A3Writer: May 2017
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Monday, May 29, 2017

M3 Sodom's Legacy

            Okay, I know, this is a bit long in the tooth. This is the last time we’ll talk about Sodom . . . for now. I make no promises about the distant future.
            So, Sodom had a lot of sins. While breaking hospitality and rape are very, very big no-nos, and incest is up there, too. We have to consider the long game. And yes, we have to do this. This is essential because we know it’s God’s view. In establishing a covenant with Abraham, we’re not doing this for a couple of days or a week or even a few years or decades. God is looking at the generations. Abraham himself will not become a nation, but his descendants will. So we know that God is taking the long view of everything. We need to consider this in light of what happened to Sodom.
            Sodom not only was violating hospitality, raping, fostering incest, and just generally being overall jerks, they were perpetuating this throughout generations. If left to themselves, they would newer generations would succeed them and continue their traditions, none of which are very good (as we’ve seen). This adds another layer to the crimes of Sodom that they would teach and spread their way of life, which is incompatible with God’s ideas. This is not supposition, either as Lot’s life was threatened for doing the right thing. Sodom’s teachings represent a future threat to the generations promised to Abraham.
At this time, they are two cities, but in hundreds of years, they could be an unstoppable empire of corruption that would destroy Abraham’s descendants without pause. This would be a violation of God’s covenant with Abraham. In many ways, the destruction of Sodom is God fulfilling his promise to Abraham about future generations. Again, God is taking the long view. He knows what will happen if Sodom goes unchecked through history.
With this final piece of the puzzle, we understand why this story is part of the larger story of Abraham. We understand both sides of the puzzle where Abraham respects hospitality and God’s law. Sodom’s people were in direct opposition to this and a threat not only to people of their time, but for the future. Unfortunately the teachings of Sodom weren’t completely eradicated as Lot’s daughters had their children, both of whom went on to found their own tribes which became a plague of Israel in the future.



Friday, May 26, 2017

F3 Demons 101

            “Right. So, Demons 101,” I said, popping the top on my can of root beer. “First thing, you know all those movies, especially The Exorcist?”
            “Is that the one with the soup?” Jessie asked.
            “Yeah, that’s the one. Forget ‘em. They’re pretty much universally crap. Doesn’t work that way.”
            Nikki tilted her head, looking at me with skepticism. “And how did you become an expert on demonic possession?”
            “Says detective on my door, don’t it?” I jerked my thumb toward the hallway. “It does, right? Sometimes people scrape that off.” I looked over, verifying that it was still there.
            “Titles do not bestow knowledge, take if from a duchess, a marquess, and a goddess.”
            “Wow,” Jessie said. “you’re all of those?”
            “Other lifetimes, dear Jessica. Other lifetimes. And I can assure both of you that the declaration of a title did not come with details on what that entailed.”
            “Sure, sure,” I waved that away. “But I’ve got experience with this. It’s piecemeal, but it does all come together. You remember Renee Carrigan?”
            Nikki was stone-faced, either not remembering or caring.
            “No,” Jessie said.
            “Before your time.” To Nikki, I said, “The succubus? Remember her, now?”
            “My memory is clear,” Nikki said icily.
            “I read about her!” Jessie broke the glacier in the room. “Jen said it was required reading. I think she just ran out of things for me to do, though.”
            “Right. So, anyway, I bring up her because she’s recent, and you experienced this. I’ve learned that when it comes to demonic possession, it’s not surrendering the driver’s seat. More like a shared partnership.”
            Nikki frowned, her eyes scrunching in thought.
            “It’s not 50-50. It never is. But the host is always in there somewhere. Sometimes it’s 90% host, 10% demon. Other times it’s reversed. Usually it’s more equitable.”
            “Then why is it that possessed people are so difficult to exorcise?”
            “This is why I bring up Renee. See, the thing is, most possessions are welcomed. The person invites the demon in. You know something about invitations. But instead of the home, it’s the body. And once someone comes in, it’s a lot harder to kick ‘em out. Even if the host changes his or her mind, it’s tough. It’s much tougher if the host wants to hold onto the demon.”
            “And is this why the attempt to exorcise the succubus from Renee failed?”
            I looked at a spot on the desk between us, remembering what happened to Father Nate, and a flood of regret sucked at me like an undertow.
            “No,” I said slowly, “That was . . . that was my fault. I should’ve realized Nate wasn’t in a good place to do that. He tried to. . . . Yeah.”
            Nate left the priesthood after that. Haven’t heard from him, since. Hope he’s okay. Need to try sending another email to him.
            The silence hit me, and I glanced up. Jessie frowned, an expression halfway between sympathy and confusion. She didn’t know enough of the details of the case to understand, but she saw I was unhappy.
            Nikki looked considering, but it was softer than her usual weighing looks. I couldn’t tell exactly what that look meant on her. On someone else I might say she was empathetic, that she knew something of what I was going through.
            “Anyway,” I began, leaning forward again, “exorcisms aren’t easy, no matter what. And there are different kinds of demons. Some more animal-like than others. I don’t know the full low-down on the different kinds—I’ve never needed to know—but there’s a lot of ‘em.
            “Where was I going with this?”
            “Their agenda,” Nikki prompted.
            “Oh, right. So, like I was saying, there’s this blending, and it’s not like there are telepathic conversations between the two, more like urges. You know how sometimes you’ll get up and go into another room, but you don’t know why you’re there until you grab the thing you wanted?” They stared at me blankly. “Okay, that’s just me, then. But, yeah, so imagine there’s this urge to do something and get something, but you can’t completely identify it. You just go get it. I have no doubt that the demons want something related to this Nativity, but probably not the Nativity itself. That would be where the teens’ desire to pull pranks kicks in.”
            “I see,” Nikki nodded.
            “Good, because I don’t think I can come up with another way to explain it again. Does anybody want this slice?” I pointed to the last piece of pizza in the box.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

