People find what they want in the Bible. If one looks hard enough, he can find "biblical" support for reincarnation, Eastern religions, Jesus as a guru, divorce for any reason, and flying saucers. Every cult of Christianity uses the Bible to validate its claims and so does some of the occult.
It's not surprising, then, that a recent trend in biblical scholarship holds that a careful reading of Genesis in its historical context offers no solid basis to conclude that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had anything to do with homosexuality.
This view may seem far-fetched to biblical conservatives, but it is taken very seriously in academic circles. It represents a significant challenge to the rank-and-file Christian who finds in the Genesis account a straight-forward condemnation of homosexual behavior.
My goal is to answer that challenge. I have no interest to malign, name-call, offend, attack, bash, belittle, or in any way demean a group of people. I want to determine one thing only: Why did God destroy these two cities? Did it have anything to do with homosexuality itself? In short, what was the sin—or sins—of Sodom and Gomorrah?
Though the context of the account in question begins in Genesis 18:16 during God's conversation with Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre, the details of the encounter at Sodom itself are found in Genesis 19:4-13:
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them." But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof." But they said, "Stand aside." Furthermore, they said, "This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them." So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Then the men said to Lot, "Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it."
Yale historian John Boswell offers four possible reasons for the destruction of Sodom:
(1) The Sodomites were destroyed for the general wickedness which had prompted the Lord to send angels to the city to investigate in the first place; (2) the city was destroyed because the people of Sodom had tried to rape the angels; (3) the city was destroyed because the men of Sodom had tried to engage in homosexual intercourse with the angels...; (4) the city was destroyed for inhospitable treatment of visitors sent from the Lord.
Lot was violating the custom of Sodom...by entertaining unknown guests within the city walls at night without obtaining the permission of the elders of the city. When the men of Sodom gathered around to demand that the strangers be brought out to them, "that they might know them," they meant no more than to "know" who they were, and the city was consequently destroyed not for sexual immorality, but for the sin of inhospitality to strangers.
Englishman D. Sherwin Bailey also argues this way in Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (1955). The men of Sodom wanted to interrogate Lot's guests to see if they were spies. The sin of gang rape was also in view, not homosexuality. In a broader sense, the men of Sodom were inhospitable to Lot's guests.
Apparently, it did not occur to Boswell that possibilities (2) and (4) seem to be at odds. If "to know" the angels means merely to interrogate them, then there is no attempted rape, only an attempted interrogation. If, on the other hand, the men meant to have sexual relations with the visitors (the traditional view) and are guilty of attempted rape, then the interrogation explanation must be abandoned (rendering Boswell’s above summary of the views of modern scholarship somewhat incoherent).
Some of these explanations, however, are not mutually exclusive and may have been factors in their own way. For example, the general wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah (1) could have included rape (2) and/or inhospitality (4).
My principle concern here is to determine if the biblical record indicates that (4) homosexuality factored in at all.
Clues from the Text
Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? We can find clues not just from the Genesis account, but also from the Prophets and the New Testament books 2 Peter and Jude. These give a sense of how ancient Jewish thinkers steeped in Jewish culture understood these texts.
First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. Genesis 18:20 says, "And the Lord said, 'The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.'" Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city.
Second, it seems the judgment of these cities was to serve as a lesson to Abraham and to others that wickedness would be punished. In 2 Peter 2:6 we learn that God condemned and destroyed the cities as "an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter."
Third, peculiar qualities of the sin are described by Jude and Peter. Jude 7 depicts the activity as "gross immorality" and going after "strange flesh." Peter wrote that Lot was "oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men," and "by what he saw and heard...felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds." These people were "those who indulged the flesh in its corrupt desires and despised authority" (2 Peter 2:7-10).
Fourth, there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.
Piecing together the biblical evidence gives us a picture of Sodom's offense. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was some kind of activity—a grave, ongoing, lawless, sensuous activity—that Lot saw and heard and that tormented him as he witnessed it day after day. It was an activity in which the inhabitants indulged the flesh in corrupt desires by going after strange flesh, ultimately bringing upon them the most extensive judgment anywhere in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation.
What do we know about the conduct of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah that fits this description?
