The word “sodomite” is based on a misunderstanding of the biblical text. Sodom was a rich city in the ancient world known for its luxurious living and for its cruelty to the poor and to outsiders. Several Hebrew prophets addressed the sins of Sodom but none of them referred to the modern interpretation that the sin of Sodom was homosexuality. In fact, that interpretation implies that the gang rape of strangers would have been just fine if the victims had been women.

More and more biblical scholars are coming to the uncomfortable conclusion that the real “sodomites” have not been faithful loving gay people, but an inhospitable church.