There has been a long historical process of interaction and non-comprehension between Christianity and homosexuality, which is due, not to any biblical misconception, but to Semitic frivolity itself. An anthropologic explanation through the structures of concepts inherent to matrilineal societies would then be a better answer than any moral and religious judgement. This article will, on another side, judge the problem of pederasty in an openly and strictly religious frame, and in the name of our Lord Jesus, the Christ.
As the question of homosexuality seemed to be answered negatively through canonical acceptions of the Holy Scriptures as interpreted so far, the question of pederasty hasn't been, on its side, really questioned, or even addressed by the same Holy Scriptures. The story of David and Jonathan firstly seems to answer to that question, without entirely entering the subject of the relation they do privately have - or to say it in more theological words, fleshly. Thus will we get to answer to this very specific question through its most worrying biblical angles, before coming back to David and Jonathan’s tale as an ideal conclusion to our reflexion.
The following research will be summarized as it follows:
1) The problematic of Leviticus 18:22. Leviticus 18:22 having used to be the usual basis of homosexuality's condemnations for the Old Testament, it will be understood paradigmatically, and such, answered lonely.
2) The model of Adam and Eva as the basis of jewish anthropology & the Original Sin consequences.
3) The christian doctrine by itself: paulinian theology of marriage & moral restrictions for gays, wives and children.
4) Conclusion: David and Jonathan’s tale, a pro-love story.
Amor sacro e Amor profano by Giovanni Baglione, 1602-1603.
This protestant version is the one which is kept in Berlin's Gemäldegalerie, Germany.
- Leviticus 18:22
Quote: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
Original version quote: "וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃"
As we can see it clearly here, this sentence sentences against the womanization of men, understood here as "mankind" (transsexuals and intersexuals aren't entirely involved).
The sentence can indeed be understood in two different and incompatible ways: the most commonly respected, hereby not, is that men shouldn't nurture any kind of sexual intercourse with other men. This, however, is a biased interpretation, which is due to its lack of precision concerning the terms that are specifically used. The sociohistorical context of writing could maybe explain some things, but it is, here, irrelevant. The most direct and accurate interpretation simply is: Thou shalt not lie with makind only as with womankind.
So do we have to understand the direct terminology that is used in Hebrew to seek some help in our interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The University of Geneva's Hebrew standards so do apply as it follows concerning the transliteration:
"We'aet zâchâr lô tishekav mishekav mishekevê 'isshâ(h) tô'evâ(h) hiw'."
Which means, most precisely:
"(And) with mankind (do) not lie as with womankind; a hateful act it (is)."
The hateful act is then only to understand as lying with mankind as with womankind, period. It doesn't, in fact, include sexual intercourse between cisgender males understood as cisgender males; it does, on the contrary, righteously condemn the fact of having sexual intercourse between cisgender males as with transgender females, such as, with womankind.
- Adam and Eva
Adam and Eva are a couple. They both are heterosexual, and cisgender - the Garden of Eden having no other partners available on one hand, while both are experiencing a natural sexual desire to each other on the other hand. They thus embody the perfect moral identity for a family structure, according to jewish anthropology, nevertheless. Taking as counted, anyway, that anthropology here both means what it means on a religious frame as on a scientific one, we then have to acknowledge that there also are other scientific anthropologies that must be compatible to our religious one, being acknowledged that there are many civilisations, and one Almighty God. We will see this later, however, because we must firstly get a quick glimpse into the Original Sin's theoretic implications.
If Adam and Eva must clearly be the perfect kind of gender-sex combination whatsoever, we should also recognize that this model of utter perfection is the one that pushed us into the Original Sin and, by the way, into a perverted form of Creation that does necessarily include, then, some adaptations; for our nature to sustain, but even, to higher itself through platonic love, which is universal. As this isn't sufficient when it comes to any kind of corporal love, we must treat brotherly & sisterly love on the same scale - which doesn't occur between brothers and sisters from biological families (as it would be incestuous), but from spiritual ones - see: Visions of Queer Martyrdom from John Henry Newman to Derek Jarman, Dominic Janes, PhD, 2015.
