Catholic Family News

Lessons from Sodom and Gomorrah

Editor’s Note: This past weekend (June 1-2, 2019), as we entered the month of June — traditionally devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — it was quite predictable (albeit tragic) to see the infamous Fr. James Martin, S.J. tweet in support of “LGBT Pride Month”:

This Jesuit priest is notorious for his support of homosexuality — even proffering a sacrilegious “rainbow rosary” — while ridiculously implying that those who oppose his propaganda aren’t “orthodox”.

On the other hand, it was rather baffling and demoralizing to see President Donald J. Trump tweet a similar message, which actually appeared the day before Fr. Martin’s:

Granted, the Trump Administration announced earlier this year “that it will be spearheading a global effort to get countries to end their criminalization of homosexuality,” according to LifeSiteNews, but no Republican president prior to Trump has ever publicly recognized the month of June as “LGBT Pride Month” and encouraged American citizens to “celebrate” it as such (former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both Democrats, were the first to issue presidential proclamations on the subject).

In light of this sad development, we offer readers the following article, which first appeared in the May 2019 Print Edition of Catholic Family News (subscribe HERE). May it serve as a sobering reminder of the fact that Almighty God will not be mocked indefinitely — especially when it comes to individuals and nations reveling in the filth of sodomy.


The Bible, particularly the Old Testament, contains many supposedly improbable or otherwise unproven claims. Yet, slowly but surely, modern scientific disciplines are confirming many of them. One early troublesome example was the existence of the Hittite people, who are mentioned about 50 times in the Bible. For most of the 19th century, Biblical archaeologists could find no independent evidence of these people and thus many concluded that they were a figment of the fertile Jewish imagination. However, in 1876, the work of a German archaeologist in Turkey proved that the Hittites did indeed exist.

Along with other “fantastic legends” in the Book of Genesis, such as the Garden of Eden, Noah’s ark, and the tower of Babel is the dramatic story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). Last November, both the scientific community and Christian observers took note of an archaeological report which may well have explained and confirmed the ancient Biblical account of the destruction of those two cities.  The findings were announced at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) by an American scientist, Dr. Phillip Silvia, who has supervised an archaeological dig in Jordan since 2006.

Scientists Confirm Biblical Account of Fiery Destruction

Known as the Tel Al-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP), Silvia’s international team of scientists has produced some impressive discoveries in an area known as the East Ghor, at the northeast corner of the Dead Sea and within a few hours’ walk of Jericho, arguably the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. As reported by World Net Daily, excavations at several sites

“indicate that all were continuously occupied for at least 2,500 years until a sudden, collective collapse toward the end of the Bronze Age. Ground surveys have located 120 additional, smaller settlements in the region that the researchers suspect were also exposed to extreme, collapse-inducing heat and wind. An estimated 40,000 to 65,000 people inhabited Middle Ghor when the cosmic calamity hit…What’s more, the outer layers of many pieces of pottery from same time period show signs of having melted into glass. Zircon crystals in those glassy coats formed within one second at extremely high temperatures, perhaps as hot as the surface of the sun…And tiny bits of rock were found on pottery fragments, suggesting it ‘rained down.’”

Let us compare these scientific findings with the key verses of Genesis (19:24-25 and 27-28):

“And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he destroyed these cities, and all the country about, all the inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from the earth…And Abraham got up early in the morning and in the place where he had stood before with the Lord. He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and the whole land of that country and he saw the ashes rise up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace.”

As further noted by LifeSiteNews, the conclusions of the TeHEP researchers are that the Middle Ghor,

“where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are believed to have existed, were [sic] in fact destroyed by a meteor that exploded in the sky above, raining down superheated matter and raising temperatures to thousands of degrees, a theory that matches the account of the cities’ destruction contained in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. According to the theory, the meteor exploded at low altitude with the force of a ten megaton atomic bomb at an altitude of about one kilometer over the northeast corner of the Dead Sea, and obliterated all of civilization in the 25-kilometer-wide circular plain that constitutes the ‘Middle Ghor.’”

The interdisciplinary team of scientists has calculated that the calamity occurred approximately 3,700 years ago. Further, because “shockwaves from the explosion pushed a bubbling brine of Dead Sea salts over once-fertile farmland,” the area was not inhabited by human life again for about 600 years.

The absence of a discernible crater in the Middle Ghor from a meteor strike may have initially puzzled the scientists but a similar event was noted in Russia in the early 20th century – a meteor that exploded in an airburst above the ground. In June of 1908, a massive explosion in remote eastern Siberia, known as the Tunguska Event, leveled some 770 square miles yet caused no human casualties. Scientists have likewise credited it to a meteoric airburst.

