Rainbows are so wicked and perverted


Kayla Kenney was expelled from a private Christian school for flaunting rainbows and sending unorthodox signals about her sexuality. Well, good for her! She should count herself lucky!

But was this really about a Christian school expelling a teenager for being gay? There’s a lawsuit pending, so the school is frantically trying to get the idea across that she was being kicked out for her naughty behavior, not for her sexual preferences.

In an interview earlier this month, Kimberly Alford said her daughter had been on probation since October for “some behavioral issues,” including cutting class and being caught with an e-cigarette. But while she said school administrators claimed “in a roundabout way” that the probation wasn’t about her daughter’s sexuality, there were signs that administrators were singling the teen out for her “perceived sexuality.”

Oh boy, he said she said. This will be an ugly one to settle in court.

However, I’m getting mixed signals from the Christians. The Christian school is trying to make the case that it was an expulsion for cutting class, but…I get email from the IFI, the Illinois Patriarchy Institute, and right now they are tying themselves in knots. On the one hand, they are accusing the Evil Mainstream Media of misrepresenting the case, arguing that the school did no wrong — she was a wicked girl who had so many disciplinary offenses that she needed to be punished. On the other hand, oh boy, this letter is a frothing mad rant about homosexuality as an offense against god.

God’s rainbow has not been weaponized—well, at least not by Christians. Homosexuals have appropriated it, perverted it, and weaponized it against Christians.

The rainbow symbolized God’s promise not to again destroy the earth by a flood, which he had just done because of the sinfulness of man. It’s a reminder of God’s covenant with man and of his grace and mercy. God loves his creation and at the same time detests much that fallen humans feel, desire, believe, think, and do. God is loving, merciful, holy, and just. And Judgment Day is coming. He has told us in his Word that he will one day judge the world—not by water but by fire—and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, will be cast into the “lake of fire” for eternity.

That’s just the warmup. The Alford family consulted the heretic and radical inclusivist John Pavlovitz on the subject, and he declared that God loves gay people, and hoo boy, did that throw them into a rage.

Why, when theologically orthodox Christians affirm the clear words of Scripture on homosexuality or marriage, are they guilty of “claiming the moral high ground,” but when Pavlovitz cites Scripture to condemn them, he’s not guilty of “claiming the moral high ground”?

I wonder if Pavlovitz believes those who affirm biblical prohibitions of consensual adult incest, polygamy, or bestiality are guilty of “claiming the moral high ground” and of “completely lacking understanding of the empathetic heart of Jesus”?

They’re right, you know — Pavlovitz has no more authority to claim that he understands the intent of a cosmic deity than IFI does. We’re forced to rely on empathy and a common awareness of the needs of humans, no gods involved, to make that judgment, but I think it’s clear that Pavlovitz is expressing a humanist ideal gussied up with god-talk. No wonder they’re mad! They claim to be making a “righteous judgment” by condemning homosexuality as a sin.

Christians are called to judge with righteous judgment. We are not permitted to judge the eternal status of others or to judge hypocritically. But we are to judge between right and wrong action and to express those judgments. Scripture commands Christians to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” How can we avoid participating in unfruitful works of darkness if we aren’t told what those are?

Unfortunately, this leads them to conclude that “regressives” (that is, the libs) are wrong to claim that schools shouldn’t expel students for being gay, that Christians have that right.

Regressives don’t object to private schools having rules of conduct that reflect moral beliefs. Nor do they object to private schools expelling students for violating rules of conduct. Regressives object to anyone holding the moral belief that homoerotic acts and relationships are immoral. Instead of trying to create the impression that this school expelled a teen for an innocently decorated cake, why don’t regressive news sites just be honest and say a teen was expelled for intentionally violating rules based on Scripture that leftists abhor.

But wait! The school’s defense is that they were impartially expelling a girl for bad behavior, not for her sexuality. IFI started out by saying that was right, that the MSM was wrong, but by the end of their screed they were so indignant about The Gays that they completely reversed that — now it’s all about how it was righteous to expel her for homoerotic acts (that is, having a rainbow on her sweater & birthday cake) because they are justified by Scripture to punish gays.

At least they finally wound up being honest. Still ugly, though.