1k

            I've been looking through my archive, and I've discovered something phenomenal. I have 1,000 blog posts. That’s a lot. I feel like that deserves some kind of celebration, or at least noting this milestone in some way (hence this post). I hope to keep this going. I enjoy the creativity and chance to commit some of my writing to at least a digital permanence.
            Here’s hoping for another 1,000.

            Thanks to all those who stop by and take a gander.


Monday, May 22, 2017

M3 Lot's Daughters

            So, here we are. Yep, this is it. Most people tend to focus on what we’ve already covered when it comes to Sodom and Gomorrah. Bad city, attacking the angels, the angels level things, Lot escapes, the wife becomes a salty statue. The end, right?
            Wrong. So very, very wrong. Monumentally wrong. Not the assumption, the acts that are to follow. See, this is where the story goes completely off the rails. Yes, that’s right, the story up to now is okay. I’d be happy if it ended here, but it didn’t.
            Lot, sans wife and sans future sons-in-law, escapes with his daughters. They don’t make it to the next city, and just kind of hole up in a cave in the hills. As housing went, it was a good deal: low rent, good insulation, no construction costs. The guy had just lost everything but what they could bring with them, so he took what he could get. And that would have been fine, except that his daughters had a notion.
            They realized that Lot was an old man and that there was no one to carry on his name and bloodline after he died. They also thought that they might end up as spinsters because there were no men readily available to father their children. So they hatched a plan to kill two birds with one stone.
            Lot could father their children.
            Okay, we pause to let that sink in and allow time for prolonged “ewwwwwwwwwwww” and involuntary shudders of revulsion.
            Go ahead, take your time. I need to pause, too.
            Right, so we got that out of the way.
            So, now we have the alluded to incest. Lot’s daughters will sleep with him, get pregnant by him, and have his children. And it raises a very important question:
            Is incest allowed?
            Seriously, we have to ask this. We know that the attempted rape of the angels was bad, especially since it violated hospitality, but what’s the message here? Is it okay for daughters to sleep with their fathers?
            They had a noble intention. They wanted to “preserve offspring through [their] father” (Gen 19:34). Lineage was a big deal in the ancient world. There was a lot riding on people’s names in those days, and the only way a name continue don is through the male siring of children. If Lot’s wife had survived, it may be that the daughters wouldn’t have felt the pressure to do this. It’s a small maybe.
They are still as keen because “there is not a man on earth to come in to [them] after the manner of all the world” (Gen 19:31). They are not only looking to preserve Lot’s bloodline, but feel the need to have children themselves, and with the destruction of the cities, they are short on suitors.
            So does this mitigate the situation? Do noble intentions count?
            The answer is a short, unequivocal no.
            We know this because of how they pulled it off. Lot, we know, is a fine, upstanding guy. He stood with Abraham and was the only good person found in Sodom. We know his credentials. And this is what prompts us to ask the question in the first place. If he is okay with incest, then it must be allowed since he’s the example of a good, upstanding person.
            But he wasn’t okay with it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and his daughters knew this because their plan was to “make [their] father drink wine, and [they] will lie with him” (Gen 19:32).
            So they applied a social lubricant to make it all happen because they knew he wouldn’t be okay with this. This escalates the crime even further, especially since the daughters took turns on subsequent nights: “Look, I [the oldest] lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you [the youngest] go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father” (Gen 19:34).
            Reading between the lines, this is, simply, rape.
Lot’s daughters raped their father.
Twice.
On successive nights.
I need to take a moment.
Okay, I’m all right.
His daughters knew what they were doing was wrong. That is unequivocal because they knew they had to get him drunk. Now, if anything, this part of the story reinforces a couple of different things. First, Lot really was the only good person in this city. For his daughters to rationalize their behavior as good only goes so far since they knew they had to get him drunk. They knew that he would not approve of their idea, and so took steps to take what they wanted, anyway. This is the legacy of Sodom, and it shows that even his daughters were subjected to the city’s corruption. Now, they most likely did not learn this kind of behavior from him given his behavior in the story. This leaves two sources of influence, first, their mother, who turned back to the city and paid the penalty. Second is the city itself, which would convey its own lessons.
Here we have a final metaphor for the city, which I’ll go into next week.



