Rainbows, Chocolate, And Loving Thy Neighbor
Reconciling Easter and the Rainbow Flag.
By Amelia Trinick
Cue: I’m at home stuffing as much chocolate down my throat as my stomach (or my mother) will allow before regretting every decision I’ve ever made about how many creme eggs I can consume in one sitting. However, this year I have been pondering about our experience at Easter. About symbols and icons...about the colours, images and pictures we see around this time. Bunnies, the cross, a crown of thorns, eggs, the colour red, wine, chocolate. The list goes on. Some of these have deeply held religious connotations, and others, a result of marketing, or influence from various traditions around the world.
It reminds me of the Rainbow/ Pride Flag. An image that is used so much, yet I have often dismissed it as simply an overused and generic icon of support. The meaning behind what the colours represent, when applied correctly, are not dissimilar to values, symbols, and messages that many Christians hold closely.
Red = Life
Orange = Healing
Yellow = Sun/Light
Green = Nature
Blue = Harmony
Violet = Spirit
Of course, history has twisted biblical scripture to condemn those who are from the LGBTQI community. Pink, which was initially included in Gilbert Baker’s original 1978 design of the flag, was a symbol of pride only after a pink triangle had been widely used by Nazis to identify gay individuals. Our condemnation came from twisted scriptures and led to horrific injustices.
Around this time it’s important to acknowledge the oppression that has been experienced at the hands of religion, but also to honour the individuals, churches, traditions, and teachings that advocate for inclusivity, and equality. To ‘love thy neighbour as yourself’ is not limited to Christian teachings, but rather stretches across scores of traditions, spiritualities, humanistic principals, and world religions. In light of this, and in taking in to account a holiday that many people commemorate in scores of different ways, let’s aim to respect the people that celebrate their spiritual beliefs, as we hope that those who are not identified as LGBTQI to respect and even partake in celebrations of pride.
Where possible, let’s attempt to acknowledge those who have fought against oppression within their own religion and see people as individuals, as lovers, and as neighbours.
More Info: www.gilbertbaker.com