With Huffington Post, we’ve seen this plenty of times before. Known for their outrageous smears of Christianity and a slanted pro-gay stance, this week Huffington Post publicized a book written by John Boswell, an “openly gay, Catholic historian and professor at Yale University”. The book is titled Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe and by Huffington Post’s sensationalist headline, “Ancient Christian Church Performed Gay Marriages?”, you’d think this was a new, hot-of-the-press, breakthrough publication. Alas, it is nothing more than Huffington Post pushing their anti-Christian/pro-homosexual agenda once again, this time via a 20-year-old book widely panned by critics as fictitious.
The book that Huffington Post featured this week was published in 1994 by John Boswell, a Roman Catholic who converted from the Episcopal Church when he was just 16 years old. The book claims to have interpreted ancient manuscripts from which, Boswell proposes that “brother/sister making” rituals were performed in medieval times by priests who gave their “blessing to homosexual or lesbian relationships.” Boswell never had the opportunity to debate his controversial findings. Mere months after the book hit the newsstands, Boswell died from AIDS-related illnesses.
Upon publication, Boswell’s book sparked controversy of course, particularly over the appearance of the contemporary word “gay” in a book about the Middle Ages. But more importantly, it was widely panned by critics as being inaccurate and untrue. In 1994, the Washington Post review of the book said:
“Boswell lacks advanced skills in several major areas, notably intellectual history and textual analysis. The embattled complexities of medieval theology and the ambiguous nuances of language and metaphor familiar to us from great literature seem beyond his grasp. Speculative reasoning is not his strong suit.”
First Things agreed and in their review of the book, flatly pointed out that Boswell’s pretense was not only untrue, but only an idiot would believe his hype:
“To begin with, I will say flatly that neither Boswell’s reconstruction of them nor his method of argumentation can possibly support the interpretation he proposes. But even more disturbing than its implausible assumption is the book’s promotion of a contemporary cause, i.e., homosexual marriage, through the invention of precedent. Even the most cursory examination of Boswell’s documentation exposes the way he has struggled to force a group of documents to conform to his conclusions.”
So why did Huffington Post feel the need to promote a 20-year-old book that was widely panned as fabricated and untrue by respectable critics? It is being released in digital form.