Why the rainbow?

What I’m about to say will probably be offensive to some, but I’m going to say it anyway because I am also offended. I understand that there are those who are celebrating the US Supreme Court’s historic decision to legalize same sex marriage across that nation, but I am offended by the rainbows that are cropping up everywhere. I was offended when I came to WordPress to write this post and found a rainbow banner plastered across the top of the page. I was offended when I went to Facebook today and encountered numerous rainbowed profile pictures.

Don’t get me wrong. Am I offended because people are using Facebook’s rainbow filter to express their sexual orientation or to show support for gay friends and/or loved ones? No! I am offended in the same way that I take offence to non Christians taking Christ out of Christmas and Easter. I am offended because the LGBT community chose as their symbol something that God used to symbolize something entirely different. Personally, I think there’s significance in that.

So, how did the rainbow become a symbol of gay pride? For some, it’s many colours simply represent diversity within the LGBT community. The rainbow flag was originally designed by San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker, in the 1970s and had eight stripes: hot pink to represent sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for serenity in nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit. The pink stripe was eliminated first when Baker approached a company to mass produce the flags and discovered that hot pink fabric was not available commercially. Given what the flag stands for, I find it quite hilarious that he simply chose to eliminate the stripe representing sex! Indigo was later removed to give the flag an even number of stripes. Again, I find it a bit odd that the stripe representing harmony was removed. If there is anything that’s needed where this topic is concerned, it’s harmony!

But, why am I offended by this use of the rainbow? Christian or not, you are probably familiar with the biblical story of Noah’s ark. According to Genesis 6, a time came when “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Perhaps, a time not so different from our own! We are told that God “was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.” As a result, He decided to send a flood to wipe out mankind, but He chose to preserve one family, the family of a righteous man named Noah, to begin again. When the flood waters finally receded and Noah’s family, as well as the animals that had been preserved with them, were able to leave the ark, Genesis 9 tells us that God made a covenant with them that never again would flood waters destroy all life on earth. Then, He set a rainbow in the sky as a sign of His promise.

“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”  Genesis 9:16 NIV

That’s the rainbow I’m thankful for; a symbol of hope in a world that often seems devoid of hope! We live in a time of moral decay and depravity, but our God has promised not to send the flood waters to swallow us up! I take offence to the symbol of that promise being used for anything else, most especially something that I do not believe my God would celebrate.


As always, I invite you to leave a comment. Given the controversial nature of this topic, however, I urge you to do as I have tried to do and express your views without attacking anyone.


13 thoughts on “Why the rainbow?

  1. Thoughtful post. I too was offended when I logged on to wordpress and saw the rainbow for gay pride for the reasons you have outlined. I also wonder, Would the company have celebrated the Supreme Court decision if it had gone the other way? I doubt there would have been a celebratory banner representative of wordpress’s faith-based bloggers.

  2. Thank you Elaine! I love God’s rainbow, but I have to admit, it just doesn’t feel as good as it use to. I have to remember, even if those who want to turn the rainbow around, instead of what the rainbow symbol truly is, I will thank God for it anyway.

  3. Preach it, Sistah!!
    Very well put. I appreciate your comments, your insight and your ability to express your faith in a “down to earth” manner. God bless you!

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