Ken Ham Says You Can’t Have the Rainbow

Of all the controversies in the world, this one may be the most trivial, but it’s of vital importance to Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. He has just written We’re Keeping the Rainbow at the Ark Encounter. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

During the Christmas season, we lit up the full-size Ark at our themed attraction, Ark Encounter, in rainbow lights for a beautiful display. Well, we’ve decided to enhance the rainbow lights and make them a permanent feature during evenings at the Ark, located south of Cincinnati. We will be working over the coming months to ensure this change is permanent. It’s all part of “taking the rainbow back.” [Hambo’s bold font.]

Hambo explains:

Now what do I mean by that? Well, in a blog post announcing the rainbow lights at the Ark, I wrote,

[Hambo quotes himself:] In recent times the rainbow (albeit with some different colors) has come to represent . . . freedom, love, pride, a new era, and, specifically, the LGBTQ movement. . . . But the rainbow itself wasn’t designed to be a symbol of freedom, love, pride, or the LGBTQ movement. [Hambo’s bold font.] God created this beautiful, colorful phenomenon and designated it as a sign of His covenant with Noah and his descendants forever.

Sadly, people ignore what God intended the rainbow to represent and proudly wave rainbow-colored flags in defiance of God’s command and design for marriage. Because of this, many Christians shy away from using the rainbow colors. But the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promises before the LGBTQ movement — and will continue to be after that movement has ended. As Christians, we need to take the rainbow back and teach our young people its true meaning.

Gasp — the rainbow was created by God! It’s God’s symbol. After that he tells us:

I’ve had people on social media claim that “the rainbow doesn’t belong to anyone.” Despite their insistence, they’re sure it’s not a symbol of God’s judgment and mercy and instead claim it symbolizes a spectrum of gender identities.

What follows is Hambo’s recital of the history of gays using the rainbow. We’ll skip that. Then he says:

So the rainbow colors have been a symbol of the gay community since the 1970s. But the rainbow has been a symbol of the judgment and mercy of the Creator for much, much longer than that — around 4,300 years longer! You see, after the global Flood of Noah’s day, God made a promise to Noah, his family, their descendants, and the animals.

Hambo provides a big bible quote to support that, after which he continues:

The rainbow reminds us that God judged sin with a global Flood, but that He promises never to judge again with a global Flood — the final judgment will be by fire. Whether they realize it or not (and likely, in our secular age, they do not), gay activists and the gay community are using God’s symbol of judgment and salvation as a celebration of their sinful behavior.

The fools! Let’s read on:

Now, we aren’t displaying the rainbow colors or “taking the rainbow back” because we hate gay people, like some people have accused us of. We desperately want lost people — people made in the image of God and deceived by a lie — to hear the truth that God judges sin but that He lovingly offers a free gift of salvation to all who will believe.

Hambo is so compassionate! He goes on and on, so we’ll give you just one more excerpt:

God is patiently withholding His judgment against sin because He isn’t willing that any should perish. But, eventually, a day is coming when He will judge all sin (not just sexual sin, but every sin), this time with fire. The rainbow should serve as a reminder of the reality of God’s past and coming judgment and also of His patience and mercy.

Yes, dear reader — the rainbow should remind you that the Lake of Fire is your eternal punishment. It belongs to God — and of course to Hambo, as God’s most dutiful messenger. So don’t use it!

Out of curiosity, we googled for images that used the rainbow in advertising. There’s a bunch of products that Hambo needs to criticize — including Skittles and Apple Computer’s rainbow-colored apple symbol. Now that Hambo intends to take the rainbow back, it’s going to be interesting.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “Ken Ham Says You Can’t Have the Rainbow

  1. But surely the most important political use of the rainbow as a symbol was in South Africa, when the Rainbow Nation replaced the brutal apartheid regime. I wonder if Ham agreed with so many on the US right that that use of the “rainbow” was likewise evil?

  2. So some psychopathic gawd & known liar invented the rainbow to tell us that the next time he has a temper tantrum he will not commit genocide with water, but will most likely use fire! Good to know …reminder buy more extinguishers!!!

  3. Ken, the US Navy* called, they said they’re “taking the boat back” as a symbol of things that displace water and navigate the high seas**. And, beware, their ability to rain fire has some historical evidence.

    *Apologies to our British friends.
    **Apologies to fans of navigable rivers.

  4. More homophobia in the name of our imaginary sky friend. Really isn’t it time we left this Bronze Age nonsense at the curb with the other garbage?

  5. On what authority does he claim possession of nature?

  6. Michael Fugate

    Does Ham really believe in that god? A god who could arbitrarily send enough rain that everyone would drown and can’t remember not to do send that much rain unless said god sees a rainbow? A god needs a rainbow as a reminder not to kill his creation?

  7. It’s actually not a settled matter that the “bow” (i.e. warbow) God puts in the sky after the flood — to remind *himself* not to flood the earth, by the way — is understood to be a rainbow. There are other possibilities, such as a star or constellation representing a bow, which certainly existed in Mesopotamian astronomy.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Rainbow, as a reminder that the laws of physics were different before the Fall. As if.

