Whose Rainbow is it?

This must be the ultimate confirmation of insanity in the Woke Moronochy. LGBT activists are now claiming the NHS has appropriated their rainbow!

Whose rainbow is it, anyway? 

To start with, what is a rainbow?

“A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon caused by the reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets.” 

When this happens it results in a spectrum of light, in a great bow, appearing in the sky. It’s been doing it for millions of years, long before ancient man appeared on the earth, without any human help.

Rainbow by Met Office

It has been one of the best loved symbols throughout time. Give a group of small children a mix of crayons and some paper and it won’t be long before one or more of them will have drawn a rainbow. It seems to be instinctive. We have a big rainbow in the (defunct) children’s corner in our village church. We leave it there because we like the bright colours and hope one day the children will come back. 

It is NOT one of these rainbows. 

An LGBT+ Altar

I can’t remember when, but some years ago, perhaps many years ago, these rainbow flags and banners started appearing all over the place — outside supermarkets and petrol stations and inside churches — as a symbol of something labelled LGBT+. Without any explanation, somehow, it just seemed to happen.

Sometimes we saw rainbows in the sky.

Then along came Covid19. Suddenly there were rainbows all over the place again. Hand drawn in windows, painted outside houses, stuck on boards in hedges, and great banners in towns. And we would meet outside our houses on Thursday evenings and clap and cheer for the NHS and give thanks for all the hospital staff fighting the horrible virus on our behalf. 

Children’s Rainbows

When the weather was right, we would see a rainbow in the sky and we would smile and say a prayer of thanks for the NHS and their equivalents across the world.

“But gay rights campaigners have argued that the rainbow — a long-established LGBTQ+ symbol — has been “appropriated”.  And it’s feared it could undermine new pride badges set to identify medical staff whom gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people can feel comfortable talking to. Peter Tatchell, a gay rights campaigner, said that the LGBTQ+ community had been “robbed” and called on the health service to create its own symbol.” The Scottish Sun

I’ve not yet heard of any high ranking cleric bothering to explain what the Rainbow really is.

It is a symbol, but one that goes back thousands of years. In the Bible all the way back to Genesis and the story of Noah and the Ark. But, of course, that’s from the Old Testament and as our former Vicar told us a few months ago, “The Old Testament is irrelevant.” 

Let me tell you where the real rainbow comes from:

In Genesis 10: v13 God said:  I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token or a covenant between me and the earth.

Therefore — Stonewall, Gay Pride, Pink News, Peter Tatchell, Jayne Ozanne et al. – I think it looks as though it is you who appropriated the rainbow for your banners and badges. So stop bleating and let our children put pictures of rainbows anywhere they like.

The Ever-Widening Gap Between Them and Us

I mean, of course, the ever widening gap between them at the top and us at the bottom: specifically, those of us down in the local churches and parishes. There, we try everything we can think of to keep the doors open and the Gospel alive: at the top, the Bench of Bishops seem to be doing any quirky thing they can think of to shut us down and shut us up . . .

Just two examples of what I mean:

At the top, Paul Bayse, Bishop of Liverpool, recently opened the first meeting of MoSAIC. Have you ever heard of it? Nor had I.  The CofE loves initials. LLF – Living in Love and Faith is the current one. I think LLL would be better because there’s little Faith about it. Living in Love and Lust would be more accurate.

Anyway, Bishop Paul Bayse addressed this meeting of MoSAIC a few weeks ago. It’s taken me all this time to work out what he was trying to say and I’ve come to the conclusion it is not good news for simple lay people trying to maintain life and the Gospel in a small parish.

MoSAIC stands for Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church. Clever, eh? Sadly, “supporting Anglicans” doesn’t seem to include bog standard Christian congregations in most small churches, and I think I can speak for all the other 20 to 30 people in the village church I attend. To support MoSAIC we’d have to stop believing what we’ve been believing all our lives.

Here are just two of the many things that worry me about what Paul Bayes says:

First, obviously, is what the bishop chooses to describe as a “gender neutral marriage canon”. He means, of course, same-sex marriage. Needless-to-say he can give no sound theological arguments to support this. That’s not surprising. Bishops aren’t theologians any more. 

Bayes tells us, plainly, “people grow up and fall in love and their mysterious bodies lead them to love as they love, and they will love whom they love, and no amount of harrumphing is going to change that.”

He’s right. No amount of harrumphing ever changed anything. In affirming the truth of the mystery of love, and loving whom they will love is he including pædophilia and incest, polygamy and child marriage? As a Bishop I think +Liverpool should be much more careful in his use of words. Fortunately we have Jesus in the Gospels to guide us through the mysteries of sexual attractions and support us in the Way of Truth.

Secondly, he quotes, without understanding, something the World Council of Churches said way back in the 1960s. “Let the world set the agenda for the Church of England”.

Which world would that be, Bishop? The world of Sharia Law? The world of dictatorships? The world of tribal and/or religious warfare? Surely, if I remember correctly, St Paul has something to say about this world’s agenda in Romans xii. 2.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

So much for the view from the top.

