Wednesday, 16 April 2008
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.