Just a Couple of Questions
Was the city destroyed because the men of Sodom tried to rape the angels (option (2) above)? The answer is obviously no. God's judgment could not have been for the rapacious attempt itself because His decision to destroy the cities was made days before the encounter (see Genesis 18:20). Further, Peter makes it clear that the wicked activity was ongoing ("day after day"), not a one-time incident. The outcry had already been going up to God for some time.
Was this a mere interrogation? Though the Hebrew word yada ("to know") has a variety of nuances, it is properly translated in the NASB as "have [sexual] relations with." Though the word does not always have sexual connotations, it frequently does, and this translation is most consistent with the context of Genesis 9:5. There is no evidence that what the townsmen had in mind was a harmless interview. Lot's response—“Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly"—makes it clear they had other intentions.
In addition, the same verb is used in the immediate context to describe the daughters who had not "known" a man and who were offered to the mob instead. Are we to understand Lot to be saying, "Please don't question my guests. Here, talk to my daughters, instead. They've never been interviewed"?
Did God judge Sodom and Gomorrah for inhospitality? Is it true that God's judgment was not for homosexuality per se, but because the people of the town were discourteous to the visitors, violating sacred sanctuary customs by attempting to rape them? A couple of observations raise serious doubt.
First, the suggestion itself is an odd one. To say that the men of Sodom were inhospitable because of the attempted rape is much like saying a husband who's just beaten his wife is an insensitive spouse. It may be true, but it's hardly a meaningful observation given the greater crime.
Second—and more to the textual evidence—it doesn't fit the collective biblical description of the conduct that earned God's wrath: a corrupt, lawless, sensuous activity that Lot saw and heard day after day, in which the men went after strange flesh.
Third, are we to believe that God annihilated two whole cities because they had bad manners, even granting that such manners were much more important then than now? There's no textual evidence that inhospitality was a capital crime. However, homosexuality was punishable by death in Israel (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). Does God ignore the capital crime, yet level two entire cities for a wrong that is not listed anywhere as a serious offense?
The Only One That Fits
The prevailing modern view of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is that the attempted rape of Lot's visitors violated the Mid-East's high code of hospitality (19:9). This inhospitality, however, is an inference, not a specific point made in the text itself.
Further, the inhospitality charge is dependent upon—and eclipsed by—the greater crime of rape, yet neither could be the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah because God planned to judge the cities long before either had been committed. What possibility is left? Only one.
We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, "both young and old, all the people from every quarter" (19:6), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8). After they were struck sightless they still persisted (19:11). These men were totally given over to an overwhelming passion that did not abate even when they were supernaturally blinded by angels.
Homosexuality fits the biblical details. It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah—the "grave," "ungodly," "lawless," "sensual conduct of unprincipled men" that tormented Lot as he "saw and heard" it "day after day," the "corrupt desire" of those that went after "strange flesh."
In their defense, some will cite Ezekiel 16:49-50: "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it." No mention of homosexuality here.
Clearly, the general wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah was great. That's not in question. Our concern here is whether homosexuality was part of that wickedness. Our analysis of Genesis shows that homosexuality was the principle behavior at issue in that passage. Ezekiel simply enumerates additional sins. The prophet doesn't contradict Moses, but rather gives more detail.
Stinginess and arrogance alone did not draw God's wrath. Ezekiel anchored the list of crimes with the word "abominations." This word takes us right back to homosexuality. The conduct Moses refers to in Genesis 18 he later describes in Leviticus as an "abomination" in God’s eyes.
The Mosaic Law has two explicit citations on homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 says, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination [toebah] ." Leviticus 20:13 says, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act [toebah]. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them."
John Boswell offers the standard rebuttal to what appears to be an obvious biblical prohibition of homosexuality:
The Hebrew word "toebah," here translated "abomination," does not usually signify something intrinsically evil, like rape or theft..., but something which is ritually unclean for Jews, like eating pork or engaging in intercourse during menstruation, both of which are prohibited in these same chapters.
Leviticus, the suggestion goes, is not where we generally go for moral instruction. The sections quoted deal with the cult of worship: sacrifice, priesthood, ritual bathing, etc. These directives have to do with ritual purity, not moral purity. An observant Jew could not worship after ritual contamination until he had been ritually cleansed.
