King James was Gay. Just Saying.

King James was gay.
King James was gay.

Pastor Charles Worley of North Carolina was greeted with a standing ovation by his congregation after taking a lot of heat for saying gay people should be fenced off somewhere until they just all die off.

Worley promised to keep fighting, saying, “I’ve got a King James Bible. I’ve been a preacher for 53 years. Do you think I’m going to bail out on this?” A glaring irony in all this is that King James was gay.

That’s King James business, isn’t it? JFK couldn’t seem to let a day pass without sex (with serial partners) and Henry VIII also had trouble keeping it in his pants. But that’s adultery, somehow regarded as a lesser sin than gayness. Besides that, conservative Christians have been insisting for ages that the only reliable version of the Bible is the authorized King James Version (KJV). I remember a Bible teacher telling me once that if the King James Version was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it was good enough for him. I stared at him for a moment, waiting for the punch line, but he was serious!

Of course the Apostle did not have the KJV which was completed over 1,500 years later, in 1611. King James commissioned the translation and distribution of his version for serious political reasons. The Puritans wanted a new Bible and James beat them to the punch by forming a committee to produce one. Besides which, he disliked the Geneva version with footnotes disrespectful to monarchies. The Vatican conflict with the English monarchy was a long and bloody one and James was going with the moderate Protestants (Puritans were considered “hot” Protestants.)

While James’ proclivity for handsome young Scots was well-known, it was not publicly trumpeted very often, yet when he asked Parliament for more money, one MP sarcastically asked, “How could the cistern of the treasury ever be filled up if money continued to flow thence by private cocks?”[1] “Cocks” was a double-entendre; it meant both a tap and what it means today.

As a teenager James fell for a 37-year-old, married, Franco-Scottish lord named Esmé Stewart, 6th Lord d’Aubigny. Political intrigues broke up this relationship and he next became involved with Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset. According to Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, James made Carr a gentleman of the bedchamber and as the years went by he lavished gifts on him.[2] This relationship didn’t work out well and James complained, among other matters, that Carr had been “creeping back and withdrawing yourself from lying in my chamber, notwithstanding my many hundred times earnest soliciting you to the contrary.”[3]

James was also romantically linked with a few women and his last male lover was George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, the son of a knight. The King again gave gifts and titles to Buckingham. Unashamed of his feelings, he explained Buckingham’s rapid promotion to the Lords as follows: 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 to 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.

There are many other translations of the Bible and the fact that James was gay does not prove 1) The translation is faulty. 2) The Bible is gay. 3) God does not exist.

It just means James was gay, or more accurately bi-sexual with a preference for men. He married, as all kings must, and produced heirs. Only the very naïve assume this means James was straight. KJV-lovers protest that rumors of Jame’s gayness are an attack by heathen, that there is no proof that James had sex with men.

Really, my KJV-loving friends, you believe Henry VIII did what he did without DNA tests. King James was gay-just get over it.

[1] David Starkey, Monarchy-From the Middle Ages to Modernity, 2006, ISBN 13-978-0-00-724750-9, p.100 (This is also available as a video documentary)

[2] “The first of [his favorites] was Robert Carr, for whom the King acquired a peculiar affection while he was lying wounded from an accident at a tournament. Carr had been his page in Scotland, and the King, feeling a natural interest in him, visited him and fell in love with his beauty. […] Already before the death of Cecil the presents he received to win the King’s favour had made his fortune. His royal lover had made him Earl of Rochester and Knight of the Garter.” A History of England By James Franck Bright; p.597

[3] Crompton, Louis (2003), Homosexuality & Civilization, Boston: Belknap/Harvard University Press, pp. 387, ISBN 978-0-674-01197-7


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