We Need More Zealots of Hope!
(The following is a revision of a column I wrote two weeks ago. I revised it, removed any reference to Christianity and local churches and it STILL WAS REJECTED as too controversial for our rural, southern town.)
June is LGBT Pride Month in 2022. You might be a bit confused because October is LGBT History Month. I didn’t know this until I looked it up.
I, sadly, and stupidly, didn’t know it was LGBT Pride Month. And this is even though Cheryl and I proudly walked with friends in St. Louis’ June parade a few years back. It was a fantastic, soulful experience.
No, how I found out was on our wonderful platform of Facebook. One of those religious zealot types was angry as heck that the rainbow had been stolen away from Allah (or other) fearing, Koran (or other) toting, sinner stoning, women shaming, black blaming Sunday Go To Meeting in a mosque, temple or other, folks.
So they’ve made them a nice little meme with an ark, a rainbow and a Bible verse reference with the overall heading of “Promise not pride.”
Now I’m not a person who believes Evil is some magical thing. I don’t believe it exists just because. I really don’t believe evil exists at all. It’s a construct of man attempting to explain things he doesn’t understand.
So I get that these people don’t understand what is different, even slightly from themselves. But why is it necessary to create a divisiveness over a rainbow?
According to them, the rainbow, seen all over the world, is a promise to true believers. It’s the true meaning of the rainbow. That’s right, they think the rainbow has a specific meaning for their zealocity.
And so unfortunately followers of Buddhism, Shinto, Sikhism, Confucianism, Jainism, Hinduism as well as a bunch of others are out of luck. Basically we’re talking about the entire continent of Asia. No rainbow for you!
Those poor bereft souls.
I think most people understand a rainbow is a naturally occurring event that happens many times after rain falls. What we don’t know, or don’t have time to reasonably rationalize is it has to do with sunlight, the electromagnetic spectrum, and how light, which consists of many different wavelengths strikes a rain drop.
But who wants to go through with all that?
Instead after seeing a rainbow, rational people roll on through the day thinking “ah what a beautiful world we have some days” while religious zealot types exclaim to their minions, “look at God’s promise to us!”
Come on, man! The last time I heard anything about the rainbow and the Big Guy above was probably when I was eight years old. Coincidentally, this is also about the time I started understanding metaphors and rationalizations better than most adults.
But now, because it’s LGBT Pride Month, these turkeys are back! We got to protect the rainbow. We got to bring back the ark. We got to put some clothes on Adam and Eve!
And that’s the problem with zealots of any kind. They don’t understand things. They don’t seek to understand things. And they use printed books of hope and peace to twist meanings around to fit their ignorance, desires…and pocketbooks.
The word zealot sounds a lot like the word sellout, as in “that guy would sellout his own soul for a bit more gold”. Why aren’t there more sellouts for good?
Why aren’t there more zealots for unlimited giving, or peace, or benefit of the doubt or heck, plain old hope?
If you listen between the lines, there seemingly was only one guy like this and he got the “Et tu Brute” treatment about 2000 years ago. It didn’t work out well for him, so now all the zealots have turned to sellouts.
If I were a Sunday Go To Meeting in a mosque, temple or other type, I would view my organizational zealot as someone who I could go to with my problems and someone I could trust to administer good words, thoughts, meditations and prayers during those times.
I wouldn’t want my zealot to be a divisive, judgmental, purveyor of fear and hatred. If I had a child who was gay, I would not want them to feel unwelcome in the mosque, temple or other I attend. I would not want them condemned by a person incapable of thoughtfulness. And I would not want them taught by someone full of ignorance.
The rainbow was used as a symbol by the author of Genesis. The rainbow was used as a symbol of antiracist, anticlass, multiculturalism in 1969, by the Black Panthers. And Harvey Milk, the gay city official for San Francisco, used the rainbow flag as a symbol during the first Gay Pride parade in 1978. Since then it has expanded to represent the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially in rural areas like our own, spend their lives in denial, or in shame, or in fear of family, friends and “others.” Pride parades give them an opportunity, maybe if only for a few minutes or hours, to shed their fears and feel accepted and loved as part of the whole community.
If only some of our zealots could remember that fella from 2000 years ago, who dined with, and attended to, the shunned members of his communities.
Also, read more books.