The scientific estimate of the date of the event (1700 BC) is tantalizingly close to the presumed life of Abraham and his nephew Lot, associated with Sodom (Abraham is generally believed to have died about 2000 BC). It also aligns closely with other estimates of the destruction of the two cities. Additionally, the 600-year absence of life in the Middle Ghor seems to have ended about the time of the wandering Israelites’ entry into the Promised Land.

Sodom Mentioned Throughout Scripture

Casual Christians typically associate Sodom and Gomorrah with only the Book of Genesis. However, a comprehensive review of Scripture reveals that the two cities are mentioned together in five other books of the Old Testament (Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Zephaniah). For example, Deuteronomy 29:22-23 states that men of future generations “shall come from afar, seeing the plagues of that land and the evils wherewith the Lord hath afflicted it, burning it with brimstone, and the heat of salt, so that it cannot be sown any more, nor any green thing grow therein, after the example of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha, Adama and Seboim, which the Lord destroyed in His wrath and indignation.”

Additionally, references to Sodom and Gomorrah occur in two of the four Gospels (Matthew and Luke), and three Epistles (Romans, 2 Peter, and Jude). A separate search for “Sodom” reveals additional texts to include the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation). The fact that Christ Himself refers directly to Sodom and Gomorrah in two Gospels should be sufficient evidence for us to conclude that the Genesis 19 story was no fanciful legend. For example, in Matthew 10:15, the Lord says, “Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city” which rejects the Gospel. This text and the two others from Matthew (11:23-24) and Luke (10:12) are quite similar. Collectively, they reinforce Christ’s message about a coming day of judgment and emphasize that the consequences of rejecting His teaching are for more severe than those suffered by previous societies before the coming of the Messiah and His establishment of the New Covenant. Ultimately, the fire and brimstone rained down upon the wicked Sodomites is a reminder of “the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Apoc. 21:8) that awaits all unrepentant souls.

Reason for Sodom’s Destruction is Clear

We now turn to the issue of causation. Given the many other ancient civilizations and cities which spread belief in false gods and exhibited sinful behavior, why did God apparently “single out” Sodom and Gomorrah for divine retribution? Here we might recall the story of Noah and the ark, also spoken of by Christ at Matthew 24 and Luke 17. In juxtaposing the two stories, we see that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a catastrophic repetition of the great deluge, but on a local, as opposed to global, scale. In both cases, the vast majority of people died suddenly and violently, while only two tiny remnants (Noah and Lot and their families) escaped divine retribution. Just as modern scientists are investigating Sodom and Gomorrah, so do they continue to explore the story of Noah’s ark.

What they will never learn, however, is the exact cause of God’s wrath in the time of Noah. The Scriptural text here (Gen. 6:1-5) is quite mysterious: “And after that men began to be multiplied upon the earth, and daughters were born to them. The sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took themselves wives of all which they chose. And God said: My spirit shall not remain in man forever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown. And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, it repented Him that He had made man on the earth.” The Church has given us no official exegesis of this passage. However, one plausible explanation is the “sons of God” were fallen angels (demons) who “mated with human females or possessed human males who then mated with human females.” These unions resulted in “mighty men of old, men of renown,” also known as the Nephilim or “giants.”

As for Sodom, Genesis 13:13 tells us that “the men of Sodom were very wicked, and sinners before the face of the Lord, beyond measure.” Shortly after, the two angels sent by the Lord to Sodom were received by Lot and invited into his home:

“But before they went to bed, the men of the city beset the house both young and old, all the people together. And they called Lot, and said to him: Where are the men that came in to thee at night? Bring them out hither that we may know them. Lot went out to them, and shut the door after him, and said: no not so, I beseech you, my brethren, do not commit this evil. I have two daughters who as yet have not known man. I will bring them out to you, and abuse you them as it shall please you, so that you do no evil to these men, because they are come in under the shadow of my roof. But they said: Get thee back thither. And again: Thou camest in, said they, as a stranger, was it to be a judge? Therefore, we will afflict thee more than them. And they pressed very violently upon Lot, and they were even at the point of breaking open the doors. And behold the men [angels] put out their hand, and drew in Lot unto them, and shut the door.  And them that were without they struck with blindness from the least to the greatest, so that they could not find the door” (Gen. 19:4-11).

As one contemporary commentary notes about this incident, “when a group of Sodom’s worst perverts tried to rape the angels at Lot’s house, they were struck blind. But their homosexual enslavement was so intense that even after being blinded ‘they weaned themselves trying to find the doorway’ in order to satisfy their perverted lust.” Certainly there are varying interpretations today of the evil of Sodom, ranging from the lack of hospitality (promoted heavily by, you guessed it, the homosexual community) to mob violence. But there can be no doubt that in Catholic tradition, from the New Testament, to the Fathers of the Church, and the Saints of the ages that homosexual behavior was the principal evil of Sodom and the sin that caused its destruction at the hand of God.