  9. What did the rainbow mean BEFORE that :flood?

  10. If you listen to Ham, it wasn’t there.

  11. Some creationists will claim that it never rained before the Flood—which is scientifically absurd, of course—but this is not what the text actually says. The closest you get is in 2:5, when it states that there were no plants because Yahweh hadn’t yet created the rain. This implies, obviously, that once the rain fell, the ground would start sprouting plants. And in 7:4, when Yahweh tells Noah it’s about to rain for 40 days and nights, Noah doesn’t need to ask what “rain” is.

  12. First Ham took the dinosaurs back, and now the rainbow. Perhaps AIG needs a new, realistic and scientific-looking logo: Barney the dinosaur standing under a rainbow…

  13. I guess light didn’t scatter before the flood.

  14. To be fair, the rainbow is just about the only thing associated with Ham’s pathetic ark project that actually appears in the bible

  15. Hambo tells us of God’s great mercy:

    The rainbow reminds us that God judged sin with a global Flood, but that He promises never to judge again with a global Flood — the final judgment will be by fire.

    In other words: Cthulhu will eat you last!

  16. Charlie proposes

    AIG needs a new, realistic and scientific-looking logo: Barney the dinosaur standing under a rainbow…

    …with Jesus in Barney’s saddle

  17. Or Adam.
    Or Eve–but riding side-saddle.

  18. Charles Deetz,

    I’ve always thought the same thing. Even as a teen believer I recognized that the story implied that God created the possibility of rainbows with this instance and therefore fundamental physics, the properties of water, and the electromagnetic spectrum, at minimum, were different before the “Flood.”

    I vaguely remember reading some YEC “scholar” who addressed this way back when I was a believer and it was the “it didn’t rain before the Flood, so nobody could have seen a rainbow to begin with.” However, Genesis 2:6 says that “mists” rose from the ground. Unless this occurred exclusively at night, this would provide ample opportunity for rainbows.

    But trying to make logical and scientific sense of Genesis is like trying to figure out how Santa really does get to all those chimneys on Christmas Eve.

  19. This must be Ham’s most Quixotic pursuit. He actually imagines that he can change what has become the world’s understanding and use of the rainbow colors from a symbol of diversity to a symbol of his form of narrow-minded unscientific bigotry. Unbelievable.

    I haven’t heard any complaints from Leprechauns that their rainbow was stolen, and they had more to lose than Ham.

  20. James Bolton Theuer

    I think that the Sumerians should take the rainbow (and the rest of the flood myth) back from the Hebrews. Who’s with me?

  21. Everything from Indra’s bow, Norse bridge, Iris the messenger. Come on Hambo stop wasting juice and kill those lights. Rainbows in mythology

    And of course science has completely demystified the rainbow.

  22. @Troy & @Reflectory
    But consider the improbability of mere chance forming a beautiful circular arch with the the colors being so finely sorted.
    By the way, as I recall the story of the Flood, the rains stopped well before the waters abated. How was it that the rainbow formed only after the rains stopped?

  23. How was it that the rainbow formed only after the rains stopped?

    I’ve had this go-round with Young Earth Creationists many times, and again just yesterday. Many of them insist that rainbows didn’t exist before the Noahic Covenant when God promised to never flood the ERETZ again and God said the rainbow would serve as the covenant sign (i.e., reminder.) If they even read the best scholarship of their own fundamentalist professors who teach at their favorite seminaries, they would learn that a covenant sign—-a reminder of a contractual relationship existing between two parties in the ancient Near East—-was an existing object or phenomenon which was, at the “contract signing ceremony”, given a special meaning. That sign would thereafter serve as a recurrent reminder that the two parties had agreed to keep their promises to one another. So there was nothing about “covenant/contract signs” which had to be anything novel.

    Thus, when God told Noah that the rainbow in the clouds would thereafter serve as a reminder of the no-more-huge-flood-judgment, Noah didn’t say, “What the @*&! is a rainbow??” Despite my recent critic on an AIG forum who told me that refraction didn’t exist before the flood and therefore rainbows were a new experience for Noah, denying refraction eliminates everything from blue skies to having eyeballs which can focus on near and far vision. In other words, like most YEC pseudo-science, it’s stupid and has no scriptural evidence to support it.

  24. As others have noted, those same Young Earth Creationists will usually claim that there were no rains before Noah’s Flood—–but that is not what Genesis states. In Genesis 2:4ff we read the story of “Adam & Eve in the Garden of the Eden ERETZ.”

    Notice that the story doesn’t start in verse 1. It starts in verse 4 with “These are the generations of…”, which is much like “Once upon a time…” And the story is not simply a second creation account, though it is set in that “era”. It is the story of Eden-land, a special place where God planted a garden. The storyteller explains that before the planting of that garden, it was devoid of plant life, because it received no rain and there was no man to irrigate it and make it productive. In other words, it was desert wilderness, even though it did have some water sources which could be exploited to support a garden paradise. That’s why God solved the problem by planting a garden and then placing HAADAM who was made from the HAADAMAH (“the red-soil human one” who was made from “the red-soil dirt”)in that garden as its gardener.