Friday, May 19, 2017

F3 Pizza Party

            Jessie devoured her slices with the vigor of any ravenous post-teen. I was more moderate in my approach, but still wolfed down a full slice of pepperoni and mushroom without saying a word to continue my story. Nikki indulged in a slice of the same, though she took tiny bites, nibbling at it. She never did eat much when it came to meals; for her it was more social nicety than necessity. Her real meals required different fare.
            That thought helped chase my hunger away, especially as a glop of sauce fell from my bite and onto a napkin. It was too thick, and yet the imagery was crystal clear in my brain, which sent the message to my stomach.
            “Right, so where was I?” I asked.
            “Gmfw tmems hi maawer,” Jessie said around her pizza.
            “I believe you had just secured your passengers in the vehicle,” Nikki said.
            “Mmhmm!” Jessie nodded vigorously.
            “Right.”

            I shut the door, and then heard the garage door opening. I whirled to see a guy ducking under it, then snarling several cursewords at me. I ran around the car, and jumped into the driver’s seat, saying a quick prayer that now, out of all the times when I needed the car, that the engine would start immediately.
            It did. I slammed it into gear and tore off down the street. Unfortunately, I saw their car back out of the garage and turn after me. I was in the middle of suburbia in the evening. I was easy to spot as most people had gotten home an hour or so before. That and there were only so many directions to turn.
            I didn’t do high-speed chase scenes well. And with every corner, I had to slow down, allowing them to catch up. They didn’t seem to care as much about the corners as their tires squealed around every turn.
            I didn’t know where I was going, turning automatically, skipping some side streets and taking others. I floored it, trying to open the distance, but my Taurus was no match for their car. I felt the ram from behind as I started a turn. The wheel got away from me and I had to slam on the brakes to avoid plowing into a block wall. I spun the wheel hard, now, fishtailing and then aiming at the wall on the opposite side of the street.
            The guy boxed me in. Couldn’t go forward, and couldn’t go backward. So I ditched the car, taking baby Jesus in my arms and running. It seemed stupid, foolish, and every other kind of idiocy I could imagine, but I ran with the plastic savior in my arms. I saw the community center up ahead. The lights were on, and the sign out front proclaimed, “Christmas program rehearsal tonight”
            If I can reach there, they can call the cops.
            I snuck a glance back and saw the boys running after me. No, running wasn’t the right word. It didn’t look like a human run. More like an animal loping along. I didn’t see any glowing eyes or anything, but I could tell that something was in them. Something bad.

