Over the weekend, I was sitting out on my deck scanning the news and kept running into two types of stories. One set had to do with the death of the designer of the gay rainbow flag, the other set had to do with the societal horror of cultural appropriation.
If you Google “cultural appropriation” this morning, you will find this definition:
“Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.” (Emphasis in original.)
A white artist has been lampooned for cultural appropriation for daring to paint a portrait of Emmett Till. A British retailer has been harpooned for appropriating the checkered scarf pattern of the Palestinian kaffiyeh for a playsuit. Kim Kardashian got slammed for appropriating a “bobby pin headband,” which apparently is native to Caribbean women, who refer to it as a “doobie wrap.”
White women who braid their hair are excoriated for appropriating a hairstyle that belongs exclusively to African-American women. Athletic teams who adopt Native American team names (e.g., Washington Redskins) are guilty of the same sin.
So apparently cultural appropriation is a thing now, and it’s supposed to be bad (whatever happened to “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?”). As I ruminated on this phenomenon, it occurred to me that the most egregious example of cultural appropriation, perhaps in history, is the theft of God’s rainbow by the LGBTQ crowd.
And so I spent about 90 seconds hammering out a Tweet to that effect seen below:
Worst example of cultural appropriation ever: LGBTs stole the rainbow from God. It's his. He invented it. Gen. 9:11-17. Give it back.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) April 2, 2017
When I cycled back to my Twitter feed a few minutes later, I realized the Tweet had exploded and LGBTQ activists were now after my head. The retweets and replies came fast and furious. At first, I tried to clean out all the ones which made generous use of the “F” word (demonstrating, of course, the notable tolerance and civility of gay activists) but after a while I just couldn’t keep up. Resistance was futile.
As I write these words, the Tweet had been retweeted 12,637 times, gotten 21,851 likes, generated 6,778 replies, and created 2,096,470 impressions.
The Chicago Tribune devoted a column to it (“Sorry, LGBT community. God wants the rainbow back”), the Boston Globe did a little piece on it (“Rainbow not so bright”), the Huffington Post did a breathlessly agitated piece on it (“Internet Comes For Bigot Who Claims Gays ‘Stole The Rainbow From God’”), and even George Takei of Star Trek fame added his perspective (“There you go again, claiming something beautiful that isn't yours.”)
Now the rainbow is, of course, God’s invention. He placed it in the heavens after the worldwide flood as a sign of his covenant promise to mankind never again to destroy the earth with a flood (which, by the way, ought to be a great encouragement to Al Gore, who wants us to believe he loses sleep over the prospect of rising sea levels inundating the globe, including the $9 million beach-front house he recently bought).
So in the culture in which it originated, the rainbow is a sign of hope and assurance and a symbol of God’s grace and infinite patience. “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13, emphasis mine), a covenant in which God promises that “never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood” (Genesis 9:11).
In the hands of homosexual activists, however, it has become a sign of sexually deviant behavior. It promotes a lifestyle which God says is an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) and “contrary to nature,” a lifestyle which consists of “shameless acts” which will come at a terrible cost to those who engage in them (“receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27).
All this is a rather stupendous and disturbing reversal. What once was universally regarded as a symbol of God’s providential care has become universally regarded as a symbol of sexual debauchery.
If you have any question about how completely homosexual activists have co-opted this symbol, imagine your reaction if you happened to drive past a church displaying a rainbow banner to promote vacation Bible school. You would naturally assume at first glance that it was a homosexuality-affirming church.
Now maybe all the church wants to do is take kids on a journey through the flood story, with all the animals on the ark, and with doves and ravens and twigs and so forth. But it would almost be a waste of time and energy for the church to try to explain itself. It wouldn’t have enough money in its budget to clarify and explain and persuade. When people today see the rainbow flag, it doesn’t say “God” to them, it says “homosexuality.”
God quite directly and pointedly says it is “my” bow. It belongs to him. If somebody else has it and is prostituting it, he stole it from its rightful owner. Sounds like cultural appropriation to me.