On Target

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (1)

Gentle Reader,

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that the higher-ups at Target recently announced an “inclusive” bathroom and changing room policy, allowing transgendered individuals to use whatever facility they feel most comfortable with. You also know that there has been significant backlash. You have likely been exposed to the harsh, shrill rhetoric from all sides.

I’m puzzled by the whole thing.

First, the announcement from Target amounts to little more than political posturing. Chances are very good (I’d even say high) that transgendered individuals have already been using the bathroom or changing room of their choosing. I doubt most people have even noticed. I haven’t and I don’t think that this means I’ve never been in a public restroom with a transgendered person.

Second, what is boycotting supposed to accomplish? Don’t misread me; if you’re no longer comfortable shopping at Target, then don’t shop at Target. That’s your right as a consumer. I just wonder what Christians positioning ourselves as an oppressed minority is going to prove.

This isn’t a straightforward issue. Christians can argue morality all day long, but the world doesn’t live by the moral code set forth in Scripture. Should we stop purchasing from or doing business with every entity that supports causes or positions condemned by God? If we’re honest, we know that’s not possible. We would have to remove ourselves from public life and retreat to communes. At the same time, those in support of “inclusive” bathrooms and changing rooms can’t dismiss the fact that the new laws being introduced in state legislatures around the country leave wide loopholes that predators will be glad to take advantage of. (And no, I didn’t just say that all transgendered people are predators, so don’t even think about emailing me). They can’t ignore that parents are rightly concerned for their children.

It’s not easy to define precisely how this should work on a practical level. Whether you are pro- or anti- “inclusive” measures, how would you even go about enforcing your stance? Are we going to to have to start carrying around some card that explains what gender we are? Show our genitals to someone? Further, how would anyone police the thoughts or actions of those who disagree with whatever is decided? 

My take? Just use the bathroom if you need to and leave strangers alone.

Everyone is wrong on this one. Target didn’t need to make the statement and people don’t need to boycott.

I embrace and uphold the sexual ethic outlined in Scripture. I believe that God has a plan and that He doesn’t make mistakes. At the same time, I can’t live in fear of “the other.” That is my great struggle. If I were to give in, I’d never leave the house. I can’t worry about who is in the stall or changing room next to me. If I did, I’d see a threat under every door.

Ultimately, this not something that should divide the Body of Christ. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable shopping at Target, don’t. That’s fine. This isn’t a litmus test of how committed to the Lord anyone is, though. You aren’t a “better” Christian if you avoid the store.

God has placed us on this earth at this moment for a reason. This is the world we are called to engage. We must fight the temptation to be reactionary. The temptation to shift our focus from the eternal to today’s flash-in-the-pan battle. The temptation to think that our enemies are flesh-and-blood.

There are times for taking a stand. Times to boycott. Times to cry out against injustice.

This isn’t one of them.

My journey to faith. (15)

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14 thoughts on “On Target

  1. We try to control too many things in my opinion. I don’t believe this should be a newsworthy issue. People — whether transgendered or not, will use whichever restroom is accessible to them. I know women who don’t look feminine and men who don’t look very masculine. Must we serve as potty police for them as well? Great post! What ever happened to “love your neighbor as yourself?”

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      1. I think you make a good point about us wanting to control things. This world is gonna do what it’s gonna do. Our job isn’t to try and force people to abide by God’s kae, but rather to abide by it ourselves. In so doing, we testify to the beauty of knowing Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. For the most part I agree. I don’t shop at Target much (or really big box stores at all) so my boycott won’t affect much. My concern with Transgender is not the true so called trans (I agree with you, God doesn’t make mistakes), I think for the most part, they are harmless. My concern is more about the sexual predator that will pose as a trans just to gain admittance to the restroom of their choice. I feel this position makes it easier for children to be harmed, and that’s my biggest concern.

    This is a touchy topic and one that takes guts to write about. Good for you for being gutsy!

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    1. I think that’s a valid concern. It bothers me that laws are being written in which a way that prosecuting predators will be extremely difficult.

      Honestly, I don’t know why this is a thing. Like I said, the vast majority of transgendered people are probably already using whichever bathroom they want.

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  3. This is the best rebuttal I have read! Well said, friend! A. When I take my grandchildren into the bathroom at Target, I am with them! My husband close by outside. B. I have a chronic illness which means going into Target or any such big store, requires me to use my scooter. Target, unlike many stores~the big ones included, is scooter/handicap friendly, with more handicap parking spaces. Their employees are extremely helpful and courteous to me. C. if we choose to live closed off from society, how in the world are we to proclaim the Gospel?
    Thank you for this wonderfully written piece!
    Tammy Mashburn

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    1. Your “c” point is the key, I think. We don’t have to like or support or participate in everything the world does, but we do have to be out there, sharing Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Unfortunately, the extremists (on either side, not just Christians) are usually the only ones heard. Most see the issue as a complete split down the middle. Either you’re for it because you’re an ally, or you’re against it because you’re a Christian. Good for you for not conforming to anyone’s expectations. I wish more people like you had the nerve to speak up about their views.

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