Friday, July 1, 2011

Pride Meets Prejudice II: Through the Looking Glass

In light of this tradition, however, Dr. Jennifer "Jenn" Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage-affiliated anti-Gay Ruth Institute ("Making Marriage Cool" QED) in December of 2010 had the audacity to declare in an interview with OneNewsNow that it is essentially disrespectful for the rainbow to be lauded by the Gay Liberation Movement because "the rainbow is a sign of God's covenant with man", even going so far as to admit that the supporters of Marriage Discrimination in California during Prop-8, as a consequence of their religious ideology, are the real "rainbow coalition" for impeding and eroding the social progress of Gay men and Lesbians throughout that state through oppression.  Morse goes further, by protesting the use of the rainbow by the Gay Liberation Movement by publicly wearing a dime-store clearance sale rack-akin "rainbow"-colored scarf to the Ninth-Circuit US Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California (pictured) in order to "signify" that supporters of Marriage Discrimination "still own the rainbow" (emphasis added).

She reacts throughout her interview as though we are seemingly infringing upon Christian symbolism!  Indeed, she says something that is quasi-accurate: "The gay lobby does not own the rainbow."  Indeed, no one does (as we shall see), despite the evident hypocrisy over the her latter claim that while the Gay community cannot "own the rainbow", Christians - on the other hand - can and historically do.  And, in a demonstrable effort to raise the specter that Gay people are an inappropriate subject matter for children, she implies how unseemly the rainbow is as a symbol of Gay identity and the Gay Liberation Front when one allows themselves to consider that (allegedly Christian) parents might want to decorate their children's nurseries with rainbows and preschools or churches may erect them on their premises.  This implication might even suggest her easily-manipulated readership to imagine - if we are to take her specious illustrations to their illogical conclusions - defenseless children constructing rainbow art-work in Sunday School class rooms.  The horror!!!  (As we shall see she takes this notion much further.)  She ends her diatribe by calling on her fellow Christians to lead by example - as she has proudly done - in order to "take back the symbol of the rainbow because it represents God's promise to humanity."

It would seem that a few Bloggers have taken Morse up on her call to action in order to shift the cultural tide in an effort to make the rainbow, rather than a symbol of Gay Liberation, instead, a symbol with purely Christian connotations.  One such anonymous website directly associated with the Catholic Tide website - on account of the numerous links to Catholic Tide contained within the website's source - boasts the following Blog entry, "Do you cringe when you see the rainbow?":
When you see a picture of a rainbow on a tee-shirt or a brochure or a website, do you turn away to avoid being offended?
The author goes on to lament that the rainbow has been defamed over the last ten years by the Gay Liberation Movement (which he calls an "ugly trend"), insinuating that we have ruined thereligious significance of this image for Catholics in their services and their rites; and that we have "twisted" the rainbow into an ovate symbol of the "defiant rejection of God's law".  (My attempts to verify whether or not the website-owner is, in some way, directly affiliated with either the Ruth Institute in general, or Roback Morse in particular, have gone unanswered.)  Morse's call to arms may have even sparked the creation of a Face Book page and an anti-Gay Catholic ministry in Toronto, Canada.

But, this story doesn't end there.  Barely a week after the original interview with OneNewsNow Morse posted a supplemental comment in which she claims to have been utterly surprised by the reaction that her allegedly off-handed remarks garnered her chiefly by the Gay community.  The Blogosphere was rife with commentary in the days that followed: Good As YouTowle RoadThe Immoral MinorityQueerty; Dan Savage with Big Gay BlogNerveFire Dog Lake; the SF Weekly; and even Comedy Central weighed on on this asinine subject!  Most of her secondary remarks are replete with sarcasm and intended to trivialize our Flag by insisting in the alleged primacy of the rainbow's Biblical symbolism.  It is certainly her erroneous comments, and her insensitively unjustifiable offense that convinced CNN's own Anderson Cooper to add Morse to his RidicuList a mere two days after her initial interview in mid-December: 

Morse was later called to respond to Coopers satirical commentary - which she now wears as a badge of honor - on an Evangelical talk radio program called "Issues, Etc." on 21 December (the Winter Solstice), 2010 (starts at the 2:54 mark) in which she demonstrates disdain for the Gay Liberation Movement as well as no knowledge about the history of the Rainbow Flag or its antecedents in her quixotic ambitions to victimize children as the casualties of a principally adult-centered cultural indoctrination, even scapegoating the Gay Blogosphere for an implicit knowledge of an allegedly "subversive" assault on (to her) Christianity and a purely innocent cultural symbol (transcribed):
[Cooper] obviously didn't read the full interview in which I was making the point that Gay pride people don't own the rainbow; and, if you go back far enough in the Fist Book of Genesis the rainbow is given to mankind as a sign of His covenant that He will never again destroy the human race, no matter how badly we misbehave.  And, by my calculation, that's about twenty-five hundred years prior to the Stone Wall riot where the Gay pride people decided they were going to use the Rainbow Flag.  So, you know, if we're gonna' go back, let's not be ridiculous...let's not be completely ridiculous and go back to the source, here!  But, what has been surprising to me, Tod, is I'm getting two sets of reactions: On one side is the kind of reaction Anderson Cooper's saying, "Oh, c'mon, this is not a big deal!"  But then, on the other side, there are certain Gay Activists who are saying, "You can't take that back. We own it!  We've had that since 1963" or whatever they're claiming, ya' know?  "And, you can't take it back"; and, besides, if you start putting a rainbow over your kid's are training them or preparing them to be pro-Gay in some way, ya' know?  And if you look at the article that was written by the Incompost[?] that was published on the Washington Post Blog about it, you will see them saying all of these different connections where people use the rainbow for all kinds of things.  And, if you really read it and see what they're saying, you will see; I think that the Gay Pride people who adopted this symbol knew perfectly well from the very beginning that they were taking something basically innocent and attaching their own meaning to it, and there by claiming it.  Ya' know?  And thereby assigning meaning to it that would thereby cover every body so that it's hard for a Christian preschool to put a little rainbow up in their preschool for all the kids with little animals, know, it's...that's harder now than it was.  And, I think they knew from the beginning that that's what they were doing!  ...that this is a deeply subversive thing that they did, and they knew it!  Right?!  And so now, little old me, is raising up her hand and saying, "I'm gonna' call you out on it!"  And, now, they're all in a titter over it.
Ultimately, it can be said - based on this interview - that Morse's grasp of history is, quite bluntly, pitiful!  Yes, there have been accounts of Catholic Priests being very harshly criticized for wearing a rainbow banded chasuble by their own parishioners   However, people are still being rebuked and punished for wearing the rainbow in any form at public institutions as a symbol of Gay Pride.

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