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A rainbow, seen from the island of Curaçao. Note: the bright spot is a clearing in the clouds; the sun is behind the photographer.

As told in Genesis, a rainbow is a promise from God to Noah (and all mankind) that he will never flood the Earth again.[1] Physics can explain the appearance of rainbows accurately as the result of refraction and multiple reflections of sunlight in droplets of water. This explanation, however, is dubious as it fails to explain why rainbows were never seen before the end of the great flood. Furthermore, it denies the feelings of awe and spirituality they inspire, as they did in William Wordsworth when he wrote:

  My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky:
  So was it when my life began;
  So is it now I am a man;
  So be it when I shall grow old,
    Or let me die!
  The Child is father of the Man;
    I could wish my days to be
  Bound each to each by natural piety.[2]

Rainbows appear when water droplets are lit by direct sunlight, a condition that rarely occurs during a storm, because the clouds block the sun. Rainbows are frequently seen after a storm, when the falling rain has moved into the distance and the sun is roughly behind the observer when the observer is facing the patch of rain.

Complete circular rainbows can be seen under the right conditions; in particular, when viewing the mists over Niagara Falls early or late in the day. Circular rainbows can sometimes be seen from an airplane when it flies over clouds, the rainbow actually encircling the airplane's shadow on the clouds. One way to think about the rainbow is that the mist or rain is like a projection screen, and the rainbow can only be seen where the projection screen is. When the projection screen is large enough, you see the entire circular rainbow.

The rainbow is often depicted inaccurately in pictures. For example, it may be depicted as a three-dimensional object, with perspective[3], real rainbows never have this appearance. This picture also shows the rainbow as if it had separated, sharp-edged bands of color, in the order yellow, orange, red, green, blue. Real rainbows show an extremely subtle blending of color. It is hard to pick out separate colors in a rainbow, but of course to the extent that one can, they appear in the "Roy G. Biv" order, red outermost, then orange, yellow, green, and a range bluish shades which, in a real rainbow, are hard to distinguish and name.

It is extremely difficult to reproduce the subtle, faint pastel colors of a rainbow on a printed page, or even in color photograph, partly because a rainbow contains colors that are not within the gamut that can be produced by mixing three primaries, and partly rainbows are faint; printed depictions of them almost invariably have been enhanced to make them look brighter and more intensely colors than they really are.

The Nazis, noted opponents of Christianity and right-thinking everywhere, succeeded in usurping the rainbow's proper association with natural wonder and God's covenant with men (and leprechauns) and linked it instead to the homosexual agenda (which is virulently opposed to anything divine.) This is one of the greatest ills that the Nazis perpetuated on mankind, and it was hardly outweighed by their contributions to highway design.


  1. Genesis, chapters 5-9
  2. William Wordsworth, "My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold (1802)
  3. Leprechaun A typical, but utterly unrealistic depiction of a rainbow.