Friday, July 10, 2015

Symbols Gone Wrong

Copyright © Edward Riojas

Just as some words change in meaning over time, so do some images. Visual symbols, in particular, can be affected by the course of history.
The Girls' Club's periodical. That was then.

Such was the case with the truly American institution, The Girls’ Club – a spin-off of the Ladies Home Journal. During the early years of the last century, way before the Nazi’s even thought of coming to power, The Girls’ Club had the swastika as their symbol – even publishing a monthly magazine by that name. Of course, they borrowed the sun symbol from – of all places – ancient India. No matter. History is not kind, not even to wholesome, young American women networking to sell magazine subscriptions. No one needs to re-hash the image. It is, and always will be, associated with evil, with dictatorial rule, and with modern-day knuckleheads and pea-wits. There is nothing nice about that ancient Indian symbol anymore.

Recent history has once again foisted another ancient symbol to the forefront. Like The Girl‘s Club logo, this particular example has been pressed into service by a rather unsavory bunch whose collective mouth far exceeds its members. However, unlike the Nazi’s usurped symbol, the image to which I am referring is much more ancient, and it was created by the Designer of the cosmos. In that sense, it is Holy with a capital “H.” The symbol is, of course, the bow of The Lord – the rainbow.

That first rainbow was placed in the sky by The Lord as a reminder that He would never again destroy the earth by a flood. It is not as though He needs a reminder, but we constantly do need to be reminded of this Holy promise, not to mention a flood of other promises by the same Word. That post-apocalyptic promise was given to us by our Loving Father as a comfort in this fallen world, and it had nothing to do with gay pride – unless, of course, you consider one of the reasons for the flood in the first place.

I have read attempts by some to justify the rainbow’s use by the gay community. The arguments are sieve-like at best. I often get the feeling that the use of that symbol by the gay community is used to taunt The Lord’s Holy restraint. Is it reminding us of God’s promises? I think not.

Listen, folks: Let’s not mess with God’s intellectual property. I know there wasn’t an FBI seal with a warning against piracy hovering in the sky when it was first unfurled, and I know The Lord won’t unleash a legion of winged lawyers to smite you, but don’t think for a moment you are being cunning or clever with Him. You are not. His unquestionable judgement is being reserved out of reckless love.

Recently, even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, the city of Seattle decided it would be a good thing to change normal “ladder crosswalks” to rainbows. Maybe they were trying to be clever. Maybe the residents have a strong affinity for Fruit Loops. Maybe their heads are filled with unicorns and marshmallow fluff. Maybe the city is going for the “After the storm” image. I doubt it. The gay minority is simply being loud and obnoxious, and baiting their trap with moronic catch-phrases like “Intolerance” and “Homophobia.”

In spite of what is written here, we needn’t fret or react beyond earnest prayer. The gay community may be able to project a rainbow on the White House, but they can in no way begin to replicate The Lord’s design or detract from it. What is interesting in  Seattle’s case is that the crosswalks, while in your face at street level, are dwarfed by a greater symbol they encompass when viewed at a greater altitude. The simple, black, intersection of two roads, forming a cross, is yet visible from the heavens. And THAT is an image worth remembering.

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