Others have added that many details of the Mosaic Law are archaic. Who concerns themselves with mixing wool and linen together (Deuteronomy 22:11)? The death penalty itself doesn't mark homosexuality as particularly heinous. Disobedience to parents was also a capital crime, as was picking up sticks on the Sabbath, yet no one suggests these should be punishable offenses today.
This rejoinder is filled with inconsistencies. First, even if this prohibition was restricted only to ritual purity and the cult of worship, then minimally it applies to Jewish clerics. Yet many who use this approach see no problem with homosexual rabbis and instead champion such "diversity" as a religious virtue. On the other hand, if the Torah's proscriptions no longer apply at all, then any distinction between the cultic and moral aspects of the Mosaic Law is moot; none of it pertains anyway.
Second, it's a serious error in thinking to conclude that if some of the Torah no longer applies, then none of it applies. Jewish thinker Dennis Prager observed, "It is one thing not to put a Torah punishment into practice and quite another to declare that a Torah sin is no longer a sin." [emphasis in the original]
Third, it's true that much of the Law seems to deal with religious activity rather than universal morality. That observation in itself, however, is not enough to summarily dismiss the Torah as a source of binding moral instruction. Ritual purity and moral purity are not always distinct.
Context is king here. Note the positioning of the verses. The toebahof homosexuality is sandwiched between adultery (18:20), child sacrifice (18:21) and bestiality (18:23). Was Moses saying merely that if a priest committed adultery, had sex with an animal, or burned his child on Molech's altar he should be sure to wash up before he came to temple?
More to the point, these sections were not addressed to the priests, but to all the "sons of Israel" (18:2, 20:2). In addition to the prohibitions on adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality just mentioned, Moses also prohibits spiritism (20:6) and incest (20:12).
The conclusion of Leviticus 18 contains these words:
But as for you [the "sons of Israel" (v. 2)], you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled. (18:26-27)
Moses spoke as clearly here as he did in Genesis. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many things, but foremost among them was the sin of homosexuality. In this section of Leviticus, God gives directives not just for ritual purity, but commands to be observed by every Jew, and even by every visitor.
Homosexuality was wrong for the Jews. It was wrong for gentiles who visited the Jews ("aliens"). It was even an abomination that defiled the land when practiced by pagans who inhabited Canaan long before the Jews came.
Homosexuality is a defiling sin, regardless who practices it. It has no place before God among any people, in any age, then or now.
 John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 93.
 Some have suggested the sin was seeking sexual union with angels ("strange flesh"). Though this is a possible interpretation, there's no indication the men knew Lot's visitors were angels. Jude's point is that the Sodomites, like the angels, "did not keep to their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode" (v. 6). "Strange flesh"—the improper domain—wasn't angelic flesh, but homosexual flesh.
 The rejoinder that homosexual rape could still qualify as the ongoing activity fails to convince. Who would be the ongoing victims? Not the townspeople. Because of their sexual proclivity they would not likely resist homosexual advances. Visitors would have to be the target. But if newcomers were molested “day after day,” I’m sure this would put a crimp in the tourist trade. The steady supply of sexual candidates would dwindle rapidly once word got around, with most making a wide berth around the area.
 Strong’s #3045.
 “Know a person carnally, of sexual intercourse...man subj. and obj. (of sodomy) Gn 19:5).” Brown, Driver and Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody ME: 1996), 394. See also Judges 19:22 ff.
 Curiously, this last sentence was overlooked in Boswell’s citation of the text.
 "Lie" is the Hebrew word shakab meaning “lie down” (Strong’s #7901). In this case, it refers to having sexual relations as in Genesis 19:32: "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father" (Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 1012).
 Strong’s #8441.
 Boswell, 100.
 It's curious that some choose to conclude homosexuality was a minor crime because it was no more offensive to God than picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Both were capital offenses. If you want to know how God really felt, look at the punishment He requires.
 Dennis Prager, "Homosexuality, Judaism and Gay Rabbis," The Prager Perspective, 3/1/97.
According to Peter Schmidt in the Chronicle of Higher Education, yet another individual working in higher education has been demolished for saying the wrong thing about homosexuality. The basis on which to define people as "anti-gay" has, however, taken a turn to the absurd (and eerie).
