Target: The consequences you won’t see in the news
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I still don’t want to shop at Target and I hope the same is true for you. Last April I wrote a blog post about Target’s dressing room policy. The store’s policy declares: “In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Opinions circulated in the media, in lunchrooms, in other stores and businesses and in blogs like this one. It’s been nine months since that time. How are things at Target?

  • AdAge reported that Target took their $686 million-dollar media account to a different agency.
  • The January 9th Stock News Journal reports Target has experienced a 12.70% earnings decline.
  • A Wall Street Journal article reported that Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, admitted that some of the financial woes were backlash from their public bathroom/dressing room policy.
  • The American Family Association reports more than 1.5 million signatures were collected from people who said they would no longer shop at Target.
  • The AFA also called for Target to change their policy last June when another young girl reported a man recording her on his cell phone while she was trying on a bathing suit in the women’s dressing room.

Target has not changed its dressing room policy, but they have changed their ads. The store is spending millions of dollars on charities and on ads talking about their charitable giving. Chip and Joanna Gaines signed a lucrative contract with the store (much to my disappointment) in the hopes of helping Target’s image and sales with people like me. I like Chip and Joanna Gaines very much, but I’m still not going to shop at Target.

It’s easy in today’s media climate to think that we are “losing ground” in our nation. But I think Target might tell us a different story. There are a LOT of people, both Christian and non-Christian who would like this country to change its values and moral standards. We want our country to be a safer and happier place and earn more respect and favor from other nations as well.

Last week I taught Psalm 33. Verse twelve says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.” In Colossians 3:12 Paul said that Christians were, “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.” We have already reached the half-way point of January. This is a good time to re-evaluate our goals for the coming year. I think each of us should add at least one more: Let’s endeavor to ignore the suggestions that somehow the world, and our culture, is slipping away. It’s not. God created the world, has always been in control of his creation, and He always will be. And Christians are his chosen people, holy and dearly loved.

Your influence, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, is immeasurable. Christians held Target accountable and they have been paying ever since. Truett Cathey, the owner of Chick-Fil-A has openly stated his Christian beliefs and a lot of people thought he would go out of business when he did. What did the line look like the last time you wanted some Chick-Fil-A for lunch? Hobby Lobby won their recent Supreme Court battle. Maybe things are going better than we think?

So, to all my Christian readers – keep speaking up and occasionally, speak out. We have a lot more influence than we tend to realize. We speak up every time we choose where to spend, or not spend our money. We speak up every time we withhold our opinion and every time we give it. We speak up every time we trust God’s power more than anything else.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Let’s rejoice and be glad in that fact. This world is progressing as God always knew it would. We are just one generation closer to his end. It isn’t better or worse, it’s both and it always has been both. Keep moving forward with God’s strength and guidance. Your life and witness matter more than you realize. God said so, and now, so would Target.