Some observations on rainbows

Some observations on rainbows

Why must some people become so disturbed, or even enraged, by something as inoffensive as rainbow imagery?

With reference to the Nov. 6 letter (herein referred to as the letter) challenging the proposed Rainbow Crosswalk, and more broadly referring to other similar concerns expressed in this paper about the crosswalk proposal, I offer the following brief thoughts and observations.

The Oct. 12 front page article ‘Rainbow crosswalk promoted’ (herein referred to as the ‘Front Page article’) describing council’s approval of the crosswalk did not actually specify an intent by council for civic funding of the crosswalk painting.

As it later turned out, the cost of the painting appears likely to be covered by private citizens so that particular fiscal worry should be lessened for the letter writer.

Another concern raised in the letter seems to be the author’s mistaken notion that the crosswalk represents an advocacy by council of a normative moral principle.

As I read the statements by council in the front page article, the rainbow symbol is not confined to LGBTQ issues but is sufficiently broad as to include whatever views one may wish to associate with rainbows.

The letter’s author suggests a scale depiction of Noah’s Ark be displayed within the crosswalk.   Perhaps the author didn’t know or had forgotten that within the odd literary construction of the flood stories in Genesis 6 through 9 (both versions of story; the Elohim (Priestly Source) version and the Jahwist (YHWH) version), in addition to the aforementioned Ark, God created the symbol of the rainbow as a reminder to His people of the Noahide Covenant.

So, in this context, placement of an Ark depiction within the rainbow crosswalk would be redundant and unnecessary.

Rainbow imagery has been used extensively within both religious and secular literature, usually (though not always) to the same positive and uplifting thematic purpose.

Its first appearance in mythology involving floods and ‘Ark-like’ vessels appears in civilization’s oldest known creation narrative, the ancient Sumerian story The Epic of Ziusudra, a literary work that precedes authorship of the Tanakh’s Masoretic text of the Genesis flood story by about 1,000 years.

Indeed, the ancient Near East was awash in flood stories.

Why must some people become so disturbed, or even enraged, by something as inoffensive as rainbow imagery?

Surely religion in general, and Christianity in particular, cannot be regarded as under-represented and threatened in Vernon.

Even an atheist and/or agnostic would have trouble finding the rainbow symbol unpalatable despite several religious or mythological connections.

Let’s try out just being kind to one another for a while and see if that helps calm us down.

It’s just a crosswalk.

You’ll rarely or never use it anyway.

John Stubbs, Vernon