            “Wait a moment,” Nikki interrupted, leaning forward. “Are you telling me that these boys had become demonically possessed?”
            I ticked off my fingers. “Circle drawn on the ground, ancient Hebrew text, moving like some kind of animal. Yeah, I think that’s what I’m saying.”
            “Wow,” Jessie breathed. “Really?”
            “I must confess I find your story dubious, Matthew,” Nikki sat back, glowering.
            I shrugged. “I didn’t want to tell this story in the first place.”
            “Why would they steal a Nativity? Demons must have a higher agenda than that.”
            “So you’re an expert on demons, now?”
            “No, but this doesn’t make sense.”
            “Okay, looks like we’re going to have to have a time out to talk about demons. Pass me another slice, Jessie. Are we out of root beer?”



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Catching Readers with a Catchy Cover --Guest post by Justice

Everyone knows the old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” isn’t true anymore. Not with the fast-paced world of digital publishing where every time you turn around there’s a new, interesting book release.

In this world, readers have to judge a book by its cover. Which means you need a kickass cover.

So what makes a kickass cover?

1. It has to look professional.

There are a lot of authors making their own book covers, which is super cool IF they know what they’re doing. But graphic design takes a lot of skill and training most authors haven’t put the time and effort into. And believe me, readers can tell. This is also true for cheap pre-made covers. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing up a pre-made cover that matches the book IF it’s professionally done. But I’ve seen a lot of amateur book covers being sold for $30 and the images are stretched, the font is plain and doesn’t stand out, and the resolution is terrible. Remember, you get what you pay for.

If you want to be taken seriously as an author, you have to come right out of the gate looking like a professional. You have to compete with thousands of traditionally published authors who have covers made by industry professionals with the help of a sales team. That means putting the time and/or money into a cover. It’s the very first thing readers see when they browse books.

2. It has to stand out.

Thousands of books are being published every single day. The market is flooded now more than ever. It’s awesome so many people are getting their stories out there into the world, but it also means there’s a lot of competition for yours to stand out. So how do you stand out in the crazy world of digital publishing?

Do something unexpected. Use a bright color for a horror novel. Or a dark color for a sweet romance. Stay away from trends. Or if you want to go with a trend, put your own twist on it. Or be a minimalist and make good use of dead space. Look at what’s flooding the market and avoid it. Change the angle, desaturate the photo, use a funky font, just do something different.

3. It has to project the right tone.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen authors make with their covers is trying to do too much at once. Your book cover doesn’t need to tell exactly what it’s about. If it’s a paranormal romance about a single mom who falls in love with a werewolf on vacation in Hawaii, you don’t need a wolf, a palm tree, a child, and a couple kissing on the cover. There IS such thing as too much of a good thing.

Think about the tone you want readers to pick up on. Prioritize. Remember, standing out is important but in a way that makes sense for the book. What’s the mood? What’s the genre? Is it funny and flirty? Is it dark and horrific? Is it a deep, emotional memoir? Each of these would use a completely different set of colors, fonts, and effects to create a tone that will give readers an idea of what they’ll experience when they open the book.

When you hire a cover artist, make sure you communicate clearly how you want readers to feel when they look at your book cover. And how they will feel when reading your book. A good cover artist should be able to match the inside to the outside and combine that with standing out and looking professional. With this formula, you should be well on your way to a successful career (in whatever way you define it).

Thank you for having me and I hope these points help you design (or choose a designer) the perfect cover for your book! Remember, pay for a professional (or take a class!), keep it simple but unique, and communicate clearly with your designer.

Bio

Justice is the lead designer at Rebel Book Design. After spending 6 years as a hybrid author and learning photoshop to make marketing graphics, she took a formal course on graphic design and realized, as much as she likes creating what’s inside the book, she likes creating the outside even more.

To see her portfolio, services, and prices, check out her website at www.rebelbookdesign.com or email her at rebelbookdesign@gmail.com. You can also like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/rebelbookdesign to stay in touch.

