By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
As you are certainly aware by now, JCPenney has chosen an open and avowed lesbian to serve as the face of the company. This spokesman is by all accounts warm, engaging and funny. But she is more known by America for what she does off camera than on.
Why should this matter to pro-family Americans? It matters for one simple reason: role models matter.
When a company with the visibility and reputation of JCPenney deliberately chooses as its representative someone who engages in a sexually abnormal lifestyle, it is not an insignificant thing. JCPenney’s choice will futher lower the bar of what Americans consider sexually acceptable behavior.
Perhaps the change will be slight, maybe so slight that it is barely noticed. But there is no question that the threshhold will have been lowered, and no movement in that direction is good or healthy for America.
JCPenney is collaborating in the gradual desensitizing of America to sexually aberrant behavior. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, famously coined the phrase “defining deviancy down.” What he meant is that while America once had a shared understanding of what deviancy is, the understanding of what counts as deviant behavior has gradually been redefined and lowered decade after decade.
The result of this redefining is that more and more things that were once considered scandalous have now become socially acceptable.
“Deviancy” means, according to the dictionary, “actions or behaviours that violate cultural norms.” A generation ago, virtually all Americans would have agreed that homosexual conduct violated cultural norms. It represented a violation of the laws of nature and nature’s God.
We shared an understanding that such behavior was immoral, unnatural and unhealthy, and represented behavior that society should discourage rather than promote.
So where the standard of what was considered acceptable behavior once was high enough that only sexual activity between a husband and wife in marriage cleared the bar, that bar has been lowered so far that many Americans now find sexual immorality, adultery, prostitution, pornography and homosexuality to be perfectly acceptable. Things have reached the place where one of the Republican candidates for the presidency does not think the state should restrain prostitution at all, and voted twice to normalize homosexuality in the United States military.
Groups are already hard at work to normalize polygamy and even certain forms of pedophilia. It may not be long before those behaviors likewise receive some societal stamp of approval.
So what America considers sexually deviant behavior has been redefined downward, downward, downward. And JCPenney has done its part by celebrating and rewarding a practitioner of behavior which has serious psychological and physical consequences.
Will America’s young women be just a bit more likely to experiment with lesbianism now that JCPenney is mainstreaming it? Too any objective observer, the answer must be yes. Is this a good thing? To any objective observer, the answer must be no.
Research has indicated that lesbians suffer from increased levels of depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, breast cancer and vaginal diseases compared to heterosexual women.
Thus what JCPenney has done, by increasing, even if ever so slightly, the chances that young women will experiment with this behavior will turn out to be a tragic thing for some. JCPenney will have to share some culpability for that. This once proudly pro-family company will have done its part to define deviancy down.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)