Emeritus Professor Rex Tauati Ahdar

Faculty of Law
University of Otago

The rainbow. Once the great sign of God’s covenant with humanity not to ever flood the Earth again (Genesis 9:9-17), it has now taken on a different hue. It has been co-opted by the homosexual community as a symbol of their proud emergence as a sub-culture deserving of equal approbation in Western liberal democracies.

What are we to make of the Destiny Church members painting over a rainbow pedestrian crossing in Gisborne? After an incensed Gisborne mayor had the rainbow promptly repainted, several members of the church (paint cans, brushes and rollers in hand) were arrested in anticipation of them re-painting (white) the same zebra crossing. A day or so later and the rainbow pedestrian crossing in trendy Karangahape Road, Auckland, was painted over by persons yet to be identified. Destiny Church did not claim credit for that counter-protest, or just plain protest.

Notice, I called it a protest, not ‘vandalism’ or, a fortiori, a ‘hate crime’. But then I’m a benighted orthodox (small ‘o’), conservative (small ‘c’) Christian. We all know Christianity is just the British coloniser’s religion: a foreign set of beliefs and practices introduced to soften up the indigenes for eventual takeover.

As usual, the fact that Destiny Church was involved is enough for most to take umbrage. In the Overton window some stances are not acceptable. And in polite society, Brian Tamaki (he calls himself a bishop!) and the Destiny rabble are not ever to be ever spoken about, except derisively.

What next? The Karangahape Road sign will with alacrity be repainted with the rainbow colours. The Auckland police will leave no stone unturned, no discarded paint can forensically unexamined, to find the perpetrators of this heinous vandalism.

Meanwhile, three of the Gisborne protestors have been charged with “graffiti vandalism”. Police Area Commander Danny Kirk, of the Gisborne constabulary, intoned:

We consider that, on the face of it, the alleged offending is consistent with a hate crime, and we will seek to establish that as fact during the ongoing investigations and court proceedings. This incident has caused concern for many people in our diverse community and acts like this have no place here. Freedom of speech and the right to protest are fundamental principles of a free and democratic society under the rule of law. Sadly, a line has been crossed on this occasion.

RNZ, 29 March 2024

A line has indeed been crossed, but it was crossed a while ago. Protests by the militant wing of the LGBTQ+ community are fine, but those opposing the Rainbow agenda will not be tolerated. It is a hate crime to oppose the Rainbow crowd but good old freedom of speech and protest to vilify conservative speakers and punch their elderly supporters. The latter people are the ‘far’ right. They are recalcitrant antediluvian purveyors of hate who should be silenced “in our diverse community”. British conservatives now speak regularly of “two-tier policing”. I did not realise it had travelled here so swiftly.

This latest little contretemps in the Kiwi Kulturkampf is all about symbols and all about what they stand for. What is the meaning of the rainbow in the early 21st century? Hmm. Take it away Kermit:

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

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