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Targeting Target, Part 2

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Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

Continued from Part 1

By this time you might be wondering…is there a point?

Short answer: yes.

Ohhhhh, you want details. Right, then. Here we go.

I don’t know how much ruckus (commotion, brouhaha, distraction, hullabaloo) the Target Bathroom Decision has raised in your part of the world. We’ve experienced some mild ruckusing in our town, but nothing to write home about. Or in my case, nothing to write a blog post about.

Until now.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think EVERYONE should receive respect.

Here’s the thing.

I have no problem making people comfortable in the bathroom, whether straight, gay, trans, bi or whatever other prefix you’d like to attach. 

Give us a second. I have a few die-hard fundamentalist friends who need time to pick their jaws up off the floor.

Annnnnd we’re back.

Now, I absolutely DO have a problem with everyone going to the bathroom together, because I think it opens a whole other can of spaghetti0-ohs. Several cans, actually.

  • Can 1: Especially if it’s true that the new policy applies to changing rooms, I don’t want some hormonic teen boy in the stall next to my daughter. My kids have been through and seen enough. Why add the possibility of more trauma? I absolutely believe that teens (yes, also girls) will take advantage of the situation. Imagine yourself or your kid brother in the 13-17 year old range and tell me I’m wrong.
  • Can 2: There ARE bad adults in the world. They take advantage of whatever situation is available. Here’s one more avenue for pedophiles to access children.
  • Can 3: I prefer not to be raped. Again, perpetrators take advantage of situations. Yes, it’s unlikely, but hey, Ted Bundy picked up gals in the parking lot. I bet he’d have had serious luck in a bathroom.

Here’s a can I do NOT think it will open: people with sexual preferences other than my own perpetrating some kind of abuse on my children.

I’ll be honest: if I want my kids in a safe environment where they are unlikely to ever experience abuse or discrimination of any kind, it’s around my friends who are gay and “other.” I have NEVER heard any of these friends say anything negative about people based on their sexual orientation, race, or, quite simply, anything else. 

I spent a long weekend photographing a conference that was “everything-friendly.” It was one of the nicest weekends I’ve ever had. People were kind, everyone was smiling and no one was a jerk to me because I like guys. (Well, for the record, just ONE guy. That would be Hubby.) Other than with my family, it was the most accepted and loved I’ve felt in a while. 

When we’re around some of our “Christian” and “country” friends, I do worry about what the kids will hear (which is why we don’t hang around some of them). Our kids don’t need to learn words like “white trash” and “homophobe” and hear derogatory slurs toward people of other ethnicities. I want my kids to grow up seeing everyone as a PERSON, not a color. 

Sure, there’s a possibility that an abuser could be in the mix (I mean, heck, PASTORS have been caught perpetrating, too, so obviously no people-group is immune). However, my son is much more likely to encounter a pedophile in the all-guys’ bathroom at a restaurant (which is why we don’t sent the kids in alone).

I had planned to ignore the whole situation, but then I saw this article, which is why I started writing the post. I’ll be honest; it made me pretty angry. I mean, seriously, why feed a fire?

Nothing makes me madder than discrimination and dissension in the name of God. Pretty sure HE doesn’t like it, either.

But then tonight I saw this article, which claims those first allegations are false. Maybe someone just took a comment out of context and the first article was incorrect. I truly hope that’s the case.

Once again, the American public is getting distracted by lies and allegations (on both sides of the argument, I’m sure).

Ever notice that things like this happen right around election time? Hmmmm…. (Oh, sorry, there goes my inner conspiracy theorist again. DOWN, girl!)

Target is not, nor have they ever claimed to be, a Christian organization. They have no responsibility to make choices based on a value system they don’t embrace. And I don’t think they’re actively attempting to make anyone upset. They’re just trying to offend as few people as possible so they can make a buck. Or $72 million bucks, as reflected in sales for 2014 in the annual report.

So, here’s what I think:

  1. It is every parent’s right—and duty—to protect the innocence of their child.

  2. Every individual has the right to do bathroom business in peace, without fear.

Here’s my solution:

  1. Target needs a third bathroom.

  2. People need to be nicer to each other.

(And that was my opinion before reading either of the above articles.)

I don’t care if it’s a family bathroom or a gender-neutral bathroom.

