"There was at the table reclining in Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved."
Does not this image make us red-blooded so-called conservatives a bit uncomfortable? I know I'm not very comfortable with the idea of placing my head on the chest of another man while eating. Why is this?
Of course, there is the culture difference. I worked in the Middle East years ago as a farm consultant. Once I was invited to a tea gathering by some of the laborers. One of the men there sat next to me and put my hand in his and routinely patted me on the shoulder with affection. I was not comfortable, but I didn't let anyone know that. Later, I asked an Arab friend, who knew the man, about it. He told me that the affectionate man was not at all queer or odd. Rather, he considered me a "nearest dearest friend" for two reasons: (1) I defended him against unjust abuse from the farm manager on some occasion, and (2) I honored him with my presence at his humble tea gathering. A nearest dearest friend expresses his pleasure and is willing to sacrifice everything he has to defend and support his friend. I realized that I should have been the one humbled.
Yet there is another thing at work. If you look at pictures of soldiers from WWI or WWII, you will often see buddies with their arms around each other, walking down the street or joyfully posing before the next deadly mission. Even in my youth this was common. It was camaraderie, symbolizing friends for life, and friends even in death.
In my life this all suddenly stopped in the mid-70s. My closest friends said, "hey, I don't want anybody to think I'm homo." We made doubly sure not to express affection for our friends because we were afraid of being labeled queer. Abandoning any expression of deep friendship, we became isolated and shallow.
This is the legacy of "tolerating" homosexuality. Tolerance for sin has trashed the beauty of friendship. In this day, David and Jonathan's friendship-- that knitting of their souls -- would be considered a sure sign that they are just as dirty as the inhabitants of Sodom. This, of course, is the goal of tolerance. It seeks to drag virtue, goodness, and honor down into the gutter. It is the only way the sinful have, absent grace, to feel vindicated.
We should not let them win. They need to be called on it.