“If God doesn’t judge America, He’ll owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.”
This is a popular saying among Fundamentalists, used to attack acceptance of homosexuality and LGBT rights. But, even coming from a traditional view and more literal reading of Scripture, this view does not hold up, and I will show you why.
The view that Sodom was destroyed for homosexuality is derived from Gen. 19:4-5, “Bedore they could lie down to sleep, all the men — both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom — surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot,’Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!'”
Well, there is a difference between modern same sex couples and the men of Sodom: in the case of the former, there is consent. The fact that the Sodomites tried to rush the door when Lot refused them and the angels blinded them shows the Sodomites didn’t care whether or not the angels wanted to have sex. Thus, this was an attempted gang rape. Rape is not actually about sex, but about dominance. In fact, most cases of same sex sexual assault are committed by heterosexuals. In fact, some convicts claim to be gay, because they more fear rape from straight inmates than gay ones. I guess you can say Sodom had a rape culture.
Also, Sodom had other vices: first of all, xenophobia. When Lot tried to talk the Sodomites out of gang raping the angels, they replied, “This man came to live here as a foreigner, and now he dares to judge us!”(Gen. 19:9). Ezekiel lists other vices: “See here — this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had majesty, abundance of food, and enjoyed carefree ease; but they did not help the poor and the needy. They were haughty and practiced abominable deeds before Me. Therefore when I saw it I removed them.”(Ez. 16:49-50). This passage doesn’t even mention homosexuality(something even conservative scholars and preachers bring up every so often).
Also, the king of Sodom brought Abraham to see Melchizedek, a priest of God Most High. In the New Testament Melchizedek is seen as a type of Christ. This shows the king of Sodom as a religious type. In other parts of the Bible, God insists justice as necessary to piety (Is. 1:10-18, 58, Amos 5:18-24, Mt. 23, Jam. 1:27), which the Sodomites lacked.
Basically, Sodom’s sin was both individual and group narcissism. They refused to help the less fortunate (according to rabbinic writings, they punished anyone who gave food to a stranger). They were xenophobic, as indicated by their reaction to Lot and their attempt to gang rape the angels. (The rabbis say their streets were paved with gold and that they flooded the approach to their city to restrict immigration.)
All this convinces me that we are not a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah due to recognition of same-sex marriage and trans-inclusive bathrooms. Even if you think homosexuality is always sinful and that it’s wrong to act like the opposite gender, even a literalistic interpretation of the Bible does not support the God-discriminated-against-Sodom line, at least in reference to QUILTBAG people.
However, based on what I shared, I cannot say we are NOT a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. Today USA is one of the most religious countries in the world. Well, arrogance is prevalent, with Evangelicals particularly having a reputation for arrogance. Xenophobia is prevalent in segments of the American population, with certain theologies in Fundamentalism actually baptizing it. There have been cases of sex abuse cover-ups, and, according to many feminists, a rape culture exists in much of American society and includes Fundamentalism. Stats say Americans overall are generous, and Christians have done a lot. But, are we actually helping the poor or are we doing things that look like help but actually harm? Are we caring for the least of these?
However, regardless, the desire for judgment is misplaced. When informed of Sodom’s destruction Abraham interceded, asking God to spare the city, going down from fifty to ten righteous people(Gen. 18:22-33). There is a debate over whether Abraham should have kept going, or whether less than ten was a threshhold indicating the city was corrupt to the core. But what I see is that we should pray for our nations, and we should pursue justice ourselves, thus inspiring others to follow in our footsteps promote a just society. In the New Testament Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of God is here, but that we should pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as in heaven”.