The Bishop of Ely has defended a decision by staff at the city's...
Everyone from the AA to Costa are backing Pride events. But Rev David Robertson argues Christians should resist cultural pressure to endorse all things LGBT
This summer it seems as though everyone is doing it. If you are not on this particular bandwagon you are apparently not ’cool’. If the logo of this group is not on your brand then you are highly suspect. It’s rainbow time.
The police have cars painted with the rainbow logo in order to show they ‘care’. Companies are falling over themselves to signal their own virtue. Wagamama’s have rainbow place mats and a rainbow bench from which you can be served. The AA have joined in the games, re-painting some of their vans. As have Costa with their new rainbow cups. Skittles have changed their packaging, going black and white, because "during Pride only one rainbow matters".
You couldn't even avoid the commercialisation of virtue signalling at the World Cup. Paddy Power offered to donate £10,000 to LGBT charities for every goal that Russia scored.
What’s wrong with this? At a superficial level it all seems great because surely it is just about combating discrimination and letting ‘love be love’? But once you get beneath the surface and start thinking about it you can see that there is something deeply wrong with this fashion. It reflects three negative attitudes in our general cultural psyche – pride, phobia and parochialism.
1. The Pride – This is not just the pride at overthrowing the Christian understanding of sex and sexuality and replacing it with the sexual smorgasbord of Queer theory, but also the pride that comes from letting people know how virtuous you are. The rainbow has become a brand and those who use it are branding themselves as ‘the righteous’.
Last week the Prime Minister met with Peter Tatchell and other gay activists in order to praise them, offer millions more in funding and a 75 point action plan to combat homophobia. She may not be able to deliver a Brexit that pleases anyone, but at least she can show how nice the ‘nasty’ party have become by throwing yet more money at LGBT lobbyists.
2. The Phobia – I am not talking here about the irrational and wrong fear of homosexuals or homosexuality which does exist – but rather the fear of being called homophobic – that has become the ultimate crime, the blasphemy against the Holy State. Your political, academic, media, legal or business career is over if you are tried and found guilty of the sin of homophobia in the court of public opinion and the social media mob is let loose on you.
But there is redemption for sinners – providing they pay their penitence. Peter Tatchell has now pronounced his blessing and pardon on Prime Minister May (who once voted against same sex marriage and in favour of section 28). He tweeted after their latest meeting: “She sounded sincere. I believe in redemption & forgiveness, so I'm accepting her apology. I plan to work with her team to deliver more advances for LGBTI rights”.
What will of course happen is that with the corporate and political establishments in this country providing lots of money, the cash rich LGBT charities and lobby groups will be able to lobby for more money and laws – and they will get them – because everyone is phobic about being branded homophobic.
Those charities will in turn offer more awards to companies who indoctrinate their employees with their values and intimidate those who dare to disagree. The sexual thought police are always on the ball – in one of the more ridiculous examples, JK Rowling was recently attacked for not making Dumbledore was openly gay. Any magazine, soap opera or TV programme that doesn’t have a positive portrayal of gay relationships is likely to be branded homophobic.
This pride and phobia are also at work within the Church. We don’t want to be branded homophobic bigots so we have to get in on the act. So the former Evangelical Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rev Angus Morrison is honoured by the University of Glasgow for, among other things, “changing attitudes within the Church to same sex relationships.”
3. The Parochial - According to the dictionary parochial means - “Narrow minded, provincial, insular, inward-looking, limited, restricted, conservative, conventional, short-sighted, petty, close-minded, blinkered, myopic, introverted, illiberal, hidebound, intolerant”. Although it seems counter intuitive and is the very opposite of what is being claimed – this is what is happening with the rainbow bandwagon.
Let's just take the example of Costa telling us that their aim is to enable their employees to have "courage and pride in who they are". Does this apply to Christians too? Would Costa employees be allowed to wear crosses or 'Jesus loves you' t-shirts? Will Costa be giving out cups with Bible verses on them? Will the Corporations and Universities be inviting Christian experts in to train their workforce in rejecting anti-Christian prejudice? Will the government be providing millions to the Evangelical Alliance, the Church of England and the Catholic Church to combat Christophobia? The fact that the very idea is laughable indicates that ‘equality and diversity’ in contemporary society is neither equal nor diverse.
I am part of an organisation that proudly uses the rainbow symbol – because it is a covenant sign of God’s covenant mercy. I find it interesting that the current cultural misappropriation of the rainbow has six colours in it – whereas the rainbow has seven. In the Bible six is the number of man (indicating that something is lacking) whereas seven is the number of God – representing wholeness and purity. Maybe its time for Christians to humbly reclaim the sign of God’s covenant mercy, to love instead of fear, and to freely offer that mercy to all.
Opinions on the latest trends, topics, news and culture from a Christian perspective.