I’m Not Boycotting Target

  
I’m going to do something I told myself I would never do. 

I said I would stay away from controversial topics. I know my opinion will not change your opinion, and vice versa.

Here’s the thing. I’ve seen the news. I have a fire burning in me and I just CANNOT stand on the sidelines and keep my mouth shut. Boycotters, I’m calling you out. 

I’m not writing this just because my husband happens to be employed by Target. I’ve been frustrated with boycotters, Christian and non-Christian alike, for awhile now (Chick-fil-A and Starbucks boycotts, I see you). 

Before I really dig into my point, I have to ask the question:

What is it that you think boycotting will accomplish? Do you think you’ll “show them”? Or do you think that these mega companies will actually lose enough business to change their policy? 

I mean, perhaps.  It has happened. I won’t deny that. But it’s not likely. 

I can assure you, these large companies did not make their decisions lightly. They knew they would piss off a few large groups of people. They’re ready for it. They expected this. They can afford it. 

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m on your side. I think this policy is dangerous and opens the door for sex offenders and pedophiles alike to abuse the system put in place to give a sense of equality. I’m angry. I will protect my daughter and myself and use the private family restrooms; but I’m not boycotting Target. 

Here’s the thing: I’d be happy to sign a petition stating that the policy should be revoked, perhaps even replaced with a policy that changes “Family Restrooms” into “Equality Restrooms” (which is what they are, anyway, and I’m dumbfounded as to why there was a need for this policy in the first place). 

Here’s why I have not and will not boycott Target, or any other company with policies I do not agree with:

You can’t boycott everything. 

    Did you know there are lists out in cyberspace of all the places and products that Christians should boycott?  There are. Here’s one of many. Chances are that you do business with a majority of them, too. 

    The Bible doesn’t say much on boycotting, but it does say this: 

    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (NIV)

    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

    This passage quite literally, if you ask me, says that it is IMPOSSIBLE to boycott everything you don’t agree with. In order to do so, you would have to leave the world. (!!!!!!!!) 

    We live in a secular world, filled with secular companies, that have secular view points, and secular policies, that are trying to stay relevant. 

    If Target didn’t do it, another company would have. 

    While Christians AND non-Christians are boycotting Target (because this is NOT about the transgender community, it’s about people posing as such to gain access to the opposite gender’s restroom), I’m talking specifically to Christians at this point…

    How will you be a light, if you run away from all of the dark places? 

    Acts 1:8 (NIV)

    8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

    Note: the ENDS of the earth. That, to me, means every. single. nook. and cranny. on. the planet. 

    Even Target. 

    You don’t have to agree with the policy. You don’t have to PRETEND it’s okay.  You can fight it. You can petition. You can make your voice heard. 

    You don’t have to “show them” by boycotting. 

    I leave you with one simple question. I beg you to search your heart and answer it honestly: If Jesus walked the earth today, would He join your boycott? 

    John 13:34 (NIV)

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    UPDATE: While I knew this post would not be accepted by all, I did not expect the amount of conversation it would spark. Thanks to a conversation with a dear friend, I just wanted to share more of my heart behind this post HERE, because while I will try to answer as many people as I can, I also have a toddler to care for. 😉 

    I do feel like there is a line between meekly choosing not to shop at Target and proclaiming “boycott!” to “show them” not just in this situation, but in the past and on issues yet to come. I think we, as Christians, are called to a higher standard.

    WHAT IF: Christians came up with an alternative that showed love and respect to the transgender community, complete with signatures, and presented it to Target and other companies that will likely implement as well?  

    It was brought up that my words are a bit harsh. I never meant for my post to come off as a rant- more of a challenge to question our motives and to really seek whether or not it’s really what Jesus would do. 

    I’ve had this on my heart for over three years. I remember sitting in my car, at a Starbucks in Los Angeles, with a heavy heart as I read post after post of Christians boycotting Starbucks. The feeling that it wasn’t right has never left me. Each time these issues have come up, I felt a nagging. To me, that’s the Holy Spirit. Someone, somewhere, isn’t acting out of true conviction. Maybe my post was for them. I did not expect everyone to agree- but I definitely did not rant to cause a scene. In my heart of hearts, I’m being obedient to a strong conviction. And I’m doing it because I DO love my brothers and sisters and I genuinely think there MUST be a better way.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Whether or not you agree is fine with me- I’ve presented my piece. I hope you’ll consider all options of how to react to this unfortunate policy. 

    Sincerely,

    Gabrielle ❤ 

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    14 thoughts on “I’m Not Boycotting Target

    1. ::Courtney Gross:: says:

      LOVE this so much my heart is bursting. Love your bravery.

      • gabbagirl89 says:

        Thanks, Courtney! I wrote most of it yesterday, very seriously thought about deleting it, and then was inspired to post anyway because of the post you shared 🙂

    2. joe says:

      problem with your issue is one your bible means nothing to business and has no place in it really. not saying morals don’t count but the bible is inconsistent at best. opinions may or not change but facts aren’t so easily warped. in every other state, city, the statistics show zero increase in sexual assaults in the bathroom, that’s right zero! so at best you’re avoiding an uncomfortable conversation with your children or because you’re naive you fell for the classic “kids safe narrative” that’s been used time and time again. but the facts are these gender identity policies don’t make you a vulnerable target. apparently there’s people at target who have the common sense to know the difference between an irrational fear and an immediate threat.

