In part one we looked only at the story of Lot in relation to why Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. It had a whole lot to do with rape. Here is the link to that: Sodom and Gomorrah Thinking Part 1: The Story of Lot
In 2001, Gordon B Hinckley, Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time, said: ” All of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah haunt our society. Our young people have never faced a greater challenge. We have never seen more clearly the lecherous face of evil.” (Living in the Fullness of Times, Oct 2001, General Conference)
Mr Hinckley, I do agree with you. We have evidence in our news of people raping and sexually assaulting others, many of them getting away with it. Here are a few specific cases that are a drop in the bucket.
We have the Steubinville case where a girl was gang raped repeatedly by a some members of the football team and the coach tried to hide it, and some news outlets even spoke about how awful it is that the lives of the boys were ruined, ignoring the longterm effects on the poor girl. Yeah, no joke, the football program was more important than the crime. (about the case: 1,2, 3)
We have Brock Turner, who raped an incapacitated woman. She was rescued by two good men. The names of those good men are Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson. Modern day heroes whom every man needs to emulate. (more about those awesome men, thank you, we love you, we need more men like you) Yet, despite the fact that we have two witnesses, we have a rape degraded to “20 minutes of action” (ugh – spoken by his dad, now we see where he got it from) and the victim was asked questions as if she were the criminal (her letter). What makes it worse is that he only got 6 months in jail. Scratch that. That’s his sentencing. He actually served only half that (sigh). (more on the case)
We have an assistant high school soccer coach sexually assaulting students. (link)
We have a 14 year old girl who was pimped out by her parents to make car payments and also for drugs. The media would call it sex, which it isn’t, it’s human trafficking and rape. And one media outlet almost got it right by calling it pimping but put the word pimp in quotes as if it weren’t really pimping, oh wait, human trafficking. (couple articles: 1 2 3).
Three officers finger raped a woman on camera, and were not disciplined for it, despite no warrant and no real cause for it. (I have no words)
We have the whole “incel” movement, a group of men who say they are involuntarily celibate and want to force women, particularly pretty women, to have sex with them (this would be called rape). There is a lot of info on this and I particularly appreciate this blog post about it.
Then we have the ENTIRE #metoo movement! Nearly 18 million women have reported sexual assault since 1998, and that’s only the reported stuff. As RAINN points out (link below) about 54% of cases go unreported. Kinda hard to say something when you get burned by the fourth degree which is what makes the #metoo movement so powerful.
The rape and sexual assault statistics provided by RAINN don’t even include sexual harassment. And often these statistics LEAVE OUT, child sexual abuse. Which is prevalent. One in five girls and one in twenty boys will be a victim of child sexual abuse, over 90% will be sexually abused by someone they know and are related to.
So yes, we live in a culture where rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment is common and little justice is done. In the story of Lot, rape and incestual rape was prevalent in Sodom and Gomorrah.
So I would say, yes. Yes Mr Hinckley, we absolutely do have a Sodom and Gomorrah problem in our society. And yes, absolutely we need to teach our youth to stand up for women and boys who are being sexually harassed, assaulted, and raped. Because we have cases of rape happening and no one doing anything. Another grim example, a girl in Richmond was gang raped outside of homecoming dance and there were bystanders watching the whole thing. There was no hero to say NO. No hero to call the police and report they are witnessing a crime. (1 2)
We need to teach our young men to say, NO, NOT ON OUR WATCH. And we need to teach our young women to speak up and fight alongside the young men. The young men who are harmed by this culture of rape need women and young women to believe them just as much as women and young women need men and young men to believe us. To combat the lecherous evils surrounding us we need to watch each other’s backs with forthrightness and honor, like the Stripling Warriors, like Captain America, like Abish and the wife of Nephi, like Wonder Woman.
We need to teach our children how to be heroes.