As magical as we like to think rainbows are, they're simply a refraction of light through water or a prism — a completely natural phenomenon of which no one has ownership.
Yet, according to conservative Christian radio host Bryan Fischer, us "gays" have stolen the rainbow from God. And he demands we give it back.
Fischer tweeted this viewpoint on Sunday.
"Worst example of cultural appropriation ever: LGBTs stole the rainbow from God," he wrote. "It's his. He invented it. Gen. 9:11-17. Give it back."
There is just so much wrong with this tweet.
1. Calling queer people's use of the rainbow "cultural appropriation" is essentially like saying reverse racism is an actual thing. It's not. Cultural appropriation is when people who have more power (namely, straight white people) take something associated with another culture and use it as their own.
2. "LGBTs?" Would you say "gays," "bisexuals," or "transgenders?" Some people do use those terms, but for the most part they're considered offensive. The proper way to talk about the queer community is to say "LGBTQ people" or "queer people" or "transgender people."
3. LGBTQ people have not "stolen" the rainbow. We use it as a cultural symbol, yes, but have not co-opted the rights. Anyone — God included — can use ROYGBIV as a color scheme anywhere they'd like.
Still, queer people and their allies are completely willing to give Fischer his rainbows. They have a few helpful suggestions on just how he can take them back.
As silly as the queer community's response is, Fischer's tweet underscores hate LGBTQ people still face from many conservative Christian groups. He's not the first to suggest queer people have stolen rainbows from God. It's an argument that pops up surprisingly often. The people who make this argument often claim that LGBTQ people have tainted the rainbow, which used to be a symbol of promise from God (he apparently sent a rainbow into the sky after destroying the Earth with that devastating, year-long flood.)
According to this argument, queer people have no place in religion. We're not getting saved. We're not friends with God. It's this kind of hate that leads to discrimination against queer people in and out of church.
Despite your beliefs, we'd like to think that God would be happy to share his rainbows. So we'll keep waving the flag at pride parades.