Unlike Angela McCaskill, who was nearly fired from Gallaudet University for signing a petition on gay marriage, Crystal Dixon of the University of Toledo was fired for writing an editorial in a local newspaper. She referred to Exodus and mentioned people who chose to leave the gay lifestyle.
For this column I will stick to the gay male angle, since I have but 1,200 words. Even if we accepted, for argument's sake (which I do not accept), that McCaskill was "anti-gay" because she signed a petition, the case against Dixon is based purely on wild assumptions about sex. To fire Dixon, one must accept that gay men cannot stop themselves from having anal sex or engaging in fellatio. Without anal sex or fellatio, it would seem that a gay couple is tough to distinguish from roommates who like to kiss each other once in a while.
These assumptions bestialize and infantilize gay men. While I have tired of penning editorials about gay controversies, the situation is dire. I feel compelled to write a column once again emphasizing a basic reality: gay sex is a choice. Nobody lacks the power to refrain from having gay sex. Get. Over. It.
Dixon said that gays had the choice to leave the lifestyle (in other words, stop engaging in anal sex and fellatio). According to her detractors, such was tantamount to being anti-gay. Her detractors are following the lead of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists "conversion therapy" as a hate crime.
Scroll through the comments section of any article about these issues. You will see a roll call of gays and pro-gay supporters, issuing confident testimonials that nobody has ever changed from gay to straight. (It's fine to change from straight to gay, according to these tribunes, because that's simply coming out of the closet.) They allude, at various times, to Simon LeVay's 1991 brain study or problematic decades-old research into identical twins, if not warped evolutionary logic from ideologues like David Barash or anecdotes about someone they know. The research has spoken! Anyone who says you can change your sexuality is a lying, right-wing bigot! To which I say the following:
Does anybody who uses the term LGBT remember the "B" in that God-forsaken acronym? Hello? There are bisexuals. I am one of them. Why include us in these categories if you think we don't exist?
Dating and marriage don't magically happen, like going to the bathroom or breathing. They take conscious choices -- where do you hang out? What are you looking for? What type of partner shares your goals? Whether to hang out in gay clubs or straight clubs makes a huge difference; these are completely different cultures. We choose the life we want to live (or leave, for that matter).
Even gay men still choose which sex acts they commit. I hate to admit this, but I worked as a housekeeper in a gay sex club in Manhattan in the early 1990s, when I was desperate for work. I witnessed, literally, thousands of men having sex in the open, with me having to go clean up after them. Very rarely (thank the Lord) did they engage in anal sex.
I have known, personally, scores of gay male couples that barely have any sex at all after they have been together for a while. (They start preferring Monday Night Football and hitting the sack early.) A large portion of the sex club patrons came to watch and then went home. If "Gs" can choose what kind of sex to have, they can also choose not to have sex at all. It's a choice.
In the lurid job I held in a Manhattan sex club, I learned some other things as well. Many men get involved in the gay scene for unexpected reasons. Many of them want fast and inexpensive sex, sometimes because they have trouble with women. They can go to a bathhouse or a cruising zone and pick up men without paying the fortune they'd have to spend on a prostitute.
Moreover, a lot of times I saw people who were addicted to drugs and addicted to anonymous sex; the two compulsions were linked somehow, and there was no way for such people to quit their addiction without quitting their homosexuality. These folks often ended up on the AA circuit or joining a church and getting baptized.
Lastly, a lot of men came to the gay sex scene in order to engage in bondage and sadomasochism, because they were raped as boys. The aftereffects of sexual assault, as we know from studying female rape victims, are complicated and often lead people to repeat or recreate the assault scene. Many of these mentally scarred men did not even have sex in sex clubs, even though they sought male partners to enact their eroticized simulations.
Lastly, straight men do not magically reach puberty with a fully functional sex life because of their nature. They struggle with impotence, might be late bloomers, get embarrassingly aroused in all-male environments occasionally, and sometimes can't find women they are attracted to. To address these issues, many men in relationships with women have to work through their difficulties by talking things over with someone else, who might be a chaplain or even a counselor. Are they all gay? No!
