Target Toilets

Target Toilets

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This post is not about hate. I am not a homophobe. I don’t believe those who engage in a homosexual lifestyle should be stoned, drowned with a millstone, burned at the stake, torn apart by wild animals, or crucified.

Growing up I had friends who engaged in that lifestyle and over the years I have had students who also shared they were gay, and parents who were part of the gay community. I treated them with the same respect, compassion, and love I did the rest of my friends and students. I hate the way that sounds. It reminds me of the proverbial racist who says he had a black friend once, but those that know me, know me, and the rest can think what they want.

A short white guy by the name of Joseph Backholm who works for the Family Policy Institute went to the University of Washington to see if students could tell him he was wrong. Wrong in some very obvious ways. Watch the video before you read any more, it is only 4 minutes long.

Christians are often labeled as ‘intolerant’. This label is due in part for the new definition our current culture has adopted for the word tolerant. Many people have a definition of tolerant that is different than what it means. If you look it up, you will find it means: showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. In other words, being tolerant means you are putting up with someone or something you don’t agree with. It does not mean you have to adopt or embrace an idea that you don’t approve of.

Alen Shlemon of Stand To Reason points out that tolerance can be applied to behavior, ideas, and people.

Every day at school I am tolerant of certain behaviors with students who have an IEP, (individual education plans) because they are incapable of behaving in a way we would expect of them. Other behaviors we don’t tolerate. For example, those that murder or steal are put behind bars. Over time, depending on the prevailing winds, cultures will embrace behaviors that were previously thought to be unsound or nefarious, and we see this a lot today.

Tolerance can also be applied to ideas. The idea that some people are worth more than others because of their skin color is no longer tolerated. The idea that the earth is the center of the universe may be tolerated, but dismissed as foolish. The idea that the earth is millions of years old may be tolerated by those who believe the earth is only a few thousand years old. The idea that men can have sex with little girls or little boys is not tolerated in most clear thinking cultures, some even consider it to wicked or immoral.

So tolerance can be applied to the behaviors of people and the ideas of people, but when Christians reject the homosexual lifestyle they are labeled intolerant. Yet, it is not the people who are rejected, but the behavior and the idea. Granted, some Christians, (and non-Christians) do make the mistake of coupling the behavior with the person, and reject the person. Because of this, many in the LGBT community are especially intolerant of Christians who don’t approve of that lifestyle because they in turn feel rejected.

The gay actress Cynthia Nixon shared in a New York Time interview that her gayness is a choice. “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line, ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”1 For her and others gayness, is a choice, but I have learned an important difference between same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior. This distinction is important and must be made clear. Behavior is a choice, but same-sex attraction is not. Many don’t choose to have same-sex attraction and it often begins at a very early age.

Kevin Deyong, who writes on homosexuality and the Bible made a good point about gender choices. “Sexual orientation is not an immutable part of our biology like a hitchhiker’s thumb or the presence of a Y chromosome. If it were, the concordance rate would not be so low between identical twins (i.e. both twins would always have the same sexual orientation, which is not the case).”2 In other words, there are environmental factors that play into a persons gender identity. Most men have a male gender identity and most women have a female gender identity, but not always, and the factors that play into a gender identity are far and wide. Gender identity is influenced greatly by one’s biological sex, but the biological sex does not determine their gender identity 100% of the time. Consequently we have a small percent of the population that will have a gender identity which does not match their biology.

So we have a minority percent within a population that will have same sex attraction. Some act on the attraction, others may not, and the degree of attraction will vary in strength. According to a Live Science 2016 article, “Just less than 2 percent of men and a little more than 1 percent of women identified themselves as gay or lesbian, which is consistent with past survey data results.”3 Keeping that in mind, it should not come as a surprise that those with same sex attraction, and who act on it, would rather use a bathroom opposite to their biological sex. Their gender identity does not match their biological identity. One of the ways this behavior has been justified by liberal academia is to suggest the queer theory.

Anthoy Esolen, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization explains that, “…the homosexual knows better than anything that something has gone awry with him. Hence his now enthusiastic adoption of the word queer. That word too, in its origin, suggests something out of kilter, running crosswise…The whole point of the Queer Theory in our universities is to persuade students to accept the abnormal behavior as normal, and to see supposedly abnormal strains underneath as normal.”4 Academia is teaching our youth the new normal is to expect the abnormal. If we can expect a certain percent of any population to have same sex attraction, then the behavior can be justified.

