When Assaulted by Rainbows

A popular cartoon captured the experience of logging in to social media the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage: a thick blast of rainbow shoots out of a computer screen, blinding the hapless user. It started soon after the court’s decision; people on social media applied a rainbow filter to their profile image to celebrate. Companies followed suit, changing their Twitter avatars to rainbow-themed brand logos.

Like most popular things on the internet, the rainbow grew virally, and you could feel the tug to join in as close friends and coworkers, friends from high school and cousins on your dad’s side, actors and multinational corporations converged to celebrate the court’s decision. And if you, like me, were disappointed by the ruling, you found social media to be an increasingly contested space between these modified avatars and the disparaging responses from some Christians, and you wondered how to respond, or even if you should. What is the opposite of a rainbow?

That social moment has passed, but it won't be the last time social media overwhelms us with an avatar that supports a cause that we might find questionable. We need to think about our response.

Before answering the question above, we should think about what exactly the terms of the conflict are in such a situation. What does it mean to alter our Facebook image this way? What do we hope to accomplish? In a private, Reformed Facebook group I belong to, someone posed the question: If I want to stand for biblical marriage, what should my Facebook profile picture be? Among the more popular counter-protest images I’ve seen is rainbow stripes with the overlaid text “I support the Noahic Covenant,” ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Culture Matters
From Christ and Pop Culture, Culture Matters looks at the artifacts, practices, and memes that matter to our culture and considers how evangelicals can wisely participate in them
From Christ and Pop Culture
Previous Culture Matters Columns:
October
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Christianity Today
When Assaulted by Rainbows
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2015

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.