Lastly, I am left with my own life story. I can't change it. I went from being in the gay lifestyle to marrying a woman, having a daughter, and living a happy heterosexual life.
Consider the difference that twenty years make. Twenty years ago, I had never been with a woman, but I had had relations with quite a few men. Virtually all of my friends were gays, lesbians, or women who enjoyed gay company. I found girls pretty, but I was scared of them. Most of them were not attracted to me because I was effeminate.
Now I am twelve years into a happy and faithful marriage to a woman. I sinned at different times, but talking things over with people helped me overcome my harmful behavior. I begged God for forgiveness. You couldn't pay me to have sex with a man at this point in my life. I don't feel the urge -- maybe because I'm in my forties and one calms down in middle age, or maybe because it just wasn't right for me all along.
There's no point in obsessing over my sexual ontology, never mind obsessing over other people's. I have to tend to the garden out back, as Voltaire would say in Candide. We have better things to do with our time -- especially "gay men," who have chosen to go into a dating scene that's small, often incestuous, vulnerable to disease, and sometimes cold. If that's what they want, I salute them and wish them the best. If they want something else in life, I won't judge them for it.
Crystal Dixon pointed out something that no amount of peer-reviewed research can disprove. Gay is not the new black. "Gay" is about sex and genitalia. People we call "gay" make choices about what they do with their genitals; blacks do not make choices about the color of their skin. Period. If one is going to fire Crystal Dixon for harming gay men by reminding all of us that no penis is beyond the executive decisions of its owner, then one might as well fire all the humanities professors in the United States (starting with me), because it seems that millennia of human civilization do not count, and the most advanced nation in the world now expects men to live like rutting, uncontrolled animals.
In short, it's time for gay rights activists to get off their high horses and let other people live.
Robert Oscar Lopez is the author of three new books based on his time in the gay lifestyle, to be published by the owner of the Runaway Pen in 2013.
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- April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren't like them.” 1
- February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011. 2
- April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name be covered when he is making his speech.3
- May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. 4
- April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. 5
- October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. 6
- November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. 7
- January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. 8
- February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. 9
- April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. 10
- August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. 11
- November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. 12
- November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. 13
- December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries' religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. 14
- January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. 15
- February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. 16
- January 2013 – Pastor Louie Giglio is pressured to remove himself from praying at the inauguration after it is discovered he once preached a sermon supporting the Biblical definition of marriage. 17
- February 2013 – The Obama Administration announces that the rights of religious conscience for individuals will not be protected under the Affordable Care Act. 18
- June 2013 – The Obama Department of Justice defunds a Young Marines chapter in Louisiana because their oath mentioned God, and another youth program because it permits a voluntary student-led prayer. 19
- January 2010 – Because of "concerns" raised by the Department of Defense, tiny Bible verse references that had appeared for decades on scopes and gunsights were removed. 20
- June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery. 21
- August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except now, America). 22
- September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. 23
- September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” 24
- November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. 25
- November 2011 – Even while restricting and disapprobating Christian religious expressions, the Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans at the Air Force Academy. 26
- February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. 27
- February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). 28
- February 2012 – The Army ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. 29
- April 2012 – A checklist for Air Force Inns will no longer include ensuring that a Bible is available in rooms for those who want to use them. 30
- May 2012 – The Obama administration opposed legislation to protect the rights of conscience for military chaplains who do not wish to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their strongly-held religious beliefs. 31
- June 2012 – Bibles for the American military have been printed in every conflict since the American Revolution, but the Obama Administration revokes the long-standing U. S. policy of allowing military service emblems to be placed on those military Bibles. 32
- January 2013 – President Obama announced his opposition to a provision in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act protecting the rights of conscience for military chaplains. 33
- April 2013 – Officials briefing U.S. Army soldiers placed "Evangelical Christianity" and "Catholicism" in a list that also included Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas as examples of "religious extremism." 34
- April 2013 – The U.S. Army directs troops to scratch off and paint over tiny Scripture verse references that for decades had been forged into weapon scopes. 35
- April 2013 - The Air Force creates a "religious tolerance" policy but consults only a militant atheist group to do so -- a group whose leader has described military personnel who are religious as 'spiritual rapists' and 'human monsters'36 and who also says that soldiers who proselytize are guilty of treason and sedition and should be punished to hold back a "tidal wave of fundamentalists." 37
- May 2013 - The Pentagon announces that "Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable. "Proselytizing (inducing someone to convert to one's faith) goes over that line," 38 affirming if a sharing of faith makes someone feel uncomfortable that it could be a court-marital offense 39 -- the military equivalent of a civil felony.