To say it clear: we do have a right to love each other the way we want and as much as we want, as long as it doesn't contradict the subliminal love between Adam, and Eva; or Eva, and Adam - and the other way doesn't do so, does it? For any further suspicions, I would personally advise to a closer inspection of the conditions in which the Original Sin puts us into; doesn't it?
Back to classical era anthropology, now. The rejection of homosexuality by the Old Testament is to replace in a Mesopotamian context: as an agrarian, sedentary, and mostly peaceful society based on trade, harvests and sheeps, it does construct its sexual deviances structures as not following its productivity approaches - while, on the other hand, other kind of societies do base their virtuous structures on some pseudo-deviances, such as, pederasty, and its mirroring processes.
It is generally that case which occurs in pastoral, warrior-style like, stoic societies, including the ones which focus on the Mediterranean Sea like… sailors! It is widely spread that the Jews didn't like Phoenicians, and Phoenicians were... sailors! The theological problem of Phoenician pederasty merely seems here to be a question of gossiping against their pagan cult of Ishtar, than any serious question at all. The question of Israel and the Nations in the Bible can then be answered on this subject, by: there is a Babylonian model of pederasty, which hopefully is banished (see as above in 1.), but there also was a Greek model – see: Homosexuality and Initiation by the Indo-European People, Bernard Sergent, 1996... shouldn't we then ask for a clash of civilizations, in order for the best to come at the top?
- The christian doctrine : paulinian theology & moral restrictions
As we already know it as christians, we do have to believe in some parts of the Bible mostly: it is especially the case of the Ten Commandments and of the New Testament (epistles included); the references that are made by Jesus-Christ to the Old Testament (or Biblia Hebraica) being mostly taken out of the Book of Psalms, we also can retain this book as being already christian doctrine itself. Our first conclusion about the way gay men and women should love each others is to get through the second commandment: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.", but it isn’t calling for many moral restrictions yet, does it? We will then check out some paulinian theology to Save Our Souls, queer as not.
King James Bible quotes
a) Romans 1:26-31
"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient ; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful."
We can see here the results of the problem seen under 1. (lust, which results in all the subsequent denominations).
b) 1Corinthians 6:9-11
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
We can hear here about the attitudes due to the results of the problem seen under 1. (effeminacy is not to understand such as men's natural youth femininity, or queerness).
c) 1Corinthians 6:16-20
"What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body ; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
We are touching here to another - related - question: prostitution. We will think about it after the quotes.
d) 1Timothy 1:8-11
"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."
Prostitution, again (which is expressed through the concept of impudicity).
e) Hebrew 13:4
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
We finally see here the problem of married men having sexual intercourse with other women, such as with, transgender females.
What we have to do first with Saint Paul is to get where he's talking from. As an ex-pharisee who converted to christianity on his Way to Damas, Paul was nevertheless very proud to show his judeity over and over again - this is even more pertinent when it comes to understand his resistance against the pagan’s culture he was dealing with, after having been sent out to convert them by the primary missionary meeting of the Church in Jerusalem. His consideration was to say that it is perfect to live in couple as a man and a woman then getting children, but that celibacy also is the best model for a real man - and he was, was he saying, that kind of a "real man". But he also wasn't very open to the traditions of the pagan world, and it may tragically be that by condemning homosexuality, he was simply throwing the baby out with the bath water of idolatry...
What we have then to acknowledge is that Greek pederasty also was a model of celibacy for real men; so was it in order to be a civic freedom-learning & existential philosophy lesson for Ancient Greeks (see : Greek Homosexuality, Sir Kenneth Dover, Harvard University Press, 1978), whom Paul wasn't belonging to. He didn't try either, because he was too proud of his jewish inheritance, so that this Phoenician-shared tradition of homosexuality with the Greeks was making him feel very uncomfortable (as seen in 2.)! This is where moral restrictions must now enter in order to solve the immoral problem we face as a civilization, because of a too judgemental attitude toward free (sur)natural kind of desires (which we do share with all the mammals): the problem isn't about male-to-male relationships, which even do help men in their relation to their wives. The problem is, prostitution.