To take one example among many, we provide the commentary of Saint Gregory the Great:

“Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord. He had decided to punish Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment he chose emphasized the shame of that crime. For sulfur stinks, and fire burns. So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire.”

From Sodom to Akita

In summary, we can safely conclude that the punishments of Noah’s time and of Sodom and Gomorrah were both linked to an abhorrent abuse of man’s sexual powers. What have these ancient catastrophes to do with our world today? We might find an intriguing clue in the apparitions of Our Lady at Akita, Japan, in 1973. Speaking to the 42-year-old Sister Agnes Sasagawa for the final time on October 13 (the anniversary of her final apparition at Fatima), the Blessed Virgin made this remarkable prediction, which evokes the stories of both Noah and of Sodom and Gomorrah:

“As I told you, if people do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the Flood, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful [emphasis added]. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres, churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the devil will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon would be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer any pardon for them.”

First, we should note that the timing of Our Lady’s prophecy (1973) was concurrent with the implosion of the priesthood, the decay of seminaries, and the pestilence of homosexuality which began infecting the clergy at that time. Secondly, the Blessed Virgin’s words should remind us of the outrageous scandal of homosexuality and other sexual abuse among the clergy which dominates headlines today. When “cardinal opposes cardinal” and “bishop opposes bishop,” it is no wonder that the USCCB, for example, can only wring its hands in anguish at the steady stream of appalling public revelations about priestly immorality and heresy. Moreover, it allows the duplicitous Fr. James Martin to roam freely from diocese to diocese, spreading his pro-homosexual apostasy. The bishops’ dereliction of duty on Martin is reminiscent of Germany’s secret support for Lenin, in exile at the start of the 1917 Russian Revolution. As Winston Churchill famously observed, the Germans “turned upon Russia the most grisly of weapons. They transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus from Switzerland to Russia.” Today, however, rather than recognizing the immoral virus being promoted by Martin and isolating him from the faithful, the bishops are actually abetting his apostasy.

Modern Corruption and Culpability

The evils of the age of Noah and of Sodom and Gomorrah were certainly severe to provoke such drastic responses from heaven. However, there are significant differences when they are compared to our modern (and Modernist) world. First, it seems highly unlikely that they had an official legal or governmental authority which formally sanctioned not only homosexual behavior itself but homosexual relationships as a de facto corrupt surrogate for the divinely instituted sacrament of marriage. Secondly, the ancient societies did not develop a global network of erotic “art” and images for sexual gratification, if only for lack of know-how. Third, they did not create massive and popular business models which marketed contraceptives and killed infants in the womb for profit. Fourth, they did not disingenuously claim to be “protecting the environment” as their rationale for coercing abortion and otherwise enabling sexual relations without natural consequence. Lastly, they did not have the teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ and His Vicar, to whom the Lord gave the “keys to the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).  Given these dramatic contrasts between the ancient societies and our own, does it not seem likely that our own world, at some point, will suffer a fate at least as frightful as theirs?


We close with brief extracts from the Epistles of Peter and Jude. In 2 Peter 2:5-9, the Apostle who received “the keys to kingdom” from Christ Himself wrote as follows:

“And [God] spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. And reducing the cities of the Sodomites, and of the Gomorrhites, into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly. And [God] delivered just Lot, oppressed by the injustice and lewd conversation of the wicked. For in sight and hearing he was just: dwelling among them, who from day to day vexed the just soul with unjust works. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented.”

We find a similar message in the fascinating Epistle of Jude (1:7):

“As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighboring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.”

First, we note that Jude speaks of “neighboring cities” being destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah; this is consistent with the discovery by the Tel Al-Hammam Excavation Project of numerous nearby settlements. Secondly, Jude specifically equates the fire and brimstone as “eternal fire,” a sign of eternal damnation. Finally, and most importantly, both Peter and Jude refer to the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah as “an example” for future generations, which surely – and perhaps especially – includes our own.

Gary Taphorn

Gary Taphorn survived six years of education at two Jesuit universities and is now retired after a career as a U.S. Army officer and a Department of Defense civilian. His interests include national security issues, Church history, and the Middle East, especially as it entails the intersection of Christianity, Islam, and Israel/Zionism. He is a pro-life activist and the grandfather of eleven.

Gary Taphorn

Gary Taphorn survived six years of education at two Jesuit universities and is now retired after a career as a U.S. Army officer and a Department of Defense civilian. His interests include national security issues, Church history, and the Middle East, especially as it entails the intersection of Christianity, Islam, and Israel/Zionism. He is a pro-life activist and the grandfather of eleven.