What a unique week of one hot topic in particular: bathroom breaks.
- Once Upon a Time endorsed a same-gender “true love’s kiss.”
- The actor who plays Thor endorsed his 3-year old daughter’s desire to have male anatomy (although, ironically, a woman became Thor in the comics).
- Target endorsed transgender use of their bathrooms and fitting rooms.
- ESPN endorsed firing Curt Schilling for a personal Facebook comment about transgender topics.
Meanwhile… how are you doing out there?
Seriously, how are you doing?
When an ever-changing world continues to be ever-changing, we continue to look for something to grab onto.
Maybe that’s why movies like God’s Not Dead 2 do well in a large segment of the overall Christian community (although SNL created a gay parody of it this past week – one that Pat Boone said went too far in terms of sacrilege).
It could be why Chris Hemsworth quickly affirmed his daughter’s desire to have the same physical parts as her brothers (although it may be even more helpful for him as a parent to first recognize that “gender curiosity” doesn’t inherently equal “gender confusion.”) As one author noted, “Every minor choice or preference would begin to seem like a ‘gender identity’ cue.”
Conceivably, it’s why some longtime fans of Once Upon A Time are angry. Even among those who don’t object to the concept of a GLBTQ relationship felt the “true love” between the two female characters happened too fast for one episode, making it “forced and unearned.” Still, the show certainly has endorsed heterosexual adultery and multiple other themes Christians could raise an eyebrow at. Only now we’re considering not watching it? Ironic, to be sure.
Perhaps that’s why #BoycottTarget became an overnight hashtag, as the American Family Association asked that we rethink giving Target our business.
Others noted how a simple Google search can show how many “peeping Tom” instances have already happened at various Targets.
Meanwhile, Target remains true to their long-standing stance on bathroom breaks. To clarify, Target’s policy isn’t new. Rather, they just re-articulated it due to “recent debate around proposed laws in several states [that] reignited a national conversation around inclusivity.”
Then there’s Curt Schilling reposting a meme on Facebook. It was absolutely over-the-top, as it showed a male character wearing a wig and women’s clothing, with the caption, “Let him into the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!” As one CNN writer commented, “Well, the huge difference is Schilling is not like most of you. The day he walked off the mound and decided to collect a paycheck as a baseball analyst, he gave up his right to publicly rant about just any subject that popped into his head.”
Only… what if Curt Shilling’s situation is exactly like “most of you?”
If you’ve been on social media in any discussion about this, you’ve likely felt the heat.
- Those who say we should affirm everyone ironically seem quick to berate others who say, “I disagree.” Have you seen someone offer a contrary point in a thread only to be adult-bullied over it? Perhaps the better question could be, “Thanks for loving everyone and supporting everyone. Does that include me, too? Because I object to what you are for, but if you say everyone deserves to be heard and affirmed then can I be heard and affirmed, too?”
- Those who say we should boycott everything seem quick to overlook the humanity and real-life struggles at play here. Have you seen this in how quick we are to build walls versus bridges? Perhaps the better approach could be, “I may support businesses that support what I am for. It’s my imperfect, cultural right as a consumer. Meanwhile, I disagree with you as a business on something you support. I’d like to do it in a civil manner. Can we sit down and dialogue about both sides of this? Something I sense we’d agree on is your staff and customers have inherent worth as people. Maybe we can start there and see where things go next?”
When you walk into this with intention past your blind spots, you can help others to see. This is the part where you really start getting to dignity for humanity as God’s creation versus following our urges, which also applies to things like the urge to be harsh on social media or blindly give into what feels “natural.” God’s Story trumps our soapbox rant, but perhaps our passion isn’t to be overlooked – but it is to be rooted.
Maybe that sounds idealistic. It’s actually quite pragmatic.
Because all of this impacts the next generation.
Maya Angelou summarized, “Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
Virginia Woolf offered, “Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.”
Judith Martin added, “The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don’t have to pay taxes — naturally, no one wants to live any other way.”
Between these quotes is an intriguing tension –
Childhood used to mean freely enjoying the innocence of growing up.
Meanwhile, culture is training up the next generation to take adult-like “stands” on hot topics that most adults haven’t fully wrestled out.
- Our TV shows can’t go a whole season without introducing a gay storyline… even though “studies from several nations, including the U.S., conducted at varying time periods, have produced a statistical range of 1.2 to 6.8 percent of the adult population identifying as LGBT.” Based on the amount of gay characters in fictional entertainment or those in the entertainment industry who are vocal, it’s easy to assume that it’s a more dominant matter. That’s confusing, right?
- Our community of musicians and celebrities have by example taught them when to clap and when to be silent with every “shout out” for a non-approved cause packaged in approved language. It hearkens back to a controversial moment in history when the lesson was as clear as the penalty – “don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.” That’s confusing, right?
- Our schools are determining new policies on toilet use during school hours. That’s confusing, right?
- Our everyday role models are afraid to speak up and be ostracized, which perhaps has prompted a sense that maybe the next loud voice to come along behind a microphone is worth electing into leadership regardless of what’s being said. That’s confusing, right?
[tweet_dis]This is a hard time to be a leader or parent. You want to “solve it” from whatever angle you’re coming from, and you can’t.[/tweet_dis] You may even become so consumed by it that you neglect to do the clear things Jesus has asked you to do – to put Him first in all things, proclaim Him to lost people, develop others around you and… often overlooked… care for the poor, widowed and orphaned. May we not forget those things, nor should we ignore talking about what’s happening in culture all-at-once.
- People are scared of “different” (and that goes both directions).
- The next generation is becoming “cultured” (and that comes from all directions).
- Everyone looks “suspicious” if you stare at them long enough (and that goes in every direction).
- This topic is “growing” (and will surprise you via directions you didn’t know existed).
Meanwhile… how are you doing out there?
Seriously, how are you doing?
– Tony / @tonymyles
Want more on this topic? Check out Ministering to Gay Teenagers by my friend Shawn Harrison.