Comments

  1. says

    How did this become the hill they’ve chosen to die on? Has American christianity melded with the conservative romanticism of the Good Old Days to the point where they can’t distinguish the two anymore?

  2. brucegee1962 says

    I don’t quite understand the family’s justification for a lawsuit. Don’t most of those schools make students and parents sign something say they won’t Do The Gay, and the school has a right to kick them out if they do? Isn’t that one of the reasons some parents want their kids to go there?
    Which is, of course, one of the reasons those awful places should be shut down. At the very least, they should never, never be able to get a dime of public money.

  3. microraptor says

    Also, I’d just like to point out that the line in the Old Testament condemning homosexuality talks only about a man lying with another man. It says absolutely nothing about women- they’re not even following their own holy book.

  4. methuseus says

    I was about 7 when I realized that the rainbow being God’s promise was allegory, though I didn’t know that weird yet. I knew that a rainbow came from how water drops are formed, so it wasn’t really something that God could have just created as new.
    I was 9 or 10 when I understood that different cultures used the rainbow as different symbols for millennia.
    I was a teen when I realized the people using the old testament against gays and others were not following the structures against any of the other things in the nearby passages.
    I was in college when I realized most people don’t follow the arguably most basic tenet of Christianity: the Golden rule.
    Most religion is a joke, since everyone picks and chooses what to follow.

  5. says

    @3 Not to this degree. Any religion has a nationalistic element to it, but with American evangelicals, it’s not about dressing up their superstitions with tiny flags but about turning the mythology of The ’50s (along with frontier and colonial mythologies) into its own religion, of which Christianity plays only a minor part. It’s as if a post-apocalyptic wanderer created a religion based upon the 1953 Sears and Roebuck catalog they found.

    Obviously, this doesn’t entirely account for the Alt-Right and I suspect that I’m not making this thought as clear as I might, but I think the basic premise holds.

  6. garnetstar says

    I may have missed a memo here, but did the girl even say that she is gay? I thought that, at first at least, they expelled her just because of the rainbow decoration of the cake and her sweater.

    So, did they actually just do this because they thought that she might be gay? Or that they thought that she might be upholding gay rights? Even crazier, if so.

  7. says

    @7 There’s a chance she might be. The family’s also suing a conservative media outlet that hinted that she was in addition to the school. And they haven’t flatly denied the idea.

  8. lumipuna says

    Interesting. According to the story Susan linked, Kenney’s family is arguing that

    a) That one social media photo of a rainbow-colored birthday party shouldn’t be considered sufficient evidence of “homosexual orientation”, which is vaguely condemned in the school’s code of conduct

    b) While Kenney is indeed gay/bi/searching, the school only found it out via additional social media stalking, so it shouldn’t count for school conduct purposes (apparently, either because “inadmissible evidence” or because only public aspect of orientation should be relevant for the school).

    In addition, while the school treated this “offense” as a last straw in light of earlier misconduct, according to their own rules they should have offered some “remorse” based solution.

    In addition, the family is suing the school for making this story public (against their own privacy rules), and some rightwing pundit for slandering Kenney with dubious rumors of being actually “out” at school and being a sexual harasser.

  9. Zeppelin says

    “I wonder if Pavlovitz believes those who affirm biblical prohibitions of consensual adult incest, polygamy, or bestiality are guilty of “claiming the moral high ground” and of “completely lacking understanding of the empathetic heart of Jesus”?

    Is there a name for this rhetorical figure? Religious figures and self-help charlatans and similar people use it all the time. You know, wedging your sectarian agenda between advice that people could get literally anywhere and that you don’t particularly care about, but which is at least true, in order to lend the sectarian stuff credibility by association.

    Bullshit sandwich?

  10. Zeppelin says

    Regressives don’t object to private schools having rules of conduct that reflect moral beliefs. Nor do they object to private schools expelling students for violating rules of conduct.

    Oh, and we also have the old US reactionary standby, second only to “it isn’t technically illegal to say this, so you aren’t allowed to disagree” — the Retreat To Nonspecifics.
    Because “regressives” aren’t fundamentally opposed to the vague general concept of “expelling students for violating rules of conduct”, if we pretend that they are objecting to the abstract notion of “Christians expelling a student for violating rules of conduct”, rather than one specific thing they did for specific reasons, then we can call them hypocrites. And everyone knows that being a hypocrite is the same as being wrong, so that settles that.

