Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Is McDonald’s Harming Children?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2014 Apr 28

The McDonald’s “Happy Meal” is a predictable if not overly nutritious treat of childhood.

You know what you’re going to get: a kid-approved meal and a toy.

But a recent push by a daughter-father team is turning the traditionally mundane product into a political football.

No Such Thing As Girl or Boy Toys?

Slate’s recent blog post, “McDonald’s Gave Me the ‘Girl’s Toy’ With My Happy Meal. So I Went to the CEO,” outlines how, back in 2008, high schooler Antonia Ayres-Brown grew frustrated when McDonald’s asked her family if they wanted a “girl toy” or a “boy toy” with their Happy Meal. From her irritation spawned an ongoing campaign to get that protocol changed.

According to Ayres-Brown, her indignation is rooted in perceived gender discrimination by McDonald’s. She wanted to get McDonald’s to “stop treating a kid differently because of his or her gender.” Ayres-Brown goes on to explain that assigning a “My Little Pony” toy as a “girl’s toy” will pressure “innumerable children to conform to gender stereotypes.”

The Mainstreaming of a Socially Dangerous Idea

It’s tempting to chalk this up to an extremist, activist minority.

The reality, however, is different: far from being fringe, the movement to strip humanity of its gender differences is gaining speed. Here are some examples:

It’s foolish and ultimately harmful to brush gender differences aside like they’re an antiquated inconvenience, instead of recognizing them as God’s plan for humanity.

Men and women are different by design. Sure, there’s a continuum and some overlap, but overall God has made the two halves of humanity complementary characteristics for a purpose.

As parents, we would be wise to encourage our children’s security in their gender, not explore options outside of it.

After all, most can see how beautiful and beneficial it is when husbands and wives bring their unique contributions together in marriage and child-rearing.

It used to be this view of complementarism was just common sense. Yet nowadays the most fundamental truths that once undergirded society are questioned.

Empowering Christians to Respond Well

Most believers read stories like these and instinctively know something’s not right – but too often they feel ill-equipped to explain why.

On Tuesday, May 6 in more than 700 cinemas around the nation, Focus on the Family will debut its first feature film, “Irreplaceable.” The documentary is designed to help equip Christians so they can be confident in standing for God’s design for family and society.

Through experts and real families, “Irreplaceable” will deal with issues like gender differences. Among other things, it will also examine the role of family, the dangers of the hook-up culture, and the importance of fathers, mothers and children. It explores these sometimes tough issues with both sensitivity and clarity.

I hope you and your family can join us. You can purchase your tickets online at www.irreplaceablethemovie.com.

Learn about “Irreplaceable,” the one-night theatrical event showing on May 6.

Follow me on Twitter @Dalyfocus
Follow me on Facebook
Keep up with Focus on the Family on Facebook
Sign up for my weekly e-newsletter


Follow Crosswalk.com