Men prostitutes do provoke the same moral damages to the soul than women prostitutes; why? Because the roles are the same: as the Ancient Greeks used to consider, the question for real men is not so much about a man/woman bipolarity, but of a top/bottom rhetoric. We couldn't prove it in worse conditions, but, as we know how it follows, considering quotes c) and d), prostitution opens the door to vicious games, which need to end up with rape; or, even, scatophilia - while pedophilia & bestiality, on their side, are the danger of pathological pederastic syllogisms, which is why ephebophilia and humanism are the moral limit preferences of pederasty.
This is why brotherly & sisterly love must be approved as a supportive attitude to the marital institution, and especially as a model of virtuous celibacy - while prostitution, rape, scatophilia, bestiality and pedophilia must be reproved as much, and considered to simply be the contrary of love, in all its ways - and in all its freedom, even, to marry. Sodom and Gomorrah still are a counter-example in that conception, as we could see there that men were treating each other like prostitutes, so violently, that they did loose control of themselves through lust, and so exaggeratedly, that they even went after their most loved ones - see: Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodome, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975. Which is why God reduced them all to absolute destruction through fire and comets!
The « Flower’s Genius » of Musée Guimet, IV-Vth century AD.
As a production of the Gandhara kingdom, this homoerotic genius embodies the hellenistic culture which the koïnè came from after Alexander the Great's conquests.
- David and Jonathan's tale: story, morality, & an overall, considerate and personal conclusion
We can now get to the sublime story of David and Jonathan; we'll begin it, firstly, with the presentation of David's biblical character, by itself, through the story of David and Goliath - in 1Samuel, 17 :
Contemporary English Version quote
Goliath Challenges Israel’s Army
17 The Philistines got ready for war and brought their troops together to attack the town of Socoh in Judah. They set up camp at Ephes-Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah.[a] 2-3 King Saul and the Israelite army set up camp on a hill overlooking Elah Valley, and they got ready to fight the Philistine army that was on a hill on the other side of the valley.
4 The Philistine army had a hero named Goliath who was from the town of Gath and was over nine feet[b] tall. 5-6 He wore a bronze helmet and had bronze armor to protect his chest and legs. The chest armor alone weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He carried a bronze sword strapped on his back, 7 and his spear was so big that the iron spearhead alone weighed more than fifteen pounds. A soldier always walked in front of Goliath to carry his shield.
8 Goliath went out and shouted to the army of Israel:
Why are you lining up for battle? I’m the best soldier in our army, and all of you are in Saul’s army. Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me! 9 If he can kill me, our people will be your slaves. But if I kill him, your people will be our slaves. 10 Here and now I challenge Israel’s whole army! Choose someone to fight me!
11 Saul and his men heard what Goliath said, but they were so frightened of Goliath that they couldn’t do a thing.
David Decides to Challenge Goliath
12 David’s father Jesse was an old man, who belonged to the Ephrath clan and lived in Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons: 13-14 the oldest was Eliab, the next was Abinadab, and Shammah was the third. The three of them had gone off to fight in Saul’s army.
David was Jesse’s youngest son. 15 He took care of his father’s sheep, and he went back and forth between Bethlehem and Saul’s camp.
16 Goliath came out and gave his challenge every morning and every evening for forty days.
17 One day, Jesse told David, “Hurry and take this sack of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers at the army camp. 18 And here are ten large chunks of cheese to take to their commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back something that shows that they’re all right. 19 They’re with Saul’s army, fighting the Philistines in Elah Valley.”
20 David obeyed his father. He got up early the next morning and left someone else in charge of the sheep; then he loaded the supplies and started off. He reached the army camp just as the soldiers were taking their places and shouting the battle cry. 21 The army of Israel and the Philistine army stood there facing each other.