  11. Diane says

    Well then why do they give support to a president that
    Married 3 times.
    Committed adultery many numerous times
    Who lies, cheats and steals.
    Who swears in public.
    I can ‘t imagine how a rainbow flag is worse then Trump.
    Because we all know they would have him as a guest speaker anytime.

  12. nomdeplume says

    Every outpouring of hate from one of these evangelical groups reads like the case notes of a psychiatrist trying to treat people who are clinically insane. And yet, of course, these people are running America.

  13. raven says

    Is there a name for this rhetorical figure?

    It’s a logical fallacy.
    That is all they ever have.

    It could be the slippery slope argument.
    If a girl holds hands with another girl, next thing you know she will be indulging in incest, polygamy, bestiality, or voting for the GOP.
    Of course, this is nonsense.
    Most of life is standing on slippery slopes while looking at many shades of gray.

    It could also be the Fallacy of False Equivalence.
    Wearing a sweater with a rainbow design is not the same as…incest, polygamy, bestiality, or being a fundie xian.

  14. leerudolph says

    It’s as if a post-apocalyptic wanderer created a religion based upon the 1953 Sears and Roebuck catalog they found.

    I dunno…I seem to recall, from not that many years later, that Sears catalogues had rather extensive bra-and-girdle sections.

  15. John Morales says

    [I did wait]

    Private Christian school — duh.

    (Why would anyone imagine they’d be egalitarian?)

  16. cartomancer says

    You know, right now I teach at a private Christian girls’ school. A Roman Catholic one, no less. And they don’t have a problem with homosexuality at all, either mine or among the girls. Indeed, this year one of the gender-neutral presenting students in the sixth form started an LGBT+ club for fellow travelers to feel safe and able to express themselves in.

    Which kind of gives the lie to this kind of thing. It’s not about Christianity, it’s about bigotry that calls itself Christianity. Christianity can be whatever the hell you want it to be, from thunderous conservative hate-frothing to a vague pablum about how nice it would be if everyone was nice. The fact you choose to make your Christianity the former rather than the latter says nothing about the religion and everything about you.

  17. John Morales says

    cartomancer:

    You know, right now I teach at a private Christian girls’ school. A Roman Catholic one, no less. And they don’t have a problem with homosexuality at all, either mine or among the girls.

    Well, yes. Hypocrisy is the most salient Christian attribute.

    Christianity can be whatever the hell you want it to be, from thunderous conservative hate-frothing to a vague pablum about how nice it would be if everyone was nice.

    Christianity as a vague term, maybe. Roman Catholicism, not-so-much.

    The rules for Catholics are precise and codified: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM — the Catechism.

    Specifically: https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

    So, if they have no prob with it, they’re only putative Catholics.

    (As I noted, by their hypocrisy shall thou know them)

    The fact you choose to make your Christianity the former rather than the latter says nothing about the religion and everything about you.

    Who is this ‘you’ to which you refer?

  18. John Morales says

    Also, the ambiguity amuses me mildly:
    (Christian girls)’ school vs. Christian (girls’ school)

    Two different things.

  19. says

    @18 Yes, but there’s no indication of why they were there. Our hypothetical nomad would have zero idea of the context under which anything in there was included. He wouldn’t understand why women were supposed to have cone-shaped boobs, only that the new Holy Book said that they should.

    But this is an illustration of the cargo-cult thinking of American conservatives. It’s not about any particular scripture, it’s about the fact that America, in the long-exploded past, hated gays, kept women in the kitchens and blacks in the ghettos and everyone loved Jesus. That’s the America they want and they’ve long forgotten why.

  20. publicola says

    It seems the school is implying that only people of faith can be moral, or make moral judgements, a fallacy often put forth by “believers”. We “regressives” don’t object to the moral beliefs of others as long as they don’t punish those who believe differently.

  21. publicola says

    Oh, and as far as the Sears catalog goes, I spent many youthful hours panting over the lingerie section. Guess Sears, Roebuck and I will be spending some time in the lake of fire. Eeee-haa!

