Saturday, June 8, 2024

About the Rainbow... by Liz Flaherty

About the rainbow. From a Christian point of view. That is...from this Christian's point of view. Just like non-Christians, we don't all agree. 

It is, for Christians at least, a promise from God, His covenant between Him and every living thing (Genesis 9:12-17). As much as any other symbol of our belief, the rainbow is a harbinger of hope.  

For the LGBTQ community, it is a symbol of pride. They are also covered by the covenant from Genesis.  I think that means they get to hope, too.

A company online sells unicorn and rainbow cookies for $63 a dozen. The promise is also to them. I'm sure they hope to sell a lot of cookies. 

The rainbow has other meanings in Native American traditions. Navajos consider the rainbow the path of the holy spirits. I love this--I think they understand the promise thing just perfectly. 

The cross is a Christian symbol, too. We remember that our Savior died on a cross. That He was resurrected. We cherish the cross. We have it in our churches, on bookmarks, on jewelry, tattooed on our skin. 

People in the Ku Klux Klan burned crosses on black peoples' and Jewish peoples' lawns and in front of churches. 

They called themselves Christians. 

I really do have a point here, but I'm having trouble getting to it. Let's give this a try...

I've seen a lot of memes out there lately and read a lot of remarks laying claim to the rainbow. Ones that say Take back the rainbow or Reclaim the rainbow. 

The thing is, it's not just yours. It never was. The promise was made to "every living creature...a covenant for all generations to come..." If there was anywhere in the Bible that said we must not use the rainbow as a symbol of pride and love, I didn't find it. If there was anywhere that said it was okay--or wasn't--to sell rainbow cookies at inflated prices, I didn't find it.

I understated what the rainbow means to many of us. More than a promise, or hope, or pride, it means love. The ones who planted a pot of gold at its end believe it means prosperity and luck.

Having it represent a segment of people who've known hurts I can only guess at certainly takes nothing away from me or from anyone else; rather, it just extends the hope and the promise. God's love is not limited by our prejudices.

For those of you who think the rainbow is only a promise to some and not others, I have to admit I didn't find anything in the scriptures that indicates it's okay to use a burning cross as a symbol of hatred and racism--especially in Jesus's name--but it's still going on and I haven't seen any graphics or t-shirts that shout Take back the cross or Reclaim the cross.

That's just an oversight on my part. Isn't it? Surely turning our backs on the weaponization of the symbol of Christ dying for us is worse than sharing the rainbow with people whose lifestyles differ from our own.

At least, that's what I think. Have a good week. Be nice to somebody.


  1. I love you Liz! Please continue to open-minded and loving.

  2. I have been distressed by the many "Christian" "weather people" who attribute every disaster to God's wrath upon his people. Which people are those? They are not the followers of Jesus, that's for sure. Amy Abbott Good post.

    1. Yeah, I'm not crazy about that, either. I have discovered over the years that while my faith is easy, accepting other people's is not. I'm not sure who to blame there...Thanks, Amy.

  3. You get the part of the Scripture that says love your neighbor as yourself. Everyone doesn't. Thanks for being a voice of reason in an upside-down world.