22 David left his things with the man in charge of supplies and ran up to the battle line to ask his brothers if they were well. 23 While David was talking with them, Goliath came out from the line of Philistines and started boasting as usual. David heard him.
24 When the Israelite soldiers saw Goliath, they were scared and ran off. 25 They said to each other, “Look how he keeps coming out to insult us. The king is offering a big reward to the man who kills Goliath. That man will even get to marry the king’s daughter, and no one in his family will ever have to pay taxes again.”
26 David asked some soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does that worthless Philistine think he is? He’s making fun of the army of the living God!”
27 The soldiers told David what the king would give the man who killed Goliath.
28 David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him talking with the soldiers. Eliab was angry at him and said, “What are you doing here, anyway? Who’s taking care of that little flock of sheep out in the desert? You spoiled brat! You came here just to watch the fighting, didn’t you?”
29 “Now what have I done?” David answered. “Can’t I even ask a question?” 30 Then he turned and asked another soldier the same thing he had asked the others, and he got the same answer.
31 Some soldiers overheard David talking, so they told Saul what David had said. Saul sent for David, and David came. 32 “Your Majesty,” he said, “this Philistine shouldn’t turn us into cowards. I’ll go out and fight him myself!”
33 “You don’t have a chance against him,” Saul replied. “You’re only a boy, and he’s been a soldier all his life.”
34 But David told him:
Your Majesty, I take care of my father’s sheep. And when one of them is dragged off by a lion or a bear, 35 I go after it and beat the wild animal until it lets the sheep go. If the wild animal turns and attacks me, I grab it by the throat and kill it.
36 Sir, I have killed lions and bears that way, and I can kill this worthless Philistine. He shouldn’t have made fun of the army of the living God! 37 The Lord has rescued me from the claws of lions and bears, and he will keep me safe from the hands of this Philistine.
“All right,” Saul answered, “go ahead and fight him. And I hope the Lord will help you.”
38 Saul had his own military clothes and armor put on David, and he gave David a bronze helmet to wear. 39 David strapped on a sword and tried to walk around, but he was not used to wearing those things.
“I can’t move with all this stuff on,” David said. “I’m just not used to it.”
David took off the armor 40 and picked up his shepherd’s stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath.
David Kills Goliath
41 Goliath came toward David, walking behind the soldier who was carrying his shield. 42 When Goliath saw that David was just a healthy, good-looking boy, he made fun of him. 43 “Do you think I’m a dog?” Goliath asked. “Is that why you’ve come after me with a stick?” He cursed David in the name of the Philistine gods 44 and shouted, “Come on! When I’m finished with you, I’ll feed you to the birds and wild animals!”
45 David answered:
You’ve come out to fight me with a sword and a spear and a dagger. But I’ve come out to fight you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. He is the God of Israel’s army, and you have insulted him too!
46 Today the Lord will help me defeat you. I’ll knock you down and cut off your head, and I’ll feed the bodies of the other Philistine soldiers to the birds and wild animals. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a real God. 47 Everybody here will see that the Lord doesn’t need swords or spears to save his people. The Lord always wins his battles, and he will help us defeat you.
48 When Goliath started forward, David ran toward him. 49 He put a rock in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the rock flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 David defeated Goliath with a sling and a rock. He killed him without even using a sword.
51 David ran over and pulled out Goliath’s sword. Then he used it to cut off Goliath’s head.
When the Philistines saw what had happened to their hero, they started running away. 52 But the soldiers of Israel and Judah let out a battle cry and went after them as far as Gath[c] and Ekron. The bodies of the Philistines were scattered all along the road from Shaaraim to Gath and Ekron.
53 When the Israelite army returned from chasing the Philistines, they took what they wanted from the enemy camp. 54 David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath’s weapons in his own tent.
David Becomes One of Saul’s Officers
55 After King Saul had watched David go out to fight Goliath, Saul turned to the commander of his army and said, “Abner, who is that young man?”
“Your Majesty,” Abner answered, “I swear by your life that I don’t know.”