  • A family bathroom will give concerned parents a way to protect their kids.
  • A gender-neutral bathroom gives everyone on all sides the option to choose a safe restroom.

Either option provides emotional and physical safety for customers.

And I guarantee you, building a third bathroom will cost less than lawsuits by parents or rape victims.

So again.

Let’s have a little respect for EVERYONE. 

If you don’t like the store’s decisions, you don’t have to shop there.

But if you call yourself a Christian, don’t be a jerk. It makes Jesus look bad.

 

 

 

 

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Targeting Target, Part 1

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Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

Hooooo-kay. I stayed out of this as long as my sense of right and fair and safe would allow.

Just to be clear, let me start here:

I am a no-holds-barred, Jesus-following, Bible-quoting, EVERYBODY-loving kind of person.

When one of our friends complained about hypocrisy among Christians who claim to love but won’t get their hands dirty, Hubby paid me the highest compliment I’ve ever received.

That’s true about some people, but Casey doesn’t care if someone is a CEO, a gang member, the President, a prostitute or a homeless guy who stinks to high heaven. She’ll sit right next to any of them. And she’ll talk to them to death and probably end up hugging them. 

I think everyone should be treated with fairness, respect and love. EVERYONE.

EVERY. ONE.

What people choose to do in their own time—and what people choose to believe is right or wrong—is not my responsibility or my problem.

Telling others what they’re doing wrong is not my job.

Some of my friends would argue that if we don’t help people see that they’re not perfect, they’ll never see a need for Jesus, since he died to take the punishment for sin.

Here’s how I see it: if we don’t LOVE them, they might never see a need for Jesus. Why would anyone want to join a team that picks on them?

Let’s apply “tell them they’re bad” logic to regular life:

Job Offer

“Well, your resume isn’t that great, and you don’t really have the experience we want, and you didn’t dress appropriately for the interview and honestly, we don’t really like you. But we’ve got an opening we have to fill. Want the job?

Vs.

“To be honest, your presentation could use some work. However, we feel you have incredible potential and we’d love to train you. Want the job?”

Marriage Proposal

“Hey, would you like to marry me? I mean, you’re not really good enough for my family, and in fact, they don’t like a lot of the things you do, but if I vouch for you, they’ll accept you.”

Vs.

“I love you more than life itself. I would die for you. Will you marry me?”

Adoption

“You come with a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of baggage. You make it insanely hard for anyone to get close to you. In fact, you’re actively pushing us all away with your horrendous behavior. But, I’m going to sacrifice all the fun in my life to find a way to help you, because that’s the right thing to do.”

Vs.

“I know you’ve had a tough life, but my love for you is bigger and stronger than any hurt you’ve experienced, and we’re going to survive this together. I love you forever and always, no matter what. Would you like to be a part of my family?”

Love, not hate, is the answer.

Jesus never taught his followers to be judgmental.

In a recent conversation (okay, argument) with a friend, I stood my ground as he clung to the idea that we should tell people they’re sinners. We discussed the story of the woman caught in adultery (that story is a whole other post in itself) and brought to Jesus by the religious leaders.

My point: he didn’t let any of them judge her, and in fact he embarrassed them so much that they all left.

His point: Jesus told her he didn’t condemn her, but to stop sinning.

My point: Jesus is perfect. If he wants to talk with someone about sin, he can. That’s HIS job, not mine (because I’m certainly not perfect).

Side note: Jesus loves you and has a beautiful plan for your life. If you’d like to discuss that, I’m happy to help.

Jesus never taught his followers to discriminate.

In fact, he was always in hot water with the big-time religious leaders of that time because he hung around with SINNERS. Prostitutes, thieves (the tax collectors were notorious), drunks, liars, potty-mouths* and guys with anger issues.

He helped them change their lives by teaching and loving them.

If you can find an example of a time Jesus was mean to a person because they weren’t following him, let me know.

AND

If you can find a time when Jesus fought back against something he didn’t approve by using deception, I’d like to hear about it.

Up Next: The Point.

 

*You know the story of when Peter denied he knew Jesus during his trial? The third time someone bugged him about it, he got so mad he cursed. Ever thought about the fact that someone could spend three years with Jesus and still be a potty-mouth? That sort of blows my mind. And makes me feel like less of a failure when I screw up. 

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