  22. komarov says

    Well, this tells us exactly one mildly surprising thing about the IFI: It doesn’t have proof-readers. One of those would have highlighted the “grace and mercy” and “lake of fire” bits, asking which one it is. Well, it’s obvious why they don’t have proof-readers. Noone taking their job seriously could overlook the blatant self-contradictions, so nothing would ever pass muster.

    “Inconsistent, double-check. Maybe you meant ‘hate and misery?'”

  23. cartomancer says

    John Morales, #21,

    It is true that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, as an institution, has a set of very precisely codified rules and strictures about what it thinks Catholics are supposed to believe. If you take their view of what the religion is then yes, there is a distinct opposition to all things LGBT.

    But many, I am fairly sure it’s most, people who call themselves Roman Catholics are not quite so hidebound and by the numbers as the official hierarchy would wish them to be. For most it’s a culture. It’s an identity. It’s a vague set of stories and ideas that lurk in their cultural vocabulary. The vast majority of the identity is not bound up with the explicit affirmation of a set of well-articulated principles and dogmas. There are disagreements. There is flat-out rejection of some (much) of the hierarchy’s archaic ideas. In fact, the Roman Catholics I’ve met here seem little different from the Anglicans you meet elsewhere in Britain – very much on the “wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was nice” end of the spectrum.

    So why should we take the hierarchy as the arbiters of what it means to be Roman Catholic, rather than the vast majority of the regular adherents? Why should their hidebound and hateful version be acknowledged as the “authentic” version, but the vague and gooey version most people have rejected as inauthentic, or only “putative”?

    It seems to me that this great diversity of approach should be recognised, and with it comes an inescapable corollary – that if you have chosen a hidebound and hateful version then that’s your choice and you can be judged negatively for having done so. You could quite easily have chosen a vague and gooey version that harms no-one, but you didn’t. The hatred isn’t intrinsic to the phenomenon, you chose to adopt the hateful version of it.

  24. raven says

    But many, I am fairly sure it’s most, people who call themselves Roman Catholics are not quite so hidebound and by the numbers as the official hierarchy would wish them to be. For most it’s a culture. It’s an identity.

    That was what my natal Protestant denomination was like.

    They were supposedly Calvinist and had an official theology of some sort.
    No one ever knew what it was or talked about it.
    My impression was that everyone up to and including the church theologians hoped no one ever asked about it.
    The ministers I knew definitely weren’t into Predestination.
    I never heard one word about demons and I’m sure most people would have laughed at the idea.

    They were big on social justice, world peace and ending poverty and put some of their money that way.
    These days half the clergy are female.

  25. Kagehi says

    @27 – The commentary on the subject of Catholic “leadership”, vs. its followers by one individual I watched a video from pointed out that their “strategy” seems to be, “Con the public into thinking we changed.” The “new” Pope has presented various more relaxed stances, and promoted the idea of accountability, in theory, but, it seems to be more, “Love the sinner.”, nonsense, when it comes to LGBT+, and a lot of very half assed attempts to look like they are honestly trying to clean up scandals, while, in reality, they still refuse to hand people over to authorities, in the latter cases, and they still stab people in the back, and refuse to do their equivalent of actually firing the more conservative priests, cardinals, etc. that are still in there, and could rise to power again. In other words, its all window dressing, designed to keep their membership from dropping out like rats from a sinking ship, as seemed likely to happen before the prior guy retired (was forced out?), and the new “nicer” guy took over.

    In any case, I would say the same thing about the “majority of parishioners” not being like the leadership as I have, and do, when talking about what the “public” wants in the US, never mind liberals, vs. the leadership of either party – it means exactly jack all what the public actually wants, if the “leadership” they are expecting to listen to them is only playing lip service to actually supporting the public’s own view on any subject. It more begs the question, to those following such an organization, “Why don’t you do what everyone else does, when your leaders refuse to change, and just start something new, and let the old, broken, out of touch, organization die alone, without you in it?” And, I can see that being impractical for politics, but.. is the Vatican really that “important” that you can’t just throw out the old Catholicism and replace it with a new one? I am confused why even pretending that some clown in Europe still “leads” them, has any purpose at all, other than to just cause a bigger and bigger gap between the people claiming to lead it, and everyone that otherwise ignores them.

