King James VI, more gay than GLEE
But now that you’ve had a laugh let’s have a talk about the gayest Christian ever: King James VI, the namesake of the King James Bible.
The great thing about KJ is that he’s not a historical figure whose sexual appetites are debatable, he was into guys–as much if not more than he was into women (the King needs progeny). His affair with George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, was all about gay love. Here’s an excerpt from a letter James sent to George:
“I desire only to live in this world for your sake… I had rather live banished in any part of the Earth with you than live a sorrowful widow’s life without you… God bless you, my sweet child and wife, and grant that ye may ever be a comfort to your dear dad and husband.”
That’s 15th century for: “Well I guess it would be nice, if I could touch your body…“
In 2004 when British company English Heritage restored the historical Apethorpe Hall, a quaint country retreat that members of the Royal family had used, they uncovered an inscription between the bedrooms known to be used by James and George when the two would holiday together.
“I, James, am neither a god nor an angel, but a man like any other. Therefore I act like a man and confess to loving those dear to me more than other men. You may be sure that I love the Earl of Buckingham more than anyone else, and more than you who are here assembled. I wish to speak in my own behalf and not have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had John, and I have George.”
Well, I’m not going to get into whether or not the Apostle John and Jesus of Nazareth were lovers, but it’s clear that the man behind the King James Bible totally did. As for the rest of the inscription…it could not be more obvious if he’d just scratched “J+G” on a tree trunk.
And George was known to wax sexy about James too. In a letter written en route to see his lover George wrote, “…[Sir], all the way hither I entertained myself, your unworthy servant, with this dispute, whether you loved me now… better than at the time which I shall never forget at Farnham, where the bed’s head could not be found between the master and his dog.”
Good Lord, I’m a straight married man, but hell, that’s some hot stuff.
By bringing together scholars and religious figures at the Hampton Court Conference of 1611, King James gave the Western World one of its most used and read versions of the Bible, which some use to condemn the love that two people can have for one another–the very love James had for George. King James was also behind the early colonization of North America. In 1607 a colony in Virginia was named for him: Jamestown. Today, Virginia is for lovers, a place where the love between James and George would be afforded rights, privileges, and recognition as their straight counterparts.
I love being married. It’s the most amazing part of my life to come home to someone I love, and to have made that public commitment to support and love one another. I wish that everyone in my life could enjoy the same feeling–and get to see their loved one in a hospital. (And this coming from a guy who doesn’t believe the state should even have a right to distribute marriage licenses because it’s none of their damn business.)
Apparently we’re not there yet. But we will be, some day. Especially if every time someone condemns homosexuals we all have the audacity to ask them to please quote from a different good book. The one they use, totally gay.
*Originally this post referred to King James the VI as King James I, which is only his title in Scotland. I’ve officially anglo-ized the whole piece.