Monday, July 20, 2015

The Swastika & The Rainbow

SYMBOLS! Symbols are everything. Whether you're marketing a product, an idea, or an agenda. Anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, can be misused, recontexualized, and repurposed to mean something else. Take, for example, 2 of the most infamous symbols in the world, the swastika, and the rainbow. These 2 symbols represent the antithesis of analytical thinking outside the box.
I'll start will the most infamous, and then I'll talk about the most innocent. 

The swastika. There is nothing that represents evil more that this ancient symbol. The seastika has an extensive history. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. The word swastika comes from the Sanskirt (svastika), which means “good fortune” or “well-being." The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures. But because Hitler used it to represent the nazi party it became associated with mass genocide and crimes against humanity. The "hooked cross" which have preceded both Hitler and the nazi party was forever changed.
And now, the rainbow. The rainbow has become infamous in its own right and it has become a symbol that is almost as misused as the swastika. Of course someone who chooses to take my words out of context may say that nothing is further from the truth. But I am not making the comparison in reference to the symbols represent in a historical context. My perspective is rooted in the impact of these two images.

The origin of the rainbow: 
God's promise to Moses.

Genisis 9: 11-17

11 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

There you have it. This is the origin, the meaning and the intent behind the rainbow. But when you look at it, what do you think? Never mind what it means to you, because automatic association is the main intention in mind when the decision is made to use a symbol. The last time I saw one. I thought about one thing, homosexuality. Because the gay community has transformed a raindow into a symbol for gay rights, and it has become so ingrained in our culture that imagery triggers an instant connection. This is the reason why so many people are using it as a background in their Facebook profile photos. It causes an instant connection and represents what they stand for. It has almost become a tongue in cheek code that indicates that they support gay marriage. "Facebook friends" are using the rainbow as a background. Church members have been using the rainbow as a background, and even some family members have been using the rainbow as a background.  Subliminal messages aside, man cannot take what God has intended for good and repurpose, redesign, and establish it to fit his own agenda. 

Guard your mind!!


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