56 “Then find out!” Saul told him.
57 When David came back from fighting Goliath, he was still carrying Goliath’s head.
Abner took David to Saul, 58 and Saul asked, “Who are you?”
“I am David the son of Jesse, a loyal Israelite from Bethlehem.”
Let’s see what happens next!
The story continues as David meets Jonathan, the son of king Saul; the soul of Jonathan then got directly bounded with the very soul of David, as Jonathan "loved him like his own soul". They thus made a covenant, as they were in real love with each other; that way, Jonathan gave all his effects to David, including his very own sword - and the father of Jonathan then got jealous of both of them, as the people of Israel just had accepted David like the hero he was for sure.
The king Saul then decided to kill David. So viciously, that Jonathan had to ask David to hide, having a lot of affection for him. Finding themselves alone while fleeing together, David said to Jonathan that he knew his father knew that he found grace in Jonathan's eyes, and that this was the real cause of such an outrage out of him. "What you will ask for, I will do for you", answered Jonathan. So did David and Jonathan ally both of their Houses together, while Jonathan begged David to stay with him, for he loved him like his own soul!
David accepted to stay hidden until Jonathan would find a way for both of them to stay safe together. But Jonathan's father became horrendously mean to him as he was very openly supporting the cause of his brother-in-soul David in front of him: "Son of a perverted acting woman", did he say, "don't you stand for the son of Jesse (the same ancestor as for Jesus), for your shame and for the shame of your mother's nudity?"; being talked to in such an unfair way, Jonathan then lost appetite, for many days.
He then asked David to flee from this danger to save his own life, and after David fell three times on the floor as a prostration, they did kiss and cry on each other, until it was time for David to go far away. At this point, Jonathan said: "Go peacefully, as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord!"; for they did swear, together, that the Lord should be between both of their races, forever and ever, and ever, and ever ever, ever.
David went away while Jonathan was somehow forced to come back to his father's city, and the ugly king Saul was continuing to try to find David to kill him, until he quit, as David and Jonathan renewed their everlasting loving alliance; this way was indeed the way for Saul to reconcile with David, and Jonathan, his successor. As Jonathan would finally get lately killed by the Philistines on mount Guilboa, David will cry on him, shouting: "I'm in distress because of you, my brother Jonathan; for you were my loved one - your love for me was more wonderful to me than the love of women".
The question we can ask ourselves as a sustainable conclusion to our reflexion is as it feels the most naturally to one's conscience: is this really a good way to treat heroes, even more, if these are cute and sweet shepherds? The answer is, of course, no; for heroes, as for any sort of man and woman: this is not the way we treat brotherly, sisterly and heterosexual love at all. This, is felony. This, is misanthropy.
We can now get to a wider & personal conclusion on what christian pederasty must be, as its powers could otherwise make us fall into another kind of fascism. For pederasty has indeed not at all to be like the Greeks used to play on it, so to say, brutally, cynically and without meaningfulness outside of some snobbish socratic considerations about a pretentious separation between philos and eros - which isn't real according to the founding principles of our christian doctrine of Incarnation ; in regard to this, see: Corydon, André Gide, Gallimard, 1924.
Thus do we have not to forget, even in our deepest and most fulfilling joys and personal realizations, to keep the Fear of God real; that is to say, that pederasty must be strictly considered as a practice in which, by challenging us through homosexuality, our life is dedicated to the learning of the senses' usefulness, in order to free all mankind & womankind from the perversions of unholiness – without oppressing our deepest, divine nature. This liberation from the slavery of senses indeed is the main theme of our most cherished works of art, from Michelangelo’s slaves on the Sixtine chapel’s ceiling to Raphaël’s School of Athens, via ganymedian mythology itself. The inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures could this way finally make us fully, definitely, and everlastingly, gay.
May God give you all of his Grace, and bless everyone!
David with the head of Goliath by Andrea Vaccaro, 1635.
I would like to dedicate this article to the goddess Diana, Saint Barbara, and my mother.