Well Nick Clegg, the insatiable leftie that he is, flew the rainbow flag from Whitehall yesterday. He also rather contemptibly wants churches to wed gay couples in total contradiction of the Christian understanding of the nature of marriage… can he be any more of a horses ass?
But lets go back to the flag, it instantly makes me think of Genesis 9:13 God made rainbows a sign of his covenant with the earth. The flood story is quite a wrathful and capricious depiction of God. To quote God himself in genesis ‘Never again will I curse the earth because of man, because his heart contrives evil from his infancy’. With all the rain we’ve had lately I’m glad to know that God never breaks his Covenants.
The story of the Ark is fascinating, and very ancient, possibly appropriated from the Babylonians who had a very similar myth, or their myths are similar because they have a basis in a historical event lost to the sands of time…
As an aside, after the flood Noah does what any self respecting man would do after a long near death ordeal, with his first crop of grapes he makes wine and he gets drunk, then gets naked and goes to sleep, one of his sons covers him up to preserve his modesty and the cantankerous Noah curses him for it in the morning… yes you did read that right, they don’t mention that bit in Sunday school do they? What’s the moral of that story???
So back to the Rainbow, God promises not to wipe out humanity for its sins. I’m sure this isn’t what the rainbow flag alludes to but the rainbow in the Biblical understanding is a peace treaty with God. Though we are sinners he will allow us to live. Is this a subtext of the rainbow flag? that God will not destroy what he has created? is it a pleading with God for tolerance? anyway I thought that was an interesting thought. Can people plead with God?
Various characters in the Bible argue with God, and some even meet with success! Jacob wrestled with God, or his Angel, or a wrestling match with a stranger gave him a near death experience that put him in touch with God… whatever your interpretation, God admired his pluck. The same could be said of Moses begging God not to destroy Israel for idolatry in Exodus, or of Abraham begging God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if ten good men lived there* and of the Syrophoenician woman in Mathew 15: 21-28.
(*unfortunately there were not ten good men living there… but God does rescue Lot and his daughters, who later get him drunk and have incest with him…)
Incidentally I don’t think the sin of Sodom was homosexuality per se, it was rape and being inhospitable and many other sins besides as the Bible itself makes clear in later books. Not that the Bible doesn’t rail against homosexuality in other places…
So there is another side of gay pride day, we as Christians do need to become better at avoiding homophobia of all kinds, hatred of people is never a good thing. People need to be able to come to God as they are and Christianity is relevant and vital to all people because God loves all people, we need to make that fact self evident by our actions.
That doesn’t mean Christianity should conform itself to this modernist age, gay marriage will never happen in a Catholic Church and any government that tries to force such a thing to come to pass would hopefully suffer a rapid demise.