I know it’s hard to believe, but some of the funniest people on Earth are Anglicans. Sure, they have a reputation as being kind of dour and stuffy, but really, you just can’t top some of the stuff coming out of the Lambeth Conference for side-splitting, laugh-out-loud humor. (WARNING: Put down anything you’re drinking, and swallow anything you’ve already drunk. OK. Now, to proceed…)

This comes from an exchange between Stand Firm blogger-Anglican priest Matt Kennedy and a South African seminary professor and “biblical scholar” by the name of Gerald West, the latter of whom we are told took part in writing the study guide for the bishops’ Bible study at the Lambeth Conference. At a press conference on “The Bible and Mission,” West said this:

From a literary perspective, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. If you look at what happens there in that story you note that it takes place after Abraham has entertained 3 angels.. If that is the true, then the problem in Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality but inhospitality as demonstrated in male rape

Now what that means is that in terms of the literary narrative it is a narrative of hospitality.

That’s a pretty standard liberal line regarding S & G, but the Rev. Kennedy wasn’t going to just let it pass. Instead, he asked the questions that provoked the witty side of Dr. West:

Q: I have a question for Dr. West. Would you say that the author of the NT book of Jude was incorrect when he wrote this about Sodom and Gomorrah, “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire…” that was from verse 7. Would you say that the writer of Jude got the context wrong?

A: No not at all, I think he was referring to the sin of inhospitality.

Me: When he uses the phrase “sexual immorality”?

A: Yes, that was the way they were being inhospitable.

Now, you’ve got to admit: that is hilarious.