This silly statement by Dr. Roback Morse reminded me of a similar interaction earlier this year, which pretty much encapsulates my opinion about the true owner of the rainbow. I'd like to re-print it here:"Proposition 8 was passed by a great grassroots coalition that included people from all across the religious traditions, and also people of every race and color," Morse recognizes. "We are the real rainbow coalition. The gay lobby does not own the rainbow."
She tells OneNewsNow that she wore a rainbow-colored scarf to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on Proposition 8 as a statement to signify that supporters of traditional marriage still own the symbol.
"We can't simply let that go by. Families put rainbows in their children's nurseries. Little Christian preschools will have rainbows...Noah's Ark and all the animals.... Those are great Christian symbols, great Jewish symbols," the Ruth Institute president points out.
A few years ago, I was given a Christian rainbow fish bumper sticker by my now former pastor, Dee. Kind of a mix of Christian and gay imagery, y'know? I have a long-standing policy of not putting any bumper stickers on my vehicles, but I wanted to come up with some way of using this gift. So I took it to work and fitted it onto one of my bulletin boards.
It's been there so long that I rarely even remember that it's there. Occasionally someone will notice it. Usually that person is a gay person or the family member of a gay person who thinks it's cool that I have it there. Otherwise no one ever mentions it.
Today, someone else noticed it. She said that she wished she could have a rainbow fish bumper sticker, but she wouldn't because she didn't want people to mistake her for a lesbian. She then expressed dismay that gay people had stolen and ruined an otherwise Christian symbol (the rainbow).
I shrugged sympathetically and moved on to other sources of conversation. Inside, I wondered why she thought that anyone could own or steal the rainbow. The rainbow is colored light. It's not something you can touch or possess. It just exists.
It's not really the rainbow that she's upset about, but a symbol of her faith. The sad part is, there's no real reason why the rainbow can't possess important meaning to both Christians and gay people. Christians believe that the rainbow is a symbol of the promise God made with humanity that he wouldn't bring back worldwide floods. Gays use the rainbow as a sign of diversity and pride. There's no reason that both communities cannot recognize both symbols. The gays no more stole the rainbow from the Christians than grieving pet owners have stolen the symbol of the Rainbow Bridge from ancient Norwegians.
My thought is that if this person really wants a rainbow fish bumper sticker, then she should get a rainbow fish bumper sticker. Life's too short. Don't let others' questioning thoughts chase you from it. Give it your own meaning.
If nothing else, she may start a new trend months from now where gay people start harping that the Christians have stolen their rainbow fish bumper stickers. And that might make it all worth it.