- May 2013 - An Air Force officer was actually made to remove a personal Bible from his own desk because it "might" appear that he was condoning the particular religion to which he belonged. 40
- June 2013 - The U. S. Air Force, in consultation with the Pentagon, removed an inspirational painting that for years has been hanging at Mountain Home Air Force Base because its title was "Blessed Are The Peacemakers" -- a phrase from Matthew 5:9 in the Bible. 41
- June 2013 – The Obama administration “strongly objects” to a Defense Authorization amendment to protect the constitutionally-guaranteed religious rights of soldiers and chaplains, claiming that it would have an “adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.” 42
- July 2013 - When an Air Force sergeant with years of military service questioned a same-sex marriage ceremony performed at the Air Force Academy's chapel, he received a letter of reprimand telling him that if he disagreed, he needed to get out of the military. His current six-year reenlistment was then reduced to only one-year, with the notification that he "be prepared to retire at the end of this year."43
- January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations.44
- January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. 45
- March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. 46
- March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.47
- March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 48
- May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. 49 He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. 50
- May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. 51
- July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 52
- September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” 53
- July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion. 54
- August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. 55
- September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.56
- February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 57
- March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. 58
- July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. 59
- September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 60
- October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. 61
- July 2012 - The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade - specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego. 62
- December 2012 – Despite having campaigned to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, President Obama once again suspends the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which requires the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the American Embassy there. 63
- April 2013 – The United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID), an official foreign policy agency of the U.S. government, begins a program to train homosexual activists in various countries around the world to overturn traditional marriage and anti-sodomy laws, targeting first those countries with strong Catholic influences, including Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala. 64
- June 2013 – The Obama Administration finalizes requirements that under the Obamacare insurance program, employers must make available abortion-causing drugs, regardless of the religious conscience objections of many employers and even despite the directive of several federal courts to protect the religious conscience of employers. 65
- May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. 66
- April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. 67
- April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. 68
- August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. 69
- August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. 70
- 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. 71
- October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. 72
- February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, 73 but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.74
1. Sarah Pulliam Baily, "Obama: ‘They cling to guns or religion’," Christianity Today, April 13, 2008. (Return)
2. Aliza Marcus, "Obama to Lift ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers," Bloomberg, February 27, 2009; Sarah Pulliam Baily, "Obama Admin. Changes Bush ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers," Christianity Today, February 18, 2011. (Return)
3. Jim Lovino, "Jesus Missing From Obama’s Georgetown Speech," NBC Washington, April 17, 2009. (Return)
4. Johanna Neuman, “Obama end Bush-era National Prayer Day Service at White House," Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009.(Return)
5. Chris McGreal, “Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for U.S. Ambassador,” The Guardian, April 14, 2009. (Return)
