Lot and His Daughters
Henrik Goltzius, 1616 CE
I am not a religious scholar. I was born and raised a Methodist, which is a somewhat less-than-sanguine variation of Christianity, but have dabbled in study of others religions. I have on my reference shelf the Holy Bible, King James version; The Glorious Koran; The I-Ching, The Tao Te Ching; the Book of Mormon; Science and Heath, with a Key to the Scriptures; The Upanishads, and versions of Buddhism ranging from Zen to Tibetan, and I have read them all.
I figured out pretty quickly that the holy books were not meant to be taken literally, that they were metaphors offering morality lessons. Literalists make me wonder how they can possibly reconcile the contradictions, and the only answer I can find is that dogmatic faith is a wonderful set of blinders.
Recently, a discussion in which I was involved touched upon Lot and the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah. For those of you who missed Sunday school that week, a recap -- somewhat abridged and updated, viz: the language.
God was put out because the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah had gone over to the dark side. They were wicked -- the term "sodomy" comes from that city, and that pretty much gets into what they were doing. Buggery were them.
So God allowed as how he was going to nuke 'em from space and clean the slate. But He didn't want to wipe out any good folks, if there were any. (Why He didn't know kind of goes past the omniscience thing, but skip over that for now.)
So God sent a couple of ops -- angels in disguise to talk to the one good guy He was sure of, a fellow named Lot.
The angels showed up, and right behind them, so did the wicked folk of the city. Hey, Lot! Who you got in there? Send 'em out so we can screw them! (The biblical term is "know," but that's what it means.)
And Lot, bless his shriveled sense of parental duty said, "Hey, these are my guests. Leave them alone! Tell you what, I'll send out a couple of my virgin daughters, you can have your way with them instead, if you just leave my guests alone."
That's where I parted company with this story. Bullshit.
"No deal!" the mob roared. And they grabbed for Lot and figured to go grab the visitors and do a little hide the salami.
The angels, not needing Lot's protection, basically said, "Piss on this!" and struck the mob blind.
Teach to you fuck with God's operatives, dudes.
Well, to continue: There was some back and forth about sparing the city if enough righteous could be found, ladled throughout this discussion, and to make a totally unbelievable long story shorter, Lot couldn't come up with any. (Actually, I erred here -- 'twas Abraham who did the dickering, and Lot was the guy worth saving. Mea culpa. Doesn't change the main story, though.)
You and your family get out of town, Lot was told, and don't look back. We fixin' to kick ass.
So Lot and his family took off, and God rained fire and brimstone upon the cities and took them down to bedrock.
Only, Lot's wife looked back, which was bad, because God turned her into a pillar of salt for sneaking a peek.
So Lot and his daughters, feeling somewhat antisocial, skipped living in a city, and headed for a cave.
And one boring evening, the two virgin daughters -- there were others already married off and I don't know what happened to them and their husbands -- decided, Gee, you know it's a shame the old man doesn't have any sons to carry on the family name. Here's a thought: Why don't we get him drunk and lie with him, and fix that?
So they did. The older, one night, the younger the next. I don't read it that they did a threesome, though that wouldn't have been such a big deal, given the participants.
Lot, of course, was so drunk he didn't know he was screwing his own daughters, according to the story. Again, I part company with the writer, because I know you can't spike paper without a paper spike, and if you are so drunk you can't tell you are pronging your daughters, getting it up is going to need God's help. Liquor fires the desire, but fries the ability.
So the girls got pregnant, and begat a couple of the the great families of the Bible. The sons of Moab and those of Benammi.
So my question is: What is the, uh, moral of this story ... ?
(If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see the burning cities in the b.g., and Lot's wife as a pillar of salt-- these are often featured in the paintings, though the time is wrong -- the cities and wife were well before the girls hit on the old man. This painting is a mild version. A few get a bit raunchier, you can see examples here.