Is Genesis 19:8 a Reason to Reject the God of the Bible?

The YouTube channel BigThink, featured popular American magician, actor, and entertainer Penn Jillette in a video titled “How Did You Become an Atheist?” The video has been viewed some 2.5 million times. In it, Jillette stated: “I read the Bible, cover to cover. And I think that anyone who is thinking about maybe being an atheist, if you read the Bible…cover to cover, I believe you will emerge from that as an atheist…. The Bible itself will turn you atheist faster than anything.”1

When Penn Jillette was asked, “Why would reading the Bible make you an atheist?” he said, “Because what we get told about the Bible is a lot of picking and choosing.” He then gave his first specific example of what will make a person an atheist, saying: “When you see Lot’s daughter gang raped and beaten and the Lord being okay with that.”2

Indeed, in an attempt to protect two guests in his house, Lot offered his two daughters to an angry mob of homosexuals in Sodom, saying, “See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish” (Genesis 19:8).3 As incomprehensible and detestable as Lot’s actions were, there is nothing in Genesis 19 or anywhere in Scripture that indicates God was “okay with that” (as Jillette contends). Quite the opposite, in fact. Genesis 19 actually reveals that the two guests, who were really angels sent by God, did not allow anything to happen to Lot’s daughters. Rather, they struck the wicked men of Sodom with blindness and later safely ushered Lot’s daughters (as well as Lot and his wife) out of the repulsively sinful city prior to God destroying it (19:12-25).

[NOTE: To read more about whether or not Lot was “righteous,” see] 


1 Penn Jillette (2010), “How Did You Become an Atheist?” BigThink,

2 Ibid.

3 He also later became drunk and impregnated his daughters, albeit unknowingly (Genesis 19:30-36).

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