Of course, if you give this line of thinking a moments consideration you will see the problems. If this is normal why the parades and celebrations flaunting the homosexual lifestyle? Can you imagine a parade of heterosexual couples celebrating their choice? A parade of men who celebrate their use of the urinal in the men’s room? It’s silly, why celebrate the normal?

Lets follow this line of thinking and apply it to other areas of our life that may have some abnormal strains of behavior. For example, the small number of students found guilty of plagiarism each year in college, should they be excused and simply considered part of the expectant cheaters in our universities? Or what about those that over eat, and weigh hundreds of pounds outside what would be considered ‘the norm’? Should we simply dismiss their eating disorders as the expected abnormal strains within a population? Esolen goes on to say, “Then the question is not whether such boundaries are to be drawn, but where and why, according to what moral and pragmatic principles and with what effect upon the common good.”5 Abnormal behavior, no matter how you decorate and parade it, is abnormal behavior. One simply needs to consider if the entire human population suddenly had same sex attraction and acted on it for the rest of their lives, the human race would cease to exist within a hundred years. That is not normal, nor anything to celebrate.

CNN reported a few weeks ago that the department store Target will allow those with same sex attraction to use the bathroom of their choice. Target believes it is a persons gender identity that determines their bathroom, not their biological sex. “Target said Tuesday that transgender customers at its stores are welcome to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity…”6 As of May 11th  the numbers who have pledged to boycott target because of their stance that could endanger women and young girls, (any man can walk into a woman’s bathroom and claim to be transgendered) is over one million two hundred thousand.

Regardless of your stance on this issue, a simple solution would be to provide a 3rd bathroom option for those who want to use a single bathroom or a transgendered bathroom option. Of course this would be a significant cost to the retail giant, but until the impact of the boycotters is felt within the quarterly profits, it will not be considered.

According to Political Insider, “Targets position also extends to its fitting rooms. ‘Inclusivity is a core belief at Target,’ the company said in a statement on its corporate website. ‘It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.’”7 It should be obvious that Target is catering to the minority and not considering the feelings of majority, those who don’t have same sex attractions.

If the purpose of Target is to be charitable toward transsexuals, a very small minority within our population, then why are they being uncharitable toward those who do not have same sex attraction? If one of every ten would be more comfortable, (and that is a extremely high percent) using a bathroom opposite to their biological gender, then what of the charitable decisions to the 90% who would be uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with someone opposite to their biological gender? You can see how this does not make any sense, unless Target has an addenda that supersedes the wishes of the majority, and clearly they do.

The truth is, we are all born with a biological sex, male or female. Adopting a stance that allows anyone to change their gender identity and then pass laws that permit those who make that decision to supersede their biological identity is foolish.

In Canada there has already been two lawsuits against the University of Toronto where they allow students to use locker rooms that match their gender identity. Men were caught using their phones filming girls showing in adjacent shower stalls. Hello? Is this a surprise to anyone? Reported by the Huffington Post, “The University of Toronto (U of T) is temporarily changing its policy on gender-neutral bathrooms after two reports of voyeurism in a student residence.”8 How many of us could have saved Toronto University the trouble of having to reverse such a decision by advising them not to take such a step in the first place? Somethings deify common sense and leave those conservatively minded shaking their head in disbelief. The truth is, ones biological sex cannot be determined by their making a mental decision. No matter how strongly one identifies with the opposite sex, the truth of their biological sex is observable objective, and undeniable. Objective truth exists, and if someone passionately tells you otherwise, ask them if that is their opinion, or if they know it to be objectively true.

Thomas Sowell a social analyst pointed out the obvious, “However lofty and vaguely poetic such words may seem, the cold fact is that truth cannot become private property without losing its whole meaning”.9 That is to say, if truth becomes relative to the feelings, opinions, and ideas of individuals or special interest groups, it has as much foundation as a tent in the Sahara. Douglas Groothuis points out, “Truth is reduced to a fashion statement, it has no binding force or persuasive power.”10

Walter Anderson, who wrote on sex and gender observed, “One of the most fundamental and revolutionary discoveries people have ever made [is] that any society’s customs are constructions of reality.”11 Douglas Groothuis quickly points out in his book, Truth Decay that is society can create these, they can just as quickly deconstruct them. “Since they were invented under various conditions, they can be reinvented when the time comes.”12

