in each generation, stories are interpreted and re-interpreted to seek meaning. the tale of sodom and gemorrah has had past interpretations. this interpretation is one of present day.
what does the tale of sodom and gemorrah have to do with the me too movement? perhaps everything. what does the tale of sodom and gemorrah have to do with workplace sexual harassment? everything.
the tale of sodom and gemorrah is one of sexual imposition. at a dramatic part of the story, two angels visit abraham’s nephew lot in sodom. while god’s decision to destroy sodom and gemorrah was already decided, the city dwellers’ actions toward these two visitors to the city evidence their treatment of others. we will make the assumption that it was these types of acts which targeted the cities for destruction.
the angels came to the city as travelers. lot insisted that they stay at his residence and he offered them hospitality. the city dwellers came to lot’s residence and demanded that they essentially rape the visitors. lot offered his daughters for sex as an alternative. this was rejected by the dwellers.
the torah’s text in genesis reads “and they called to lot and said to him, “where are the men who came to you tonight? bring them out to us, and let us be intimate with them.” genesis 15:4
in modern terms, we can say that, regardless of the angel’s sexual orientations, the city dwellers simply wished to imposed their unwanted sexual advances upon them and subject them to unwanted sexuality.
in society today, there is great emphasis on protecting individuals from unwanted sexuality. this ranges from the physical act of rape to unwanted comments and advances. the bill cosby and harvey weinstein trials serve as evidence.
thus, what does this tale mean for public education? should children be afforded the same protections from educators as workers have in the workplace? as women dating men?
thus, i offer the following question, would a parent of an openly gay child be offended if a teacher gave them a lesson about heterosexuality?
in sum, we must question whether public schools teaching sexuality constitutes an unwanted and uninvited exposure that is impermissible in other places in society? if so, just as in workplace settings, it should not be permitted. this type of education should only be done with parental consent. the materials should be provided to the parents in advance to make an informed decision. provisions should also be made to opt out without public disclosure of the decision to do so.
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