Where to begin? (Where to end?) Well to be blindingly clear (oh ox.) and to place my placard on the pedestal, I’m not a subscriber (and never have been) but I am a great believer in digging. Without further ado, I present to you:
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah was NOT about homosexuality
— Cameron Modisane (2014)
Modisane’s article is replete with biblical references and, low and behold — suffice to say — there literally is no mention of homosexuality in relation to either Sodom or Gomorrah. In Ezekiel 16:48-49, Jerusalem (a.k.a.: القدس العربي) is compared to Sodom:
Sodom never did what you and your daughters have done… She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.
A week or so ago I wrote Odd tales (#1) which introduced me to Lot and his daughters who were residents of Sodom — a wonderfully deviant and debauched tale. Lot’s lot is tied to this tale in a damning way (damning to those who seek justification for their homophobic views in the bible) because he offered his daughters to the men of the town to rape at their leisure (sounds rather heterosexual to me and whilst here: why the hell didn’t he simply ask the angels to fly away? One wonders, one really does). Moreover, we learn from the scriptures that the reason for the wrath meted out by way of fire and brimstone (or was it sulfur and salt) against Sodom and Gomorrah was:
The two towns’ residents had switched theocratic allegiances.
The two towns’ residents were uncharitable towards strangers.
But, dear reader, please don’t damn me now, I concede and submit to you that the bible’s stories have been a godsend in that they’ve inspired so many classical paintings and formed the basis of so many fantastical works of fiction.
Shakespeare (especially sonnets XXIV & XXXIII).
But hold on too, I’ve read ‘n’ written about:
Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
— Repression as a consequence of religion.
Dawkins’s The Magic of reality
— Suppression of science as a result of religious superstition.
The pro-lifers (oh ox.) blessing of the most righteous Judge Kavanaugh.
— bashed barminess
But anyway, whenever did homo sapiens base fiat on fact. From the tail of Sodom we got words like sodomy and sodomite, phrases like “sod off” and, century after century of homophobic diatribe. This word, ‘sodom,’ is also part of the title of Sade’s notorious (😈), The 120 Days of Sodom which, like D. H. Lawrence’s titillating tale, Lady Chatterley’s Lover was long banned (forbidden fruit, as it were). Oh the irony, now it’s but a mundane Penguin Classic [sic].
Butt, back now to the now. The Marquis de Sade was born in Paris in 1740. He was imprisoned several times for his scandalous behaviour, and wrote The 120 Days of Sodom while in prison … By 1796 he was a ruined man … fittingly (perhaps), Sade died in an insane asylum in 1814.
According to Will McMorran, writing in The Guardian, the book — 120 Days — tells the tale of four libertines (a grand old duke, a bishop, a judge and a banker) who lock themselves away in a castle in the Black Forest with an entourage that includes two harems of teenage boys and girls specially abducted for the occasion. Four ageing brothel madams are appointed as storytellers for each of the four months, and their brief is to weave a 150 “passions” or perversions into the story of their lives.
Thrill seekers beware though for, according to Lisa Hilton, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, anyone dipping into this intensely disturbing novel in the hope of quality erotica will be disappointed for Sade is a rotten pornographer. According to Hilton, Sade is entirely unconcerned with sensuality or erotica: his theme is power, and the violence by which power demonstrates its superiority. And I now quote Hilton verbatim:
Concealed by the shock tactics and the satire, there is an inconsistent, yet serious and often extremely funny thinker peeking from beneath the bedclothes.