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This podcast series features past FAIR Conference presentations. This presentation is from our 2021 conference held in August. If you would like to watch all the presentations from the conference, you can still purchase the video streaming.
Stephen Smoot, Abraham and the Stranger at Sodom and Gomorrah: Reading the Bible and Navigating LGBT Identity
Stephen O. Smoot is a doctoral student in the department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the Catholic University of America. He previously earned a master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, with a concentration in Egyptology, and Bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, with a concentration in Hebrew Bible, and German Studies. His areas of academic study and research include the Hebrew Bible, ancient Egypt, and Latter-day Saint scripture and history. From 2015 to 2020 Stephen was a research associate with Book of Mormon Central and is currently a research associate with the B. H. Roberts Foundation. Stephen served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern New England (the New Hampshire Manchester Mission), which included six months at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, Vermont.
After listening to the presentation twice, I remain entirely unconvinced of his conclusion. The inhospitality of Sodomites still seems insignificant. Clearly the attempted homosexual gang rape is the major sin. He read us the account (excitedly) and then provided no evidence or added perspective except his obvious wish that we ignore the most critical information (homosexuality) of the event.
Dennis Horne says
Paul, I completely agree.
Frank G Staheli says
This is an excellent case of presentism that we apply to ancient cultures. It’s interesting to learn from the presentation how these ancient societies had no concept of sexual orientation.
Homosexuality refers to the romantic or sexual attraction to a member of the same sex. It is unfair to claim that someone who wants to exercise abusive dominion over another person’s body should be automatically thought of as a homosexual. Such abuse is almost always an attraction to power rather than 2 sexuality or romanticism.
Once again, I thought it was an excellent presentation!