    If my explanation sounds strange—-because it defies the English Bible translation traditions which have shaped our western understanding of the Book of Genesis—-I recommend that readers follow the alternate translation appearing in the footnotes at the bottom of most modern Bible versions: “or land, country, region. In other words, the Hebrew word ERETZ translated as “earth” is too easily misunderstood as “planet earth”, an anachronistic assumption far too easily imposed on the ancient text. But if one reads every ERETZ in the first eleven chapters of Genesis as “land” (instead of “earth”), everything finally starts making sense!

    So the ERETZ in Genesis 2 is a particular place, a land with particular characteristics. Genesis 2:4ff is not a redundant retelling of how the universe was created. It certainly is not the story of the creation of an “Edenic” planet earth that is one big paradise. No, it is a special place, a desert region called Eden where God planted a garden and placed the human there to take care of it.

    Yes, so much tradition has been imposed upon Genesis 1 to 11 such that it is very difficult for some people to actually notice what it does and doesn’t state.

  25. I think that I didn’t make myself clear. Or am I misunderstanding you?
    A rainbow appears only when there are water drops in the air reflecting and refracting light. That means, ordinarily, that it is raining somewhere. While it is rather difficult to make a consistent story out of the Biblical narratives of the Flood, it seems to be that the rains started the Flood, then ceased while the Flood waters abated, and then the rainbow appeared. That seems to say that the rainbow appeared when there was no rain.
    I don’t know whether pre-scientific peoples knew that a rainbow needed the presence of rain, somewhere, or just associated a rainbow with the end of rain. I don’t even know whether pre-scientific peoples thought that a rainbow was an object. (I remember that in Classical mythology Echo was a goddess, as was Iris.) But why didn’t a rainbow appear until long after the cessation of rain, not until the Ark landed?

  26. But why didn’t a rainbow appear until long after the cessation of rain, not until the Ark landed?

    It didn’t appear until later because the story element (based on a covenant sign) wasn’t needed until later.

    While rainbows are usually associated with a rain nearby (either entering or leaving an area, and as long as the sun is at one’s back), the ancients as well as many cultures today also associate them with mists around rivers, especially where there are waterfalls causing continuous mists.

    Quartz and other crystals also produced continuous rainbows when broken to produce accidental prisms.

  27. By the way, it is also possible — if we could hear the ancient oral tradition upon which the Genesis account is based — that there was a small post-disembarkment “rain shower” that arose just as God was explaining his covenant promise. In that oral story, perhaps God said that no more 40-days-and-40-nights rainstorms. Instead, the world would resume its usual cycle of sunny days and then rain showers which would bring harvests and revive the rivers.

    I would compare it to novels which are turned into feature films. Sometimes there are key events or explanations in the book which get edited out of the movie to the point where the movie scene doesn’t make sense or at least creates a mystery. For example, in the original Star Trek movie there is a scene where the beautiful, bald-headed female crew member comes aboard and the entire Enterprise crew reacts strangely. Then that female crew member says to Captain Kirk, “My pledge of celibacy has been filed with Starfleet.” Movie audiences were baffled but the novel and original screenplay explained that she was of a species which emitted very strong pheromones which were detected by males of others species without their conscious awareness. So Starfleet regulations only allowed that particular species to join starship crews under a no-fraternization policy contract.

    We have to approach ancient texts in the same manner. It is likely that most of these ancient tales (whether based on actual historical events or not) were transmitted in oral form for many generations (and perhaps even passed through multiple languages and cultures) before being preserved in written documents. Story elements were most likely added and subtracted as deemed appropriate.

    Furthermore, the question you raise is a good example of a “scientific issue” which seems important to us but of which the ancient writer and his original audience probably never gave a thought. (We ask, “Why would there be a rainbow on a sunny day?”) What seems like a plot-hole to us was probably a non-issue to them. Moreover, if they considered rainbows to be “supernatural events” and their area’s climate rarely produced them, they may have assumed that a rainbow was always an act-of-God. They may not have associated rainbows with a natural process of cause-and-effect. (Besides, in some areas of the world, rainbows are continuous phenomena seen in the distance over a river gorge and not necessary associated with rain.)

    We must also note that despite classical art and typical book illustrations, we don’t know if Genesis 9:13 describes a rainbow which appeared at that moment. The wording may simply mean that God is describing future scenarios where Noah and his descendants will see “a rainbow in the clouds.” In that latter case, the cause-and-effect question becomes a non-issue.

  28. As far as the logic of the text is concerned, it’s probably worth noting that the bow and the covenant are part of the priestly version of the flood story, which actually mentions no rain at all, but attributes the floods to the waters above the firmament and below the earth. The bow only appears in close proximity with rain because the redactor combined the priestly account with an earlier account — one that featured 40 days of rain but lacked the sophisticated covenantal theology.

    Click to access fractures-of-genesis-e28093-noahs-flood.pdf

  29. According to the Babble, the rainbow first appeared after the Flood as God’s sign that the world would never be subjected to another global inundation. What this has meant to creationists is that either they’ve had to imagine such things as a “vapor canopy” (essentially perpetual cloud cover) or an actual post-Flood change in the laws of optics.