Another friend of mine tells me that on the occasion of some anniversary of Shakespeare (1564–1616), numbers of people, no doubt to battle “homophobia,” are maintaining once more that he was one of “them.” For proof that the Bard belonged to what is often called the Lavender Brigade, they are resorting as usual to the Sonnets, many of which were indeed lovingly addressed to a certain young man. Let us attempt to disentangle the mess.
Firstly, for men to misuse with men or for women to misuse with women that process which God gave to both to use properly with one another for the reproduction and continuation of the human race, is so grave a sin against God and human society that the Catholic Church calls it one of the four sins “crying to Heaven for vengeance.” To ensure that mankind continues, God gave to every one of us a deep and natural repugnance for man on man, or woman on woman. To whitewash the sin by blackening the repugnance for it as “homophobia,” is mentally and morally sick.
However, “to them that are defiled, and to unbelievers, nothing is clean” (Titus I, 15). For sick minds, there can be no such thing as a clean love between man and man. Therefore when Scripture (I Kings I, 26) presents to us such a love as noble in the extreme, as when David grieves for his dead friend Jonathan – “I grieve for thee, my brother Jonathan: exceeding beautiful, and amiable to me above the love of women. As the mother loveth her only son, so did I love thee,” these sick minds will declare that such love is to be approved of not because it could be void of sin, but only because to condemn it as sin is “homophobia.”
The case of Shakespeare’s love for the young man that he made famous in his Sonnets is surely similar. Many of them tell us how this young man was graced with a beauty comparable to that of women, or even more beautiful, says Shakespeare. And apparently those now trying to enlist the Bard in their ranks appeal in particular to Sonnet 20 for proof of his perversion. But I ask me: can they read? The first eight lines of this Sonnet may praise the young man’s feminine beauty, but the next four go on to tell how Nature endowed him also with a masculine feature which is (l.12) of no use to Shakespeare, but only to women (l.13). Conclusion? – “Mine be thy love, and thy love’s use their treasure” (l.14).
If people who have let themselves get caught in the vice against nature do all they can to get out of it, they deserve the sympathy of all sane souls. But if they so wallow in their perversion as to pretend that sane heroes of the past were like them, they need to be vigorously and clearly denounced – for as long as it is not illegal to do so!