6. Meredith Jessup, “Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence,” The Blaze, October 19, 2010.(Return)
7. "Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia," The White House, November 10, 2010.(Return)
8. LadyImpactOhio, " Feds sued by Veterans to allow stolen Mojave Desert Cross to be rebuilt," Red State, January 14, 2011.(Return)
9. Marrianne Medlin, “Amid criticism, President Obama moves to fill vacant religious ambassador post,” Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2011; Thomas F. Farr, “Undefender of the Faith,” Foreign Policy, April 5, 2012. (Return)
10. Chris Johnson, “ENDA passage effort renewed with Senate introduction,” Washington Blade, April 15, 2011. (Return)
11. Chuck Donovan, “HHS’s New Health Guidelines Trample on Conscience,” Heritage Foundation, August 2, 2011. (Return)
12. Todd Starns, “Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial,” Fox News, November 4, 2011. (Return)
13. Joel Siegel, “Obama Omits God From Thanksgiving Speech, Riles Critics,” ABC News, November 25, 2011. (Return)
14. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day,” U.S. Department of State, December 6, 2011. (Return)
15. Ted Olson, “Church Wins Firing Case at Supreme Court,” Christianity Today, January 11, 2012. (Return)
16. Audrey Hudson, “Obama administration religious service for student loan forgiveness,” Human Events, February 15, 2012. (Return)
17. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Minister Backs Out of Speech at Inaugural,” New York Times, January 10, 2013; Eric Marrapodi, “Giglio bows out of inauguration over sermon on gays,” CNN, January 10, 2013.(Return)
18.Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin’s HHS Mandate Revision Likely Excludes Hobby Lobby,” LifeNews.com, February 1, 2013; Dan Merica, “Obama proposal would let religious groups opt-out of contraception mandate,” CNN, February 1, 2013. (Return)
19. Todd Starnes, “DOJ Defunds At-Risk Youth Programs over “God” Reference,” Townhall, June 25, 2013. (Return)
20. Todd Spangler, “U.S. firm to remove Bible references from gun sights,” USA Today, January 21, 2010. (Return)
21. “Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” Fox News, June 29, 2011. (Return)
22. Jason Ukman, “Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages that train missle launch officers,” Washington Post, August 2, 2011. (Return)
23. "Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion," Department of the Air Force, September 1, 2011. (Return)
24. "Wounded, Ill, and Injured Partners in Care Guidelines," Department of the Navy (accessed on February 29, 2012).(Return)
25. "Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity," Fox News Radio, November 4, 2011. (Return)
26. Jenny Dean, "Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans," Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2011.(Return)
27. Ken Blackwell, "Gen. Boykin Blocked At West Point," cnsnews.com, February 1, 2012. (Return)
28. Geoff Herbert, " Air Force unit removes 'God' from logo; lawmakers warn of 'dangerous precedent'," syracuse.com, February 9, 2012. (Return)
29. Todd Starnes, "Army Silences Catholic Chaplains," Fox News Radio, February 6, 2012. (Return)
30. Markeshia Ricks, "Bible checklist for Air Force lodges going away," Air Force Times, April 16, 2012. (Return)
31. Patrick Goodenough, "White House 'Strongly Objects' to Legislation Protecting Military Chaplains from Doing Same-Sex Weddings or Being Forced to Act Against Conscience," cnsnews.com, May 16, 2012. (Return)
32. "U.S. military insignia no longer allowed on Bibles," CBN News, June 14, 2012. (Return)
33. Billy Hallowell, “Obama Opposes NDAA’s ‘Rights of Conscience’ for Military Chaplains & Members, Vows to Protects Rights of Gays,” The Blaze, January 4, 2013; Paul Conner, “Obama calls NDAA conscience clause for military chaplains ‘unnecessary and ill-advised’,” The Daily Caller, January 3, 2013. (Return)
34. Jack Minor, "Military Warned 'evangelicals' No. 1 Threat," WND, April 5, 2013. (Return)
35. Todd Starnes, "Army Removes Bible Reference from Scopes," Fox News Radio, April 22, 2013. (Return)
36. "Chaplain endorsers ask Air Force for equal time," Alliance Defending Freedom, April 30, 2013. (Return)
37. Todd Starnes, "Pentagon: Religious Proselytizing is Not Permitted," Fox News Radio, April 30, 2013. (Return)
38. "Liberty Institute Calls On U.S. Department Of Defense To Abandon Shift In Military's Proselytizing Policy," PR Newswire, May 7, 2013; Todd Starnes, "Air Force Officer Told to Remove Bible from Desk," Townhall.com, May 3, 2013. (Return)
39. "Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith," Breitbart, May 1, 2013. (Return)
40. Todd Starnes, "Air Force Officer Told to Remove Bible from Desk," Townhall.com, May 3, 2013. (Return)
41. Hellen Cook, “Pentagon Censors Christian Art,” Christian News Wire, January 21, 2010. (Return)
42. Todd Starnes, “Obama ‘Strongly Objects’ to Religious Liberty Amendment,” Townhall, June 12, 2013. (Return)
