As the mom of a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, I’m horrified. Most young kids will have no idea what these things mean, but that is the point. The messaging and images are grooming kids to accept unnatural, sexually exploitive things as “normal.”
And it’s not just Target. Consider a few other children’s clothing stores. The Children’s Place sells a t-shirt that reads “Peace, Respect, Unity and Love,” combining various letters to spell out PRIDE. Old Navy offers rainbow-themed t-shirts that read “Love for all, all for love” and Carter’s kids clothing has plenty of “Happy Pride” shirts for your little one. ”The Future is Inclusive” says a kids shirt from Tee Public, including every color of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow.
It’s nearly impossible to enter a store without being accosted by a thousand co-opted rainbows. The intent is to sexualize and confuse children, apparently, from birth. Parents have a harder job than ever as they seek to protect their children from cultural lies masked as love.
Pride Month slogans are vague things like “Be Kind,” “Be Yourself,” and “Love is Love.” But this language has been torn from moral context and distorted.
When we separate love and kindness from God, we become the arbitrators of those terms–and that’s where things go awry.
“Being kind” doesn’t mean supporting hormone blockers for preteens. “Being yourself” doesn’t mean you might be a boy if you don’t like dresses. And “Love is love” doesn’t mean it’s OK to have sexual relationships with anyone for any reason.
Such morally confusing phrases are dangerous, leading my 7-year-old to believe that the “be kind” poster on his public-school wall was from the Ten Commandments. Because he learned love and kindness in the context of Christianity, he naturally associated them with God. This is good, because such objectively moral ideas are rooted in God, but I had to explain the difference between worldly and Godly definitions.
When we separate love and kindness from God, we become the arbitrators of those terms–and that’s where things go awry. And because Pride Month propaganda characterizes those who don’t celebrate queer identities as bigoted, our kids are led to believe they are unloving. Talk about gaslighting our children.
When we hand definitions over to the public school or Target for that matter, we dilute true virtues into unrecognizable, meaningless platitudes. Language shapes behavior and expectations in society and progressive language agendas have quickly made the Western world afraid of anything but complete celebration of all LGBTQ+ identities.
God clarifies linguistic confusion for us in John 1:1, where we learn that the human experience started with “The Word,” which is God himself! So to mess with the meaning of words–about love, gender, sex, marriage and sin–laid out in the Bible, is to mess with God himself.
It’s true we are called to love everyone, but love is not mere agreement, condonement, or capitulation to sin.
Despite Target’s t-shirts declaring “Trans People Will Always Exist” and “Queer Queer Queer,” we know that people were made male and female without error. Our pronouns were chosen for us by God through biology and no amount of indoctrination can change that reality.
This June, so-called “Pride Month,” is a chance for parents to dig their heels into the Word, clarify God’s vision for men and women and more clearly articulate that to their kids. Our children are counting on us to disciple them faithfully in this cultural moment.
Ericka Andersen is a freelance writer and mother of two living in Indianapolis. She is the author of Leaving Cloud 9 and Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church & the Church Needs Women. Ericka hosts the Worth Your Time podcast. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Christianity Today, USA Today, and more.
Redefining words to reengineer society
LGBTQ activists and their retail strategy
By Ericka Andersen
May 30, 2023
Every June, major brands intensify their support for Pride Month. I can barely bring my children inside a Target store this year, with their trans flag-decorated newborn onesies, “always proud” bibs and weirdly naked, cartoon people (and their pronouns!) featured on kids’ t-shirts.
Got a toddler? Target has you covered, sporting “Bien proud” t-shirts and Pride Kids “People” products featuring a variety of non-gendered, cartoon folks. There are Pride-themed family outfits, socks, swimsuits and tutus, most of which express phrases like “be you,” “be kind,” or “feel the love.”
One TikTok user filmed inside a Target store that sold a kids’ t-shirt with an image of a woman sleeping on a pillow with text reading “Busy thinking about girls.”
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