Sunday, December 11, 2005

King David a Homosexual?

The Reverend Gordon Moyes, superintendent for 27 years of the Uniting Church's largest and richest parish, Wesley Mission, and also upper house Christian Democrat, is not your average tolerant liberal minded church minister.

For a start, he dislikes TV show Big Brother, Santa and homosexuals. KTemoc agrees with him on the first (it’s plain stupid), wonders why he dislikes the second (maybe as a kid, he didn’t get his present?), and thinks he’s too judgemental on those who are bio-psychologically different through no fault of their own (homosexuality has been proven by American medical studies to be a function of a gene).

In fact, his world views are so stern that even his own church has criticised him for them.

He’s retiring, so the obligatory questions on what had been his greatest achievement and failure in his 40 years career were asked. Moyes lamented that his greatest failure was his inability to convince the church hierarchy that homosexuality has no place in the church.

He stated: "Ministers in particular must live a holy and respectable life. There should be no room within the life of ministers in the church for sex, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual.”

Now, he might not have realised it but he is taking the Uniting Church dangerously close to Catholic and Buddhist doctrinal territories.

He may also have not realised that homosexuality has existed in the Bible for ….. well, even earlier that it had been written, and we aren’t just talking about those bad blokes who wanted to have their evil ways with Lot’s angelic guests when they visited him in Sodom & Gommorah.

There have been many biblical notables but let’s just select, as an example, David, yes, King David, the hero of Israel, who personal insignia now flutters on the blue and white in modern day Israel and its occupied territories.

Jonathan Kirsch in his book “King David – the real life of the man who ruled Israel” discussed David’s homosexual relationship with Jonathan, son of King Saul. Saul was the first biblical king of the Hebrews, the man whom David would replaced through treachery and diabolical schemes.

The Bible has described David as of great beauty that virtually everyone, women and men including King Saul was taken with him. David was obviously bisexual because his exploits with women, particularly other people’s wives, have been legend.

Kirsch drew our attention to several statements in the Good Book alluding to David’s homosexual relationship with Jonathan, one of which the Bible put more delicately as:

“The soul of Janathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” [I Samuel 18:1]

Kirsch tantalised us with the various interpretations of that ‘knitting of soul’ - a Rabbi would tell you it’s the beautiful platonic relationship between two buddies - and then plonked in Tom Horner’s verdict. Tom Horner is a biblical scholar and episcopal priest, who wrote the interesting book ‘Jonathan loved David’.

Kirsch quoted Horner saying (rather bluntly, as Kirsh mentioned it) “We have every reason to believe that a homosexual relationship existed.”

Horner of course didn’t descend into grubby description. In fact he described homosexuality in the cultures of the Aegean region, including Israel, as something considered ‘manly and dignified’ and associated with heros. The ancient Greeks were known for their homosexuality in this heroic and dignified context, and a documentary I am watching about the warrior race, the fiercesome Spartans, showed their martial culture promoted homosexuality.

More of King David later ……..

Are we Moabites or Ammonites?

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