's that other little story in Genesis. You know the one. About the two corrupt cities that God made go all kablooey. Real Bible scholars (I'm not one...duh) often insist the actual crime of Sodom & Gomorrah's residents was more inhospitality than homosexuality, but that's not my issue with using this tale as a God-Certified Moral Compass.
Everyone remembers the angelic visitors, and the hostile townsfolk, and how Lot was the only really, really, really, really, REALLY good guy in the whole bloody municipality who deserved to have his family survive the imminent conflagration. The Bible likes Lot a whole...uh...lot. He's a great guy. Stellar. Pillar of the community. Not as much of a pillar as his wife eventually becomes (salt), but still, God's Golden Boy. People remember the fiery destruction of the cities (is it redundant to call it Biblical Destruction?) and the Lot clan (minus aforementioned disobedient wife) safely escaping. But how is it that this chapter's biggest fans never mention what radio personality Paul Harvey used to call "The REST of the Story"? 'Cause the saga of Lot and his surviving family doesn't end there. Oh, no. What transpires next for Lot, that Paragon of Virtue, is a story not wholly unfamiliar, although in more modern times, it's usually prefaced by the words: Dear Penthouse...
Lot and his two virgin daughters go to live in--appropriately enough if you harbor stereotypes about hillbillies--the mountains. (Is that banjo music I hear?) I'll just let the 1611 King James version take it from here:
"31 And the first borne saide vnto the yonger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth, to come in vnto vs, after the maner of all the earth.
32 Come, let vs make our father drinke wine, and we will lye with him, that we may preserue seed of our father.
33 And they made their father drinke wine that night, & the first borne went in, and lay with her father: and he perceiued not, when shee lay downe, nor when she arose.
34 And it came to passe on the morrow, that the first borne said vnto the yonger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let vs make him drinke wine this night also, and goe thou in, and lye with him, that we may preserue seed of our father.
35 And they made their father drinke wine that night also, and the yonger arose, and lay with him: and he perceiued not, when she lay downe, nor when she arose.
36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with childe by their father.
37 And the first borne bare a sonne, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites vnto this day.
38 And the yonger, she also bare a sonne, and called his name, Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon, vnto this day."
So ends Chapter 19 of Genesis.
So, let me see if I've got this straight. The most RIGHTEOUS man to be found in the whole of Sodom and Gomorrah, the only man whose life was worth preserving, and an example of the type of fella God holds in highest esteem, was a guy who repeatedly got blind, roaring drunk and engaged in orgies with not one but both of his biological daughters? And the only thing the Bible has to say about this event is to note which clans of Israelites descended from this incest? Not a whisper of condemnation, in fact, what I can only hear as a tone of admiration and approval. It's unclear how the girls forced Lot to guzzle all that wine (what, did Lot think his daughters were serving him Welch's--twice?) but the book seems to imply that because Lot-o got blotto to the point of amnesia he had no responsibility for his actions. Right, 'cause we all know you hold zero moral accountability for anything you do once you've allowed yourself to get so loaded you suffer a black-out. Anyway, that's The Rest of The Story of every homophobe's favorite role model, Lot.
I don't know about you, but personally, if I'm finalizing my guest list for that 4th of July barbeque, and my choice to fill the last spot on the picnic bench is between a gay man and some incestuous drunk, I know who I'M inviting. Just sayin'...