Meanwhile, down in deepest Dorset, a simple parish priest is in trouble. His Archdeacon is threatening him with a CDM (Clergy Discipline Measure) — something to strike terror into the most innocent of lowly clegy.

The Reverend Charlie Boyle broke three Covid rules in his church in Poole. One, he hugged someone! Two, he sang in church on Easter Sunday. Third, he put Bibles back in the pews.

In the first instance he hugged a woman, not in lust but in sympathy as she grieved at the funeral of a loved one. On Easter Sunday, as he carried the cross down the nave, he sang a verse of the hymn ‘Thine be the glory.’ He didn’t need to wear a mask because he’s an asthmatic and I don’t know anyone who can stand and merely listen to that wonderful hymn to Handel’s ‘conquering hero’ tune. Lastly, after a year in storage, he replaced the Bibles in the pews. It’s a small church, there were only 15 people there and I’m betting that they were all fairly old and had all been double vaccinated. Nevertheless, those Covid laws must be obeyed to the letter.

As far as ‘Them Up There’ are concerned breaking Covid laws is far worse than breaking the laws of God.

An Old Lady says the Lord’s Prayer.

“Our Father, who art in Heaven.”

Well, Lord, it certainly looks like Heaven this morning. Here I am sitting up in bed, lifting my eyes to the hills — and there is nothing to see! Just an impenetrable mist rising up from the valley. That’s what it must have been like, I suppose, in the beginning when Your Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. 

“Hallowed be Thy Name.”

Help me to keep Your name and that of Jesus Christ, in my mind and holy all through this day.

“Thy Kingdom Come.” 

Oh, please, God. Here, in Britain, we seem to be sleepwalking out of your Kingdom and into a weird wokedom where things that I have believed all my life are no longer believed to be the Truth any more.

“Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

Well, I try Lord. I went to church on Sunday. Inside, the building is still festooned with black and yellow tape to make sure we keep our distance, just like a crime scene. And absolutely no singing, although it’s allowed in pubs. Despite everything, I have enough faith in the people of this land not to allow churches to become crime scenes, even though that is happening in some parts of your world. Even here we’ve had the police called in from time to time for Covid infringements. Thankfully, You are always with the persecuted and martyrs and that brings me comfort and hope.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

You do that God —  at the moment with abundance. My veg patch had a difficult Spring – I could have done without the hailstones that flattened the early peas and beans. On the other hand the flowerbeds are more colourful and scented than I ever remember. Despite Brexit fears we can still buy salads aplenty and punnets of gorgeous strawberries.

“Forgive us our Trespasses.”

You’d think, Father, that after 84 years, my trespasses should be getting fewer. Instead, it seems to be the reverse. I still have all my old faults – anger, irritation, frustration, lack of compassion – and now my long memory reminds me of many sins in the past that I would wish I could forget. Forgetting and regretting is hard, even though I know I am forgiven.

“As we Forgive those that Trespass against us.”

And now we’ve come to my biggest problem. It’s a new problem. In the old days the people who I thought were trespassers against me were normal evil doers; murderers and corrupt politicians. And really not that many. Nowadays, the people who I feel are trespassing against me in legions seem to be mean-spirited tyrants who want to dominate the way I speak; even the very words I may and may not use. 

You gave me a love of words, Lord; you taught me their strength and power and showed me how to use them truthfully and to honour them. Now I am frightened that all this, even Freedom of Speech, is threatened.

Yesterday morning I read in the news about a woman called Milli Hill. She is an “Antenatal Guru”; that seems to mean that she offers online advice and encouragement to pregnant women. During lockdown that must have been an enormous help to many women expecting a baby. She was supported by the charity, Birthright, who have just sacked her. 

Why? Simple. She used the word “women”. 

You know, God, all my life I’ve assumed that all the world’s population was made up of men and women; male and female, as I believe you had created them. Now, suddenly, calling a woman a ‘woman’ is a hate crime. We, women, must become ‘birthing people’ in order not to offend transgender people.

I’m sorry, Lord but just at the moment I am finding it impossible to forgive that charity. And not just that charity but the so-called ‘trolls’ who have condemned Mrs Hill, vilified her and threatened her. For what? She has never written about transgender people and she has never objected to a transgender person being described as a ‘birthing person.’ So, I am raging with anger. I’m truly sorry but there is no way I can repent, at the moment, of my fury at their trespasses against me, against Milli Hill and the millions like me who believe we are women. With Your help I hope that I have calmed down enough to be able to pray for forgiveness by the time I say my evening prayers. So help me, God.

“Lead us not into Temptation, and deliver us from Evil”

This is what my friend, Eileen, keeps saying. She tells me to resist the temptation of reading all these examples of wokedom and getting so worked up. ‘What about the threat to free speech?’ I ask her. ‘Someone has to speak up and fight that evil.’ ‘It doesn’t have to be you,’ she says. ‘Not at your age. Do your knitting and smell the roses.’ 

But speech is powerful and precious and we need to be careful. And if you’ve given me a gift with words, Lord, then, even if I’m old and grey, I feel I still ought to keep on keeping on — praying for compassion as I rant!

“For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, for ever and ever. Amen”