Don Hinkle
Conservative Baptist polemicist Don Hinkle

Salespeople should tell the truth. When a salesperson lies it means that they lack the skills to be persuasive on the merits. Lies are the product of laziness, unprofessional conduct, a lack of respect for the craft and probably a lack of training. Professional selling is based on perspective. Do the benefits of buying this product or service outweigh concerns for [whatever]?

Don Hinkle is a columnist for The Pathway which is the organ of the Missouri Baptist Convention. The outlet is trying to sell an ideology. For all his self-righteous sanctimony, Don Hinkle is a liar. He simply lacks a fervent commitment to, and respect for, the truth. Hinkle writes:

Ladies, be careful using the restrooms in Walgreens. Corporate leaders recently distributed a memo stating men may now use women’s restrooms and vice versa. The policy change was a result of Walgreens being pressured by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California.

That is deliberately misleading. He is suggesting that women have something to fear from transgender women. Is there evidence to that effect? Furthermore, Mr. Hinkle does not know for a fact that Walgreens made a policy change due to pressure from the ACLU but an opportunity to assign responsibility to the ACLU is perhaps irresistible. Later on:

A similar policy was announced by Target Stores two years ago that resulted in an outcry of protests and ultimately a loss in business. Since Target implemented the policy, dozens of women and children have been victimized by male predators inside Target stores.

There is no evidence that Mr. Hinkle can cite to support his claim that Target suffered a loss of business due to Target’s policy of accommodating transgender customers and employees. In fact, given Target’s positive financial results over that period of time, I could make make a claim that the policy increased business. Of course that might be a confusion of causation with correlation so it is a claim that I would not make. While it is misleading, at least I can cite evidence in support of the assertion.

Hinkle’s clear intent is to imply that women and children have been victimized due to the change in policy. He is simply repeating a lie that originated with Tim Wildmon at American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group. Among the evidence cited by Wildmon for this claim is this:

…a 36-year-old man secretly filmed women trying on clothes in the dressing room of a New Jersey Target store. The news report stated that as many as 100 victims could have been spied on.

Except that the perpetrator was not transgender and did not take advantage of Target policy. Furthermore, those “100 victims” were from a number of stores other than Target. Tim Wildmon is a liar and Don Hinkle uncritically repeated the lie. Tim Wildmon himself repeated a lie that originated with idiot son, Walker Wildmon. Walker learned from his dad because Tim Wildmon did exactly the same thing two months earlier, claiming that Target policy was to blame for a peeping Tom who had hit a number of stores other than Target in the area.

I do not expect Mr. Hinkle to know these details but if he is going to make a claim, he has a responsibility to assess its accuracy based upon verifiable evidence (I keep using a word that seems so elusive for conservative Christians). Apparently he made no effort to ascertain the the truthfulness of AFA’s claims regarding Target. He should have because AFA has a motive to lie. They created a moronic protest over nothing and seek to justify their actions

Hinkle tells lies and is irresponsible because, for religious reasons and not out of concern for anyone’s safety, he presumably sees a benefit in disparaging transgender accommodations and transgender people themselves. He has probably never met a trans person and it is unlikely that he has made any effort to understand why they are transgender in the first place. He has probably never read any peer-reviewed scientific research about gender dysphoria.

Indeed, Hinkle doesn’t care about any of that. He is oblivious to evidence, or the lack of evidence, as he seeks to conform the world to ancient texts. People like Hinkle force us (adherents and non-adherents) to choose between what is fact-based and what is faith-based in our daily lives. Because he is forcing the issue it becomes a choice of evidence over superstition. People like Hinkle create an unnecessary adversarial climate and then lack the insight to understand that they are undermining their own mission. Meanwhile, some trans kid cannot find a place to simply pee in peace.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.