First It was the Word ‘Gay”

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05/06/2019

First, it was the word “gay.” For decades, conservatives objected to people using the word to describe homosexuality on the grounds that it corrupted a perfectly good word and prevented it from being used to mean cheerful. No less an institution than The New York Times refused to use the word until well after its meaning was widely accepted. Now the right has conceded that battle, even using “LGBT” to show that it’s entered the 21st century. But what the right isn’t about to do is abandon its desperate battle to de-gay the rainbow. “Hijacking God’s Rainbow to associate it with the same sexual conduct that He severely condemns in both the Old and New Testaments is not a minor spiritual crime,” Scott Lively groused recently. Lively is best known for his connection with Uganda’s “Kill the gays” bill. He also once wrote a book blaming Nazism on gays. Lively is hardly alone in looking at rainbows and seeing fornication. For conservative evangelicals, the rainbow is associated with Noah and the flood. But instead of a sign of hope, it’s a reminder that God’s wrath is looming. When the Obama administration lit the White House in rainbow colors during June 2015 to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, evangelist Franklin Graham threw a fit.

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