Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Righteousness


What makes someone righteous? I think the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a good guide here. It starts with the ridiculous scene between god and Abraham where the omni-benevolent, all-loving god decides that the he needs to commit mass murder on all the inhabitants of S and G. Abraham barters with him and gets god to agree to spare the righteous inhabitants. If Abraham had not interceded, then god would have simply killed the whole lot of them (no pun intended).

So, god sends his angels down and Lot gives them shelter, thus making him righteous. Apparently. It also - apparently - makes his family righteous somehow; but probably because he only had a wife and two daughters (although it should be noted that the sons-in-law were to be spared as well) and well, they're just property, right? Well, god generally treats women that way, so at least this is consistent. Anyway, this righteous man tries to placate the crowd of angel-sodomizers by offering to send his two daughters out to be raped. (Interesting side note: his daughters were married, yet they were still virgins for some reason?)

Long story short, they flee the city and god destroys all the other inhabitants, but decides his wrath is so great that even looking at the destruction shall turn one into a pillar of salt, without warning of course. So, Lot's nameless wife looks back (she doesn't need a name since she's Lot's property as per god's decrees, right?) and is instantly turned into salt. How dare she look back at her home that she just had to flee! Of course, Abraham looks at the destruction too and nothing befalls him, but perhaps this is explainable in that he might not have watched it happen but only seen the aftermath. Any way you slice it, no one comes out looking good in this story.

11 comments:

Miao said...

I wrote a satirical story on this once. Here is the link, if you are interested:

http://non-compos-mentis.blogspot.com/2007/09/miaos-collected-childrens-stories.html

Would be nice if you are willing to take the time to read it and provide some feedback, but if you are busy or are not interested, it is all right too.

Nice blog you have here - I love your hyperbole.

GCT said...

miao,
I read your story. I liked the part where all the names were pronounced the same. It was pretty obvious what the story was about, however. One point though, in the Biblical story, Lot isn't knocked out, but partakes in wine and gets so drunk that he passes out before the daughters copulate with him. This, however, is blamed on the daughters, as the Bible describes it as them getting him so drunk he passes out - as if he had nothing to do with it.

Miao said...

Yup, I am aware that Lot was drunk. I just changed that detail in the hope of making my story a little more comical. >_<

As Richard Dawkins said, Lot was somehow too drunk to realise that he had copulated with his daughters, and yet conscious enough to have impregnated them. Funny huh.

GCT said...

Maybe he was just super virile?

Miao said...

That's a possibility.

Anyway I was attending an Islam-related class some time ago, and one of my classmates is a Christian. I was telling her how the Bible is so full of rubbish, and was citing Lot as an example, when she said that actually Lot was not a good man - he was spared only because he was Abraham's nephew.

Well, that was funny. Didn't the Bible mention that Lot was the embodiment of righteousness? And if he was spared only because he was related to Abraham, does that mean that God accepted bribery?

GCT said...

It would fit with a consistent theme in the OT if Lot was simply spared for being related to Abraham; sins are inherited, god's people are selected by their lineage, etc. The lead-up to the story and the rest of it leaves little doubt, however, that Lot was supposed to be a righteous man for saving the angels.

Miao said...

Thanks for the information. My knowledge of the Bible is rather limited, as you can see. I may read more after my exams. It entertains and amuses me, after all.

Anonymous said...

I realize this is a little late, BUT, two things:
One, I recently wrote a song based on the premise that apparently no one I've talked to is even conscious of the fact that Lot tries to pimp/pimp-rape(does that even work?) his daughters in the story.

Second, in order to write said song (I didn't want to be accused of misinterpreting or something!) I looked up the various quotations relating to Lot, and specifically what Jesus said about him. In New Testament (somewhere, admitedly I didn't keep my notes around, I try to spend as little time as possible thinking about mythology) there is a quote saying: "Jesus says: Lot was a good man" (or something to the effect). It's definitely obvious to someone with a searchable bible or you know, wikipedia.

Ezekiah

GCT said...

The best quote I could find on it is in 2 Peter 2:7 and the surrounding passages. In that case, Jesus is not speaking.

The only reference to Lot by Jesus that I found was him speaking of Lot's time, comparing the destruction of Soddom and Gomorrah to armageddon. (Luke 17)

Ezekiah said...

I looked it up with a christian friend of mine (who nevertheless didn't even know about that portion of the story) and I would have sworn that it was attributed to Jesus, but I am willing to admit that the evidence seems to go against me.

GCT said...

Ezekiah,
You might be right, I just didn't find it. If you can find it, I'd appreciate it.