      • gabbagirl89 says:

        Joe- first, thank you for your comment. I love to hear other view points. If you can provide it, I’d love to see the statistic you mentioned about zero assaults in bathrooms- not just because I’m a Christian, but because I am a mother who is concerned about the safety of my children (and myself, quite frankly) when there isn’t a private family restroom option.

        I wouldn’t say the fear is irrational, though I agree it’s not an immediate threat. I think more accurately, it just opens the door to possible threats that were less likely before the policy was implemented.

        As for the Bible, you’re welcome to have your opinions on it. My post states that I’m mainly calling out my fellow Christians for boycotting, and the Bible IS relevant to them. But I appreciate you pointing out that there is a separation between the guidelines of the Bible and many businesses. That is true.

    3. M. Braun says:

      A FB friend shared your post and it was nice to see another perspective. I’m a person who refuses to jump on the bandwagon in many aspects of life. I have friends and family on extreme sides of world views. I disagree with Target’s new policy. My issue isn’t bathrooms being open to transgender people. My issue is Target taking a politically correct stance and reflecting the latest trends. My feeling is Target is about money and trends and not about loving people (that’s another story). I haven’t had a real deep call to boycott on this issue, so I will still be shopping there. I haven’t had much time to seriously consider the issue. I do feel the new policy does open up the possibility to mentally unstable people who might take advantage of the situation. What would Jesus do? I don’t know. But I think it’s a heart issue that should drive a person’s decision. Perhaps a boycott is to honor God rather than to make a difference in an company? My guess is that for many people it’s a surface decision rather than a heart conviction.

      Over 20 years ago a woman at church got up in my parents’ Sunday school class and encouraged members to not to shop at Target or Dayton stores because they gave money to Planned Parenthood. My mom took the challenge very seriously and boycotted these companies. I didn’t feel the same strong conviction and she did, but I joined her to show her my support (and for some of that time I was living under her roof). I know she felt a bit conflicted because she did not actively do anything else outside the boycott to make a difference. However, my mom is such an honest and sincere person that she most certainly prayed about it. The first Super Target opened up across from my parent’s house and there were huge celebrations. I got married during her boycott and decided not to set up a gift registry at Target. As someone who supported my mom, I can attest to the fact that this was difficult.

      Years later my mom asked the woman from church, who had challenged the Sunday school class, about her status on the issue and how things were going for her. It seemed as if the woman didn’t even remember her challenge and was shopping at Daytons (at that time Target’s parent company) because she was going to be getting a good discount on carpet. I know it was so disappointing to my mom, but it did not change her commitment.

      YEARS later my mom learned that Target had pulled their Planned Parenthood support and once again started shopping at there again. She was thrilled. I know her excitement wasn’t because she would be shopping at Target again, but because they had changed their stance on something that was a true conviction of hers. Perhaps there was more than one person out there who shared my mom’s stance. But I also wonder if God was honored and touched by her commitment by changing the hearts of the folks in charge?

      Just something to chew on.

      • gabbagirl89 says:

        Thank you SO MUCH for this perspective. Your mom sounds like a an absolute gem with a rare quality; but sadly like you said, for most people it’s likely a surface decision. Luckily, no matter what we do or don’t do, God knows our hearts and why we choose that route.
        I hope that your comment challenges those that read it to examine their convictions.
        Thank you, again. 🙂

    4. Elaine Fredrick says:

      How can we be salt if we just blend in, and no one sees us? When Jesus was here, didn’t He make waves? “The world” was so much smaller, and very local, so we have no way of knowing how Jesus would have handled this kind of situation because our world is too big. Jesus believed in telling people what was right and what was wrong, didn’t He? I will boycott Target. At the very least, Target should have a “unisex” room for those who are unsure of their physical identity.

      • gabbagirl89 says:

        Maybe we don’t know how Jesus would have reacted- it was definitely a different time. But I’m certainly not saying we should just blend in. We should definitely let our voices be heard. I’m simply asking if “boycott” is the most Christ-like way to do so? Jesus absolutely distinguished the difference between right and wrong- but He typically did it in a gentle and loving way. I think of John 8- Jesus corrected wrong doing without making a scene.

        3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

        4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

        6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

        9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

        11 “No, Lord,” she said.

        And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

        -I agree that the policy is wrong. We are both entitled to move forward in our own convictions.

    5. Gabrielle, my wife shared your post and without reading it, I didn’t know what to think. AFTER, reading it- you bring up many great points and you’re right. Thank you for sharing your heart. Here’s a little of mine while we’re on this topic of love and what we should be doing instead of boycotting:
      https://anchor.fm/w/9F0766
      Continue to act out of love, Gabrielle. As with anything, not all will agree or understand. It’s evident our heart is strong and in a good place. This was not offensive, not said in a harsh way. It seems Love was your motivation.

      Blessings to you and your family.

      Zachary

    6. Amy says:

      Love your post Gabby! I agree and I’m glad you posted this.

    7. John says:

      Nice analysis but in the corporate world, money talks, period. You vote with your dollars every time you make a purchase. Any product purchased at Target can be purchased at a store that doesn’t place a TARGET on women for sex offenders. That is the choice.

      Get back to us when the unintended consequences come rolling in.

    8. I have morals says:

      You have to be some kind of a moron!! Apparently you don’t have any morals give me a break, “REALLY” 😨

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