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About the logo

The New Visions Project logo is composed of four elements: the cross, the flame, the pink triangle, and the rainbow. Each of these elements independently has a meaning, and together they symbolize the goals of the New Visions Project and its educational efforts.

The cross is the symbol of the Christian Church. In the New Visions logo, the cross begins as solid black. The untransformed cross is a single color, symbolizing traditional Christianity's privileging of a single sexual orientation, heterosexuality, and its refusal to acknowledge the diversity of sexual orientations which are part of God's creation. The untransformed cross is black, the color of darkness, a color which neither emits nor reflects light.

The pink triangle here symbolizes the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, its allies, and the pro-LGBT theology which ever more people are beginning to recover from the core messages of Christianity and from the Christian scriptures. The triangle is not exterior to the cross but rather interior, just as the New Visions Project speaks informed by Christian thought rather than as an outsider to Christian thought. New Visions is not "secularism versus religion", but rather represents an effort by people of faith to call the entire Church to full inclusivity.

The rainbow is a traditional pro-LGBT symbol and a symbol of diversity. The New Visions logo uses the rainbow to symbolize the transformation of the Christian Church (the cross) from heterosexism into a new acceptance of LGBT people and acceptance of a diversity of sexual orientations.

The flame is a traditional Christian symbol for the Holy Spirit, one of the three "persons" of the Trinity of God. McGrath's Christian Theology, an Introduction gives us this background on the Spirit:

"The Old Testament uses the phrase 'the spirit of God' to refer to God's presence and power within the creation. The spirit is portrayed as being present in the expected Messiah (Isaiah 42:1-3), and as being the agent of a new creation which will arise when the old order has finally passed away (Ezekiel 36:26; 37:1-14)."

The flame is also associated with the Christian story of Pentecost, when after Jesus' death the apostles experienced an encounter with the divine and began to speak in tongues. In the story, from Acts 2, the author describes this divine encounter as the appearance of "tongues of fire":

"When the day of Pentecost had come, [the followers of Jesus] were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability... All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?' But others sneered and said, 'They are filled with new wine.' But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, 'Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

'In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy...'"

Here the author of Acts sees the "Holy Spirit" as an active divine presence which both fills and transforms people, breaking down the human barriers of language, socio-economic class, and gender and providing a vision of the new community which Christian theology has traditionally called "the kingdom of God".

In the full New Visions logo, then, the flame represents the Spirit of God, or God's immediate presence and power, acting through the LGBT community and allies, to transform the Christian Church from a monocolored heterosexism into a rainbow of colors. The Church isn't destroyed (we aren't burning down the cross) but rather, the Spirit acts on the Church to reveal the rainbow which was there all along.

Traditionally, activist Christians of both conservative and progressive persuasions have thought of the Christian Church as invoking the power of the Holy Spirit to transform the rest of the world: people, systems, cultures, etc. But in the New Visions logo, the process is reversed: the faith-based LGBT community and its allies invoke the Spirit to transform the Church itself.

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