One of the reasons our victory in this “culture war” is all but assured is that, on top of the fact that public opinion has turned so solidly in our favor (with no logical path back the other direction, as people simply are too informed on this issue these days to buy what the Religious Right is selling), our opponents are growingly increasingly unhinged, and, in their ranting, showing us that, when it comes to critical thinking, they simply are neither the sharpest knives in the drawer, nor are they the toothpaste that four out of five dentists recommend.

Let us consider Jennifer Thieme, finance director of the NOM subsidiary known as the Ruth Institute, and her opinions on the rainbow flag. Jeremy spotted this on Facebook:


Before we even address her other points, let’s take a second to review a few flags, as Ms. Thieme is apparently under the impression that all flags that include stripes are offensive transmogrifications of the American flag, which looks like this:


And now the Pride flag:


Man, those flags are nothing alike, Jennifer, beyond the fact that they both have stripes. However, the American flag has thirteen stripes in red and white, whereas the Pride flag has six stripes in six different colors. Stripes are kind of a common feature in flags.

Here is a picture of some European flags that I found on the internet:


Whoa. With the exception of Cyprus, every single one of those flags has stripes of some sort. The Greek flag is even blocked out the same way the American flag is. Jennifer Thieme will be outraged when she learns of this.

Also, Thieme will be outraged/confused to learn that, like many other organizations and movements, it’s not at all uncommon to see American LGBT events and organizations fly the Pride flag and the American flag side by side. Indeed, in a millisecond of Googling, I found a picture of the flags flown outside Boston City Hall during Pride Week:

(Jeremy C. Fox /

(Jeremy C. Fox /

Sheesh. It’s almost like Ms. Thieme is losing it over nothing. Moreover, when she asserts that people weren’t flying the American flag after the Supreme Court’s marriage decisions came down, or that those decisions weren’t a celebration of American values, she’s simply wrong. The decisions that came down that day were about as American as they come, as they corrected state and federal laws in order to bring them in line with the Constitutional guarantees afforded to all Americans. We are fortunate in this country to have a system that allows such corrections, that allows government for the people and by the people, and that isn’t left up to the whims of fascists or religious ideologues.

This brings us back to Ms. Thieme’s rant and the fact that people are far too informed these days to take such proclamations seriously. No one in their right mind thinks that that LGBT people are trying to replace the American flag with the Pride flag. For one thing, LGBT people exist in every nation in the world, so the Pride flag transcends national boundaries. In fact, the only comments on Jennifer’s picture are from one of her friends, who, as kindly as she can, dismantles Jennifer’s argument wholly:



They are such martyrs, yet they still can’t point to a valid way their lives are hurt by the equality of LGBT people. Also, Jennifer, the fight has always been about the government’s definition of marriage, a notion which is predicated by the fact that the government makes civil marriage laws. Acting as if this is something new is, again, insulting to the intelligence of the great majority of humanity. Her commenter comes back and, calmly, backs away from the brick wall:



And the commenter does not return, perhaps sensing that trying to converse with someone who actually believes that the advance of marriage equality eliminates heterosexual marriage is time well wasted when there is so much life to be lived.