Aaron Wilson, a church consultant who thinks transgender people pose a threat to children and shouldn’t have access to the appropriate bathrooms, says the Christian boycott of Target is misguided.
Before we criticize him, it’s worth mentioning that he makes a good point as to why Christians shouldn’t stop shopping at the store just because the company has a policy allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
Besides the fact that Christian boycotts simply haven’t worked in the past — Disney and Starbucks are doing just fine, thank you very much — refusing to shop at Target, Wilson says, would only hurt the people who can least afford it:
… boycotting hurts people who have the least effect on change within their company. If all Targets in the South dropped top-line sales 3 percent over next month due to Christian boycotts, guess what would happen? It’s possible employees would get their hours cut to compensate for those stores’ bottom-line figures until things blow over. Do you think a CEO is sweating a six-digit bonus over a 3 percent decline in a certain cluster of stores for a quarter? Not at all.
I’m more concerned about the single mom making ends meet or the college kid paying his tuition by working the late shift at Target. I’ve worked in retail long enough to know that adjusting personnel expenses at the frontline level is the quickest and most controllable way to counter a decline in sales. When you boycott a retail corporation, you’re not sticking it to the man; you’re hurting those who live paycheck-to-paycheck in your neighborhood. As such, retail boycotting can hurt your witness to your local community.
It’s an excellent point. Too bad Wilson can’t make it without confirming that he’s a bigot, which he does in the very next paragraph:
Let me be clear. I’m very much against Target’s stand. Not only does it present a policy that goes against a biblical worldview, I believe it also harbors a very real safety concern.
Who knew helping people pee was anti-biblical?
And what information is Wilson basing his “safety concerns” on, since the fact is more Republican politicians than trans people have been arrested for sex acts in bathrooms? The Christian fear that trans people are mostly men who dress as women to assault little girls is absolutely baseless.
The bigger problem is that Wilson wants it both ways: He wants Christians to stop boycotting Target while simultaneously saying trans people pose a threat to customers in bathrooms. But that’s the exact reason the American Family Association is boycotting Target in the first place! The petition says, “Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims… Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters.”
If Target was actually accommodating predators, then you’d have to agree the boycott makes sense.
So, which is it? Is Target accommodating predators or are Christians wrong to sign the petition? It’s one or the other, and it can’t be both.
I guess I shouldn’t expect anything different from Christianity Today, a publication that believes committed gay and lesbian couples are “destructive to society.” It seems like you can’t write about LGBT issues for them unless you’re willing to turn the fear level to 11, even if it makes no logical sense.