ual” implication, preferably illicit, wherenthose of sound mind know it is not. G. K.nChesterton encountered this on an afternoonnouting with someone who saw anphallic symbol in church steeples. I recallnbeing taught by some woebegonenpsychologist that when athletes slap eachnother on the butt they are expressing theirnhomosexuality. Victims of such thoughtnpatterns have a favorite story in thenBible, the history of David and Jonathan.nOf course this story very much occupiesnMr. Boswell’s mind, and it is most instructivenhow he uses it. Predictably,nhe sees the story as “the biblical counterpartnof the pagan Ganymede as a symbolnfor passionate attachment between personsnof the same gender”; he then usesnthis theme to comment on the writings ofnSt. Aelred and Abelard. A couple of sentencesncapture the methodology of hisnbook perfectly.nApropos of King Edward II of England,nhe writes: “The most restrainednof all his biographers noted that Edward’snlove of Gaveston, like David’s fornJonathan, went ‘beyond love of women.’nThe Chronicle ofMelsa tersely observednthat ‘Edward in fact delighted inordinatelynin the vice of sodomy and seemednto lack fortune and grace throughout hisnlife.’ ” Note first that “the most restrainednof all his biographers” who likensnEdward to David, according to Mr.nBoswell’s footnotes, is not the authornof The Chronicle in which Edward isnsaid to have engaged in sodomy, so wendo not know whether the “restrainednbiographer” indulged in the same mistakenninsinuation of which Mr. Boswellnis so fond and which he is making innthis sentence we have just quoted.nIt would be helpful if the reader ofnthis review would now reread the historynof King David in the Bible. There,nin David’s funeral lament over the deadnSaul and Jonathan, we read:n0 Jonathan, in your death lam stricken,n1 am desolate for you, Jonathan,nmy brother.nVery dear to me you were.n24inChronicles of Culturenyour love to me more wonderfulnthan the love of a woman.n(II Samuel 1:26. Jerusalem Bible)nEarlier on we read that: “After Davidnfinished talking to Saul, Jonathan’s soulnbecame closely bound to David’s andnJonathan came to love him as his ownnsoul.” (I Samuel 18:1)nWere either David or Jonathan “gay”.”nIs not the important question the onenthat gets at the real distinction betweenntemptation and sin.^ This underlyingnsophistry of Mr. Boswell’s work is indeednof an easy sort: biblical “love” naturallynidentifies friendship, and friendshipnbetween men can be “more wonderfulnthan the love of a woman.” Doesnit really affect the quality, the moralncharacter, of the friendship betweennDavid and Jonathan if one or both for anshort time, or for a long time, or forntheir whole lives were “conscious ofnerotic preference for their own gender”.”nI firmly believe it does not. I also benlieve that if they had chosen to bensodomites their friendship would havennnbeen qualitatively other than what itnwas. Only a person who can both makenand sustain the distinction I have drawnnand sees its significance could possiblynwrite a history of homosexuality in annavowedly Christian milieu, becausenChristians, even more than their predecessorsnbefore the birth of Christ, valuenthe virtue of chastity. (Since ignorancenof Christian virtues is so widespreadntoday, it must be noted that the virtuenof chastity does not imply a rejection ofnsex. It is, rather, the virtue that protectsnboth the family and our purity of heart,nwhich is required if we are to see God, asnthe Sermon on the Mount instructs us.nThe virtue of chastity requires self-discipline,nlimiting sexual acts to only thosenwhich qualify as conjugal acts propernbetween husband and wife. For me thenvirtue requires complete abstinence; forna married man it requires fidelity to andna loving respect for his wife.) In my judgmentnDavid and Jonathan respected thisnvirtue (although David notoriouslynsinned against it with Bathsheba), andnthe quality of their friendship or lovenwas that of two men who do not engagenin sex with each other. Such a friendshipnis altogether different from thenrelationship between two sodomites. Inwish Mr. Boswell had discovered thisntruth before starting to write.nTo treat properly the question of tolerance,na number of typically Christianndistinctions must be made, such asnthat between loving the sinner and hatingnthe sin. Furthermore, Mr. Boswell’sndenial that socially tolerated homosexualityntook the form of pederasty in ancientnGreece and Rome leads him tonoverlook what I think is one principalnreason why Christian societies havensought to restrain the public display ofnhomosexual practice. Anyone with pastoralnexperience knows what even today’snsociety will eventually have to admit—thatnsodomites prey on boys. Whennthat is finally acknowledged, I suspectnthere will be an outcry against somencultural patterns which encouragenhomosexuality in our society. Then thenChristian past will be better understood.n