Happy Sunday, my brothers and sisters.
It's upsetting when your entire town gets destroyed, but probably feels worse when your mom becomes a pillar of salt solely because she cranes her neck while fleeing destruction.*
This still doesn't excuse the Lot Girls' behavior.
Lot, the saltwife's husband, also is in bad shape. Understandably disturbed by the destruction of his town and his wife's abrupt change in mineral composition, Lot refuses to resettle in a city called Zoar. Instead, he takes his two daughters into the mountains -- presumably the Ozarks -- and the three live together in a cave. Very Mosquito Coast, but with a twist.
Brothers and sisters, last week we first learned about the dangers of mixing wine, sleep and adult children. Drinking and indiscretion prompted Noah to exile Ham, the peeping-tom son who looked at Noah's private parts after Noah passed out drunk.
Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that humanity's early tribes made a lot of missteps with alcohol. My freshman year of college included mistakes that I haven't experienced before or since. Maybe one way to interpret the Book of Genesis is to think of it as a world populated entirely by college freshmen who are new to alcohol, where people learn from their drinking errors and move on to live somewhat responsible lives.** Genesis is the Bible's cautionary tale we all hear in orientation, about the young midget who died of alcohol poisoning because he drank a bottle of tequila during Sig Ep rush, so neither should you.
Lot's two daughters worry that their dad is old. They face a shortage of eligible bachelors,*** since they live in a cave, not a city like Zoar.
Big Sister concocts a scheme to get Lot drunk on wine, at which point she and Little Sister "will lie with him, that we may preserve the seed of our father."
I don't follow the logic. Their father's "seed" has been preserved through them. I'm not sure why that's inadequate. It's possible that they were nearing menopause and this was the last chance, but if that's the case, Zoar couldn't have been that far -- surely Zoar's bachelors were preferable. Or maybe 1/2 of their father's seed wasn't enough, and they needed offspring that was 3/4 seed. Whatever -- the Lot Girls didn't weigh alternatives.
Their emotionally troubled plan gained momentum. Accordingly, "they made their father drink wine that night," and Big Sister goes in to "lay with her father."
Lot apparently is blind drunk because "he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose."
Imagine how horrible it would be if the blameless old widower woke from a sweet little dream and saw his oldest daughter riding cowgirl.
The next day, crazy Big Sister demands more, and tells Little Sister that it's her turn. That night, they get dad all fucked up on alcohol again; Little Sister "lay with him," and again, Lot is too hammered to know what happened.
Punchline: "Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father."
OH MY G_D NO
Shocking material. Earlier, Ham's life was torn apart because he happened to walk into a tent where drunk Noah was passed out naked. Lot's two amorous daughters don't face consequences like that, even though they forced their dad to get blind drunk, secretly lady-raped him, and bore his children.
Lot must have been senile, if not catatonic. I find it frankly unbelievable that a man -- even a very old man -- could inseminate grown women in the natural way without waking up, even if drunk, and particularly on consecutive nights.
Seems to me that if God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah because of decadent citizenry, the Lot Girls were in for at least a little suffering. Ham's twittering, childish penis fixation has nothing on these bitches, and he was forced into exile. The Lot Girls don't face any consequences, not even mosquito bites, stubbed toes or a minor plague like cold or acne.
I tried to find a positive message from the ugly incident, something about female empowerment or inverting conventional incest narratives. It didn't work.****
The moral of Genesis: If your dad is passed out drunk, you can't look at him if he's naked, but you can make him involuntarily penetrate you.
*One thing you notice about the Bible: God operates like a high-school substitute teacher, the kind that was over-obsessed with respect issues and demanded full compliance at all times, regardless of how arbitrary the activity. "Now we'll go around the room and everyone will say their mother's maiden name." "Why would we do that?" "[CrimeNotes], go stand in the hallway." That's God's leadership style. I don't even want to engage the circumcision mess that arises a few chapters earlier. This is another one of those incidents I am vaguely aware of in my secular life, but a chapter makes it clear that many adult men experienced extreme penis misery***** for no clear reason. It was the Great Foreskin Massacre of 3000 B.C.E.
**Dear believers: Is the rest of the Bible about the consequences of drinking?
*** The daughters had husbands before they fled to the cave. Lot tried to get the husbands to leave town with him, but the husbands thought that Lot was crazy so they laughed at him and hence were destroyed by the Lord.
****Not unlike Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden. It's a nasty, awful book and McEwan's great writing didn't redeem it. It's probably the Lot Girls' favorite.
*****So far, the book is about murder, genitals, agriculture and inebriation, roughly in that order. This isn't a bad thing, but it's not what I expected.