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Was King Billy homosexual?
So they say. And so too was David, who slew Goliath in the bible. In fact, there is ample reason to believe that key characters involved in two pillars of the DUP’s view of the world would be deeply offended at recent remarks by Ian Paisley Jnr in Hot Press.
Eamonn McCann, 18 Jun 2007
"And it came to pass,” – we are on chapter 18 – “when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.”
I’ve heard it said that, back then, fellows were forever telling other fellows that they loved them and taking off their clothes and swapping girdles, and nothing deleterious to be read into any of it. But when I offered this interpretation to Sean Morrin at the Rainbow Project on Queen Street (say nothing), he responded, “God, but you’re innocent,” before admiring my socks.
Those who were paying attention during Bible Study will recall that Saul soon became deeply perturbed at the effect David was having on the household, what with his winsome ways and all the admiring chatter from the younger set about how, with stone and sling-shot, he’d slain Goliath of Gath. So, Saul pushed David into marrying his daughter, Michal.
The match didn’t work – predictable that, really – which caused Saul to regard David with even sharper hostility, to the extent of making a serious attempt on the young man’s life. “And David... came and said before Jonathan, What is my sin before thy father that he seeketh my life?”
Actually, David had a pretty good idea what the problem was: “Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes.”
Eventually, Jonathan tells his dad that he is confused about his love for David, and laments that he may not be able to establish his own lineage. Which, the family being of the Royal variety, was perceived as something of a crisis.
“Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.”