Shop ‘Til You Drop

Dear Mrs Linda Harvey, Broadcaster and Founder/President of Mission:America,

I don’t know if you remember me, but I wrote to you last year about a book you’d written entitled Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality, your reply to which seemed to get lost in the mail somehow. But anyway, I’m writing again because I have just stumbled, in a post-Christmas haze, on the article you wrote earlier this month for independent Christian news website, WND, about the difficulties you face as a Christian woman of conscience finding somewhere to shop, and I simply have to let you know how I feel about this. I am so saddened by your plight but want to congratulate you for bringing this terrible situation to the eyes of the world. If you will indulge me, I’ll recap some of my personal highlights from the article.

You begin your article by telling us that the list of American “family-friendly, Christian-affirming retailers, restaurants and service providers” is growing shorter all the time. This is terrible news indeed. Where else can a God-fearing woman like yourself shop, eat and have services provided other than in a place that loves Christians and dislikes everyone else? It’s a dark day indeed when a Christian is reduced to walking into a shop that doesn’t believe in discrimination. I can barely even begin to imagine how you’re coping.

Luckily for me, though, you go on to explain exactly how you are coping: by boycotting. You tell us proudly that you haven’t shopped in Macy’s department store since 2011 when bosses at the San Antonio, Texas branch allowed a “transexual young man” to change in the ladies’ dressing room and fired a female Christian employee for attempting to block “his inappropriate access”. What a brave and courageous stance on your part and one that I am sure will some day real soon start to put a dent in Macy’s multi-million dollar profits.

You go on to explain how you are also boycotting Target, the discount department store, because it once sold Gay Pride t-shirts and supports the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in the Equality Act, or, as your pro-family (as long as it’s not a gay one!) colleague, Peter LaBarbera likes to call it, the “Criminalizing Christianity Act” (Always the joker, Pete!). It’s shocking, isn’t it, that a mighty American retailer like the Target Corporation believes that gay and transgender people should be treated equally with other Americans, and with respect! You certainly don’t believe this and go out of your way to make this very clear by using as much  disrespectful language as you can in your article. I particularly like your good Christian use of the phrases “sodomy”, “pro-homosexual deception”, “deviant ‘gay pride’ parades” and “men who dress as women” to describe transgender men. It’s this careful use of disrespect that sets you apart as the Christian woman of conscience you are. Keep fanning the flames of hate, Linda! I’m sure it’s what Jesus meant when He said “Love you neighbour as yourself”.

I’m sorry  that you’re not able to stop your brave boycott of retail America at Macy’s and Target. Sadly, there are other retailers who are also not bigoted enough for you to continue giving them your business. The list also includes Wal-Mart, who provide financial backing for gay pride marches; Mattel, who in November introduced their collector’s edition Moschino Barbie with an ad featuring a “tragically feminized” boy;  and JC Penney, who have run ads featuring gay people “even on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day” (shudder) and whose national spokesperson is “lesbian Ellen DeGeneres”. It would appear that you’re right when you wonder whether there is simply “anyplace left for Christians to shop”. What with Amazon, General Mills, Google, Facebook, Paypal and Levi-Strauss also being on the dark side, it’s a wonder you have any clothes to wear, books to read or internet sites to peruse at all.

For Christians like you – who believe that it is a good thing to drive young gay and transgender people to suicide by telling them how evil they are – it must be so difficult keeping up with the ever-growing list of companies who believe that it isn’t. Luckily, though, you have your lists to refer to! I particularly like the American Family Association’s Naughty or Nice list, which rates retailers on how much they mention the word Christmas in their advertisements. Boo to Victoria’s Secret for being a company that “may use ‘Christmas’ sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it” and a big cheer to JC Penney and Wal-Mart for being companies that use the term “Christmas” on a regular basis and who the AFA considers to be Christmas-friendly!  Wait, aren’t those two of the companies you’re boycotting for being nice to gay people? Awkward.

Anyway, much safer is WND’s very own The Big List of Gayest Companies in America, which lists well over 150 companies that you are unable to do business with because, unlike you, they don’t believe that it is a good thing to drive young gay and transgender people to suicide by telling them how evil they are. Scanning my eye down the list, I can’t help but be very concerned about how exactly you and your fellow hardline Christians are going to feed and clothe yourselves, travel, use computers and bank if you boycott them all. But then again, I guess, if God hates gay people as much as you do I’m sure He’ll help you out. And failing that, if God turns out not to be quite bigoted enough for you, being a good Christian woman of principle, I’m sure you will show Him where He’s going wrong by sticking to your boycotts and starving yourself to death wearing only the rags of the clothes you bought from these retailers before you realised they liked gay people. And what a tragedy that would be.

You finish your article by reminding us all that “no one is born homosexual” and warning us of the “grave harm homosexuality is doing to American culture, to our schools, to our freedoms, to our churches”. What a woman of inspiration you are, Linda! Even without taking the time to get to know gay people and talk to them about their experience of being born gay, you know deep within your heart that you are right and they are wrong. Period. Your ability to stand firm in the face of ridicule, looking, some might say, like a total idiot, is admirable.

Anyway, I’m taking up your time now, so I’d better let you go. After all, you’ve got your work cut out trying to find somewhere to shop, haven’t you? Might I suggest a diet of Chick fil A chicken and southern Baptist wedding cake, as I hear the makers of both, like you, think it’s OK to drive young gay and transgender people to suicide by telling them how evil they are. Kindred spirits, you might say! And what a heart-warming sentiment to be united by.

Happy shopping!

R