Monday, May 15, 2017

M3 Feeling Salty

            Right, so the angels, having heard enough, tell Lot to take his family and get out of Dodge, cuz they’re gonna nuke the place. Yeah, fire, brimstone, the works. It’s God’s final retaliation for all of their sins. While Abraham was wrong and there weren’t ten good people in the city, the angels aren’t about to be inhospitable and allow Lot and his family to perish. However, they do issue the warning about “do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed” (Gen 19:17).
            And this is something that gets a lot of attention since “Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Gen 19:26). This verse gets a lot of attention for two reasons. One, is looking back really that bad? Isn’t this a punishment that exceeds the crime? And B (yes, I did it on purpose) did she actually become salt? Why salt? What sense does that make?
            The angels warned not just about looking back, but stopping at all. It is actually very difficult to run forward while looking backward. Owls might be able to pull it off, but not people. And, no, it’s not that egregious of a sin, but then, it’s not a punishment. This is not a situation where God is tallying up people’s infractions and is doling out punishment. I said God was going to nuke it for a reason: He did.
“then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (Gen 19:24-25).
God was not kidding, and the angels were not joking about not stopping. This was a kill zone. He told Lot and his family specifically to run and keep running. But she didn’t. She slowed, looked back, and even stopped. Her heart was in that city, otherwise why look back? She didn’t want to leave it, and in the end, she paid the price for staying.
This was not a case of punishing her for disobedience. Genesis doesn’t operate like that. This was a consequence of her choice. She didn’t listen. She knew that the angels were going to destroy the city, and yet she still stopped and looked back. We don’t know if Lot’s wife was a sinner. We don’t have proof that she did some egregious harm to anyone, or felt like the people in the city, not with direct proof, anyway. What we do know is that she wanted to go back to the place that was her home.
And yet, that speaks volumes, anyway. Her husband and daughters were running on ahead, but she wanted to go back to the city. Whether it was to her specific house or for the friends and neighbors, or because she really felt like she belonged to that community, she valued Sodom more than her husband and daughters. In the choice of staying with them or returning to the city; she chose the city.



Friday, May 12, 2017

F3 Preparations for Insanity

            Flynn looked at the main viewer. On the right was a table of ever-changing numbers, the readouts from the sails’ telltale sensors. The dark energy wind could be treacherous, sometimes spiking into gales, but today the telltales were fairly even.
            On the left side of the screen, Ann had a simulation that translated the numbers into virtual representation.
            “it’s not exactly accurate,” Flynn commented.
            Instead of the black void of space, it showed an idyllic beach, the wind rustling palm trees.
            “It’s close enough,” Ann said.
            “I think you’re trying to butter me up.” He looked back at her.
            She wore the tight jumpsuit that went under EVA suits. She grinned, “We’re doing this.”
            Flynn glanced back at the readout. He had been hoping for something closer to calm, maybe a nice swirling eddy next to some dark matter bars. No such luck. At thirteen knots it wasn’t exactly the fastest wind, but then again, Ann wouldn’t have the benefit of a hull and stabilizing sails.
            “You’re sure about the design of your . . . what did you call it?”
            “Windsurfing board. And yes. I’m comfortable with it.”
            “What does Hank say?”
            “Well, when I can get him to focus he says it’s fine, but most of the time he wanted to fiddle with something and I had to slap his hands away.”
            “Your tethers and umbilical are solid?” The tethers were standard lifelines, but the umbilical would connect her to the ship’s communication and sensors. Since they would be traveling at sail, faster than any radio signal, the only way to talk to her would be through the umbilical.”
            “Triple-checked. Kimball will be suited up in the airlock and Connor standing by.”
            “This is still insane, Ann.”
            “You don’t get to be the only one to pull off brilliant but insane ideas.”
            “I’m not sure about that first part.”
            “You will when it works.”
            Flynn gave a last look at the display, knowing that conditions were as good as they were going to get, and that Ann was going to make the attempt with or without his help, even if it killed her.
            “Go,” he said.


            

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hallelujah!

Today was my last day of the semester. With just a wee bit of grading, this semester will be completely behind me. I think this was one of my better semesters. Not sure if it was because of changes I implemented or because I had a good crop of students, but I have some theories.