In the book of Revelation the longest letter to the seven cities is addressed to Thyatira. This city was praised for a work ethic, love, faith, service, and that their deeds were greater now than before. But this love was too accepting, too tolerant. The doors were wide open accepting the behavior and ideas of false teachers. Deyoung wrote, “Thyatira’s love could be undiscerning and blindly affirming. The church tolerated false teaching and immoral behavior, two things God is fiercely intolerant of. Jesus says, ‘You’re loving in many ways, but your tolerance is not love. It’s unfaithfulness.”13 Jesus said in Revelation 2:20 “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”

What parent would tolerate disrespectful behavior from a young child out of love? Every year I hear from my students how respectful I am toward them, but at the same time I am very intolerant of certain behaviors. They get it, and don’t have a problem with it. It should be clear that tolerance has a proper place and time in its use. I personally will not be shopping at Target until they reverse this absurd polity decision, it is a policy I will not tolerate.

So now I get to the heart of this post. We have raised a generation that is willing to ignore objective truth in fear of hurting the feelings of another. This generation feels they should be allowed their own ‘personal’ subjective truth. A truth that replaces reality with illusion. This is also true within the church as well meaning Christians pluck bible verses out of context, ignoring not only who it was penned to, but the authors intent. They apply bible verses to their own circumstances to justify a decision or behavior.

The world, and and some Christians create their own truth. This is made all too apparent in the short video by Backholm. It is obvious he is not a woman, not 6’2” tall, and not Chinese, yet these college students could not bring themselves to speak truth to him. Why? Because of fear? They don’t want to seem harsh or intolerant of another belief. Or could it be because of love? They don’t want to seem unloving and judgmental. Matthew 7:1, ‘Don’t judge’, is probably the most popular verse of unbelievers, and I have even seen other Christians use the verse when defending the homosexual lifestyle. Really, anyone who wants to justify any behavior that might be considered questionable to their peers will toss this out.

Jesus pointed out that tolerance on the level of allowing immoral behavior is not love, but unfaithfulness. If you don’t believe in God, then it is unfaithfulness toward reality. Faithfulness toward reality is necessary for human flourishing, and if you doubt that, then allow those who think they can fly leap off the tall buildings. The minute you begin to replace reality with a subjective, personalized truth, then you are well on your way to a lifestyle that may be celebrated by the culture, but is nothing more than a fantasy.

What does this mean for the Christian that believes Jesus is the way the truth and the life? How many of us don’t share our faith because we fear what others may think. I am certainly guilty of that. Are you? We may boycott Target, cry foul when they legalized same sex marriage, but what of the bigger picture? What of the unbelievers who find momentary pleasure using a bathroom matching their gender identity, but will spend eternity separated from God? Do they see that objective truth when we complain, or do they just see intolerance and judgment? Sometimes when a child is spanked, it is not the spanking that has the most impact, but they loving embrace by mom or dad afterwords.

Sources:
1. Witchel, Alex. “Life after ‘Sex’” New York Times 19 January 2012: MM24. NYTimes.com. Web. 30 April 2016.
2. Deyoung, Kevin. What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. Print.
3. Ghose, Tia. “More young people report same sex attraction.” Live Science. 7 January 2016: livescience.com. Web. 7 May 2016.
4. Esolen, Anthony. Defending Marriage. Charlotte: Saint Benedict Press, 2014. Print.
5. Ibid.
6. McLean, Robert. “Target Takes a Stand on Transgender Bathroom Controversy.” CNN Money. CNN, 20 Apr. 206. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
7. Kosar, Kevin. “Breaking Target Stores make Massive Announcement Parents Furious” Political Insider 20 April 2016: politicalinsider.com. Web. 1 May 2016
8. Chin, Jessica. “University of Toronto Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Reduced After Voyeurism Reports” Huffpost.com. Huffington Post, 6 October 2015. Web. 2 May 2016
9. Groothuis, Douglas. Truth Decay. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2000. Print.
10. Ibid
11. Anderson, Walter T. The Postmodernization of Sex and Gender. New York: Putnam, 1997. Print.
12. Groothuis, Douglas. Truth Decay. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2000. Print.
13. Deyoung, Kevin. What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. Print.

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Target Toilets by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.dev.christianapologetics.blog.

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