43. Chad Groening, "Attorney demands answers for Air National Guard sergeant punished for beliefs," OneNewsNow, July 15, 2013. (Return)
44. Jeff Mason and Deborah Charles, "Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding," Reuters, January 23, 2009. (Return)
45. "Obama pick: Taxpayers must fund abortions," World Net Daily, January 27, 2009. (Return)
46. Steven Ertelt, "Pro-Life Groups Left Off Obama’s Health Care Summit List, Abortion Advocates OK," LifeNews, March 5, 2009. (Return)
47. " Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding," Fox News, March 9, 2009. (Return)
48. Steven Ertelt, “ Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA,” LifeNews, March 26, 2009; Steven Ertelt, "President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation," LifeNews, February 11, 2012.(Return)
49. Steven Ertelt, "Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education," LifeNews, May 8, 2009. (Return)
50. Steven Ertelt, "Obama Budget Funds Sex Ed Over Abstinence on 16-1 Margin," LifeNews, February 14, 2011. (Return)
51. Steven Ertelt, "Obama Admin Terrorism Dictionary Calls Pro-Life Advocates Violent, Racist," LifeNews, May 5, 2009.(Return)
52. "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies," The White House, June 17, 2009. (Return)
53. Matt Cover, "Obama’s EEOC Nominee: Society Should ‘Not Tolerate Private Beliefs’ That ‘Adversely Affect’ Homosexuals,"cnsnews.com, January 18, 2010. (Return)
54. Tess Civantos, "White House Spent $23M of Taxpayer Money to Back Kenyan Constitution That Legalizes Abortion, GOP Reps Say," Fox News, July 22, 2010. (Return)
55. Steven Ertelt, "Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study," LifeNews, August 26, 2010. (Return)
56. Steven Ertelt, "President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation," LifeNews, February 11, 2012.(Return)
57. Brian Montopoli, "Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA," CBSNews, February 23, 2011. (Return)
58. Steven Ertelt, "Obama Admin Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos," LifeNews, March 2, 2011. (Return)
59. Elisabeth Bumiller, "Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy," New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778. (Return)
60. Luis Martinez, "Will Same Sex Marriages Pose a Dilemma for Military Chaplains?," ABC News, October 12, 2011. (Return)
61. Jerry Markon, "Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups," Washington Post, October 31, 2011. (Return)
62. "Pentagon: Service members now allowed to wear uniforms in gay pride parades," NY Daily News, July 19, 2012. (Return)
63. Ken Blackwell, "Guest Opinion: Take a Risk for Peace. Move our Embassy to Jerusalem!," Catholic Online, June 5, 2013.(Return)
64. Tony Perkins, "Obama administration begins training homosexual activists around the world," LifeSiteNews, June 6, 2013. (Return)
65. "Obama Administration Ignores Outcries, Finalizes HHS Mandate Targeting Religious Freedom," Liberty Counsel, July 1, 2013; Baptist Press, "Moore, others: Final mandate rules fail," Townhall, July 1, 2013 (Return)
66. Barack Obama, “ Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, September 1, 2009; Kristi Keck, “ Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance,” CNN, May 6, 2009; Dan Gilgoff, “ The White House on National Day of Prayer: A Proclamation, but No Formal Ceremony,” U.S. News, May 1, 2009. (Return)
67. "Franklin Graham Regrets Army's Decision to Rescind Invite to Pentagon Prayer Service," Fox News, April 22, 2010.(Return)
68. “Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document,” Fox News, April 7, 2010; "Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'," Fox News, May 27, 2010; "'Islamic Radicalism' Nixed From Obama Document," CBSNews, April 7, 2010. (Return)
69. Chuck Norris, “ President Obama: Muslim Missionary? (Part 2),” Townhall.com, August 24, 2010; Chuck Norris, "President Obama: Muslim Missionary?," Townhall.com, August 17, 2010.(Return)
70. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, August 13, 2010; "Obama Comes Out in Favor of Allowing Mosque Near Ground Zero," Fox News, August 13, 2010; Pamela Geller, "Islamic Supremacism Trumps Christianity at Ground Zero," American Thinker, July 21, 2011. (Return)
71. "WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation," Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; "President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional," American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).(Return)
72. "Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House," Big Peace (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)
73. Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, “ Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning,” CNN, February 23, 2012. (Return)
74. "Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan," CNN, May 22, 2009. (Return)