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.