Highlights:

  • Attendance system = Awesome!
  • Personal Learning Plans = Good (minor tweak)
  • Self-assessments = Good (another minor tweak)
  • Paper audience for final project = sorta (needs tinkering, but I'm hopeful
  • Excel integration with Alchemist = Awesome! (tiny tweak and will be perfect
Low points:
  • Grade reports (switch to auto generated and emailed)
  • Following instructions (constant battle)
  • Format (GRRR! Make 'em use a template!)
That's all for now. Overall, not too much to revamp for the fall, so I should have a decent amount of time to work on writing (Yaay!)

Monday, May 8, 2017

M3 Sin Rankings

            Okay, as I said, we need to get more into the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The traditional interpretation of this story has focused on the wrong of homosexuality as the main cause of Sodom’s destruction. Heck, we’ve even go so far as to immortalize the city by calling sexual intercourse between two men (or any intercourse using that area of the body) as sodomy. It’s forever part of our lexicon. But, here’s the thing: The angels do not give any kind of response at hearing the proposition from the men outside Lot’s house. If this was the reason, they would have stepped up just after hearing it. Instead, they give no reaction until after Lot’s offer of his daughters and claim of protection for the travelers has been rejected by the mob.
            Moreover, the story of Abraham in chapter 18 gives us the model for how people should behave with regards to travelers and foreigners. This can’t be a coincidence that we have a story that shows us the exact model behavior, and the very next story violates that behavior. All of Lot’s actions show that he is trying to do the right thing, as Abraham does, and repeatedly references this tradition both to the angels (still in disguise) and the mob.
            Now, does that mean that homosexuality is okay to these people? I can’t say that. No one can say one way or the other. It could be part of the mix, and people will immediately jump to the (now) famous verse in Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
That’s pretty cut and dried. But, then again, all of the laws in Leviticus are pretty cut and dried, and they elaborate things that lots of people do anyway. The fact is, Leviticus goes kind of overboard on the rules, including things such as eating from pigs (I’m guilty, I love good BBQ), which might have made sense at the time given that pigs rolled in the muck and were prone to worms and other parasites.
However, there are plenty of odd ones governing things such as when you can eat fruit from trees (19:23-25) and my favorite “nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials (19:19). Many of the rules of Leviticus are completely nonsensical to modern readers. At the time, there were reasons for them as these rules were written during the time of the Exodus, when over 400,000 slaves struggled to become a nation governed by laws instead of collapsing into a warring mob.
Is homosexuality part of this story, yes. What are the exact feelings and message about homosexuality in this? I have no freaking clue. The violation of hospitality is by far the most prominent message in this. Next up on the list would be rape. Rape is bad. This story is unequivocal to the point where “[Lot] beg[s] [the crowd], [his] brothers, do not act so wickedly.” Lot gives no condemnation to the idea of homosexuality itself,
In terms of ranking, violating hospitality is at the top of this story. Rape is in there, but distant and mostly included in the hospitality. Incest is the next big no-no.
Yes, I said incest. We’ll get there.
I said the Bible was sexy; I didn’t say it wouldn’t make you say, “ew.”



Friday, May 5, 2017

F3 Trunk Space

            The Nativity was all there, though a bit beat up. Joseph’s face was smashed in, and it Mary well, there was an odor I preferred not to think about the origin of. I couldn’t take the whole bunch in one go, since it was just me. The garage door was like any modern garage door with a motor on it, and it would be audible anywhere in the house, so I had to go out the side. I tucked Baby Jesus into an arm and moved out the side door. I took my time, trying to blend into the night as I walked back to my car. Parking so far away had seemed like a good idea then, but now it seemed too far, and it was. I wouldn’t be able to hoof it back and forth for each piece.

Monday, May 1, 2017

M3 Sin City

            We cut away from Abraham to the city of Sodom, where two unnamed angels are entering the city. Abraham’s cousin Lot lives here and spies them out. They were going to just sleep in the city square, but Lot intervenes, offering them his place. This is an important part of the story, probably the most important part, but we’ll get back to the importance in a moment.
            After Lot takes them in, he gets a group of people at the door asking for him to “Bring [the men] out to us, so that we may know them” (Gen 19:5). Two things about this. First, this is not a small group, not just a few people. It is, in fact, “the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house” (Gen 19:4). There was a reason why the previous outcry about this city reached God. Every man, except for Lot, is part of this. Now, there is no mention of the women. They’re not involved in this, but there are hints later on as to their predilections.