So it’s June, the trees are full of leaves, the lawns and fields are splashed with the vibrant colors of perennials, and as expected, the heat is rising. Along with the rising mercury, tempers are apparently rising as well. Let me be more specific – the tempers of the fundamentalist religious folk that is. Their tempers are rising yet it has nothing to do with the torrid summer heat. They were even hot under the collar even in the cold month of December all because of Starbucks’ decision to celebrate the holidays by selling coffee in neutral red cups as opposed to slapping references to Christianity all over them.
So now I understand that the new fight is over the rainbow. Being that June is a Pride month celebrating the LGBT community, there are rainbows everywhere in the form of diversity flags. I personally think that is one of the coolest things, by the way. But it’s of no surprise that the staunch fundamentalist movement is vehemently opposed to the LGBT community. Instead of supporting pride, they believe that the LGBT community should be shamed, among other things. So now the claim is that the rainbow colors are being used inappropriately and was stolen from Christianity. Many of us may know the church’s teaching from the Genesis 9:13 passage in the bible. For those readers who aren’t familiar, basically the passage is saying that the rainbow was meant to be God’s way of saying, sorry you pissed me off so badly that I tried to drown you guys with a flood. So here’s a sign that I won’t do that again. And that sign was in the form of a rainbow as an outward covenant. I was taught this in Sunday School and it was even mentioned in my public school when I was in elementary school, but that’s a whole other issue in itself.
The buttress of the fundamentalist argument is that due to the aforementioned biblical reference in Genesis, the rainbow originated in Christianity and that is where it should remain solely. And that the late Gilbert Baker, the self-described “gay Betsy Ross” who created the diversity flag in 1978 had committed blasphemy in doing so. That in using the various colors in the diversity flag, Mr. Baker had stripped the rainbow of its connection to the divine. And instead of the rainbow being a covenant between God and creation, it was promoting acts of abomination – namely same gender intercourse. And no matter how many people stress that this is only about two people who love one another regardless of gender, the fundamentalists still believe that the only thing on the minds of the LGBT community is lust, unnatural sex, and even more unnatural sex. All this over a simple use of rainbow colors!
Last year the fundamentalists focused their anger on Starbucks for commemorating the holidays with the modest red cup. And now apparently McDonald’s has been added to their bad list because of its use of the diversity flag on their fries container in honor of Pride month. Shame on McDonald’s for showing signs of respect and inclusiveness!!! I could certainly be wrong however I didn’t think that the evangelical church had obtained copyright of rainbow colors. Seriously, will the judgmental tendencies ever end? Who’ll be next in line? Maybe it’ll be seafood restaurants for using an image of a fish in their advertisements and thus they will be accused of diluting Jesus’ “loaves and fishes” miracle. Or maybe they will go after Twitter because that cute little bird may just bear too much of resemblance to a dove and once again, there would be yet another theft from the Genesis flood story. It’s getting quite ridiculous.
There is so much pain, anger, and hatred in the world right now. Why should there be even more added to it with the senseless argument that using rainbow colors to celebrate Pride month will somehow offend a god? And if the fundamentalists firmly believe that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, wouldn’t it make sense that he/she/it would prefer to direct that mighty power to help ease at least some of the world’s pain, anger, and hatred? I also don’t think that it’s just us non-theists who are shaking our heads in disbelief at this petty argument either. I would imagine that there are actually many progressive Christians looking on in disbelief as fundamentalists continue to protest over such things as modest red coffee cups, rainbow decorated fries containers or even the word Holidays being used as opposed to Christmas.
Life is an amazing short ride filled with so many awe inspiring moments. It’s up to us to make it what it is and to make it better for those around us as well as for future generations. Wouldn’t life be best spent with loved ones, enjoying this beautiful world around us, and making the most of our short time here on earth? On that note, I’m going to do just that right now. And even though I usually limit my consumption of fried foods, I may just swing by a McDonald’s restaurant and have myself an order of fries in that nifty little container decorated with the diversity colors.
Carpe Diem, be safe, and have yourself an awesome Pride month!