2. Reality Blockers, Sexual Language, and Reasoned Reality

Article Abstract

In order to show that the concepts developed in the previous section are not just products of imagination, the ancient biblical story about Sodom as well as modern uses of sexual language are analyzed. According to traditional understanding, when some foreigners came to visit Lot and all the inhabitants of Sodom gathered and demanded that the foreigners be brought out so that they may “know” them, since the word “to know” is frequently used in the Bible as a euphemism for sexual intercourse, the request of the Sodomites is taken as proof not only of their sexual interests, but also as proof of their sexual orientation. This understanding is surprising taking into account that sexual language is used in all languages and cultures to suggest violence and not sexual interests, but what is even more surprising is that the story about Sodom includes details that act as powerful reality blockers that makes it impossible to understand that the inhabitants of the city contemplated actual homosexual intercourse with those foreigners, such as the fact that not only the males were present on this occasion, but also al the residents, from the youngest to the oldest, which would include women who could not have had homosexual intercourse with some foreigners who are presented as men. Therefore, the story is not about the supposed universal homosexuality of the residents of Sodom, but rather about the xenophobia that has characterized all civilizations including those of modern Americans and Europeans. Although the use of sexual language to express violence in this biblical story is surprisingly misunderstood even by scholars in spite of their expert training in interpreting texts, when similar language is used in swear words  is never misunderstood even by ordinary people as expressing violence although no explicit reality blocker is present. The reason sexual language can be used to express violence without presenting a reality blocker is because sexual activity is private while violence is regularly public and therefore, when sexual language is used in public, since it cannot express sexual interests, it can only mean violence, particularly when it happens during a match on a soccer field in front of tens of thousands of spectators. While the use of sexual language to express violence is read to mean homosexuality in the story about Sodom, interpreting any description that refers to sex as violence against women in the Bible has become a universal methodological procedure by what is called feminist scholarship. As an example, the story about the ritual used to cure the jealousy of a husband who suspects his wife of having been unfaithful is presented. This confusion between the double function of sexual language to refer both to the objective reality of sex as well as the reasoned reality of violence is at the root of the confusion between sex and gender. Because ancient people understood reality as being of two kinds, that is, both natural or objective as well as created by humans or reasoned, taking into account that Genesis wants to provide an account of how the world as we know it came into existence, in the first chapter presents how God created the natural world, and in the second chapter God creates human beings equipped with the same ability to create by having the image of God that consists in the ability to create things using the same rationality that God used when he himself created the natural world. As a result, we are living in a double world: on the one hand, we live in a natural world that God created and no one can tell that there is anything wrong with it, and on the other, in a reasoned world created by humans where humans suffer the consequences of many things that they create for the wrong reasons because they do not follow consistently the pattern that God presented as a model in the first chapter when created the natural world.


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