  26. John Morales says

    cartomancer,

    But many, I am fairly sure it’s most, people who call themselves Roman Catholics are not quite so hidebound and by the numbers as the official hierarchy would wish them to be.

    Indeed.

    So why should we take the hierarchy as the arbiters of what it means to be Roman Catholic, rather than the vast majority of the regular adherents? Why should their hidebound and hateful version be acknowledged as the “authentic” version, but the vague and gooey version most people have rejected as inauthentic, or only “putative”?

    Because that’s what Roman Catholicism is, codified.
    That’s what adherents purport to believe. That’s why there’s a credo and Confirmation.
    Or shorter: to deviate from those beliefs and practices is heresy.

    (To answer your rhetorical question, mainly because the consequences of heresy aren’t quite as, um, vigorous as they used to be back when the Church had more temporal power)

    It seems to me that this great diversity of approach should be recognised, and with it comes an inescapable corollary – that if you have chosen a hidebound and hateful version then that’s your choice and you can be judged negatively for having done so.

    There is only one version of Roman Catholicism, however many other sects there may be.
    Don’t believe its tenets? Don’t follow its rules? Have a different approach?
    Then don’t call yourself one, unless you care to indulge in hypocrisy, because you ain’t.

  27. consciousness razor says

    So why should we take the hierarchy as the arbiters of what it means to be Roman Catholic, rather than the vast majority of the regular adherents? Why should their hidebound and hateful version be acknowledged as the “authentic” version, but the vague and gooey version most people have rejected as inauthentic, or only “putative”?

    Because that’s what Roman Catholicism is, codified.
    That’s what adherents purport to believe. That’s why there’s a credo and Confirmation.
    Or shorter: to deviate from those beliefs and practices is heresy.

    Well, I don’t care what’s considered (by some) to be heresy and what’s not. That seems like a question for inquisitors to worry about, not me.
    I have a different sort of response, parallel to cartomancer’s talk of choosing a hateful and hidebound version (thus, we can hold them responsible for those choices).
    The simple fact is that the vague and gooey adherents are choosing to align themselves with the hateful and hidebound, the institution which has quite clearly stood for that exact thing since its beginnings many centuries ago. It may be true that these gooey people attempt to personally distance themselves somehow from the worst actors in the RCC. (Or whatever denomination — the RCC is really just a big and influential example.) Maybe these people also don’t personally say or do precisely the very same hateful/ignorant things as their coreligionists, which I guess is worth saying even though it’s saying very little.
    However, being Catholic (or whatever) isn’t a congenital condition. I was raised as a Catholic, and I can certainly sympathize with those who’ve felt pressured into it since childhood, as if it were a necessary aspect of their lives, and to an extent how those thoughts/feelings become internalized in a way that’s not easy to counteract. Still, also as a former Catholic, I know a person can decide to not be a part of it anymore, for moral reasons if for no others. They can decide to not join the hateful in their fight for “tradition.” (That’s because the traditions they want are radically different from each other — one with familiar old psalms and rituals and funny hats, the other with familiar old book burnings and arranged marriages and pedophiles. There’s no reason whatsoever to think it would have to be all or nothing.)
    So, if they actually and sincerely want a religion based on vague gooey mush, they can certainly do so. Over the years, many have started religions with much less. But that can’t happen within the RCC, while it remains the institution that it is. I think that type of religionist is just as mythical as the unicorn or the decent, good-hearted Nazi. Unless they’re really acting as secret double-agents, at least intending to actually betray it when the time is right, they’re just ordinary Nazis who are not decent or good-hearted. They’re just people who simply fucked up, like people do, sometimes very badly and sometimes not so badly.
    You know what’s easy though, much easier than leaving the church for instance? Coming up with excuses for why you won’t make the harder (and better) choice. Or worse, don’t even acknowledge that there is anything for which you’re responsible that requires an excuse; just point at somebody else (those bad Catholics over there) and act like you had nothing at all to do with it. That might be enough to distract some people, at least for a while.

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