“What are little boys made of?” the old-fashioned rhyme asks. “Snakes and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails.” And what are little girls made of? “Sugar and spice and everything nice.”
I know it’s not exactly scientific, and there are wide ranges of personality and interests among boys and girls. But this little ditty speaks to a basic truth that used to be taken for granted — that boys and girls are, well, different.
I say “used to be taken for granted” with a heavy heart, because our morally confused culture is rapidly losing the ability to tell the difference between the sexes. And we all know who the losers will be.
The latest example of this confusion comes in the person of Bobby Montoya, a seven-year-old pint-sized Colorado boy who wears dresses and is, as advocates of so-called “gender non-conformity” say, “living as a girl.”
Bobby, you see, identifies himself as a girl and wants to join the local Girl Scouts troop. The troop leader initially refused, saying quite accurately that he has “boy parts.” But that wasn’t the end of the story. The Girl Scouts of Colorado has since said it is an “inclusive organization” and I quote, “if a child lives life as a girl,” then he or she is welcome to join. The Girl Scouts went on: “When a family requests membership for their daughter, we do not require proof of gender, we respect the decisions of families.” Proof of gender?
So apparently gender is based more on feelings and decisions rather than an unfair, arbitrary thing like anatomy or the science of biology. The dictionary, which defines “male” as being: “Of, relating to, or being the sex that has organs to produce sperm for fertilizing ova.” A secondary definition of “male” says “masculine.”
Such facts mean nothing amid today’s moral confusion.
Now, let me say that I’m not criticizing Bobby. I don’t know him, his home life or anything about him other than what has been reported in the media. We all face challenges, and this is a real big one. But if Bobby can’t get clear guidance and help from his own family, not to mention society as a whole, he will likely face a lifetime of devastation.
Such help needs to begin by simply remembering that there is a moral as well as physical order to the universe. It’s inscribed on all creation. The Christian worldview clearly embraces an objective moral order, and living by this is the way to human flourishing.
A basic building block of the Christian worldview is found in Genesis chapter 1: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Here we see truth that can help us confront our society’s moral confusion: Human beings are created; we are created in God’s image; and we are created male and female.
Our society, unfortunately, operates on the assumption that we are not created but are simply cosmic accidents; that “male” and “female” are social constructs that can be used or discarded at will; and if there is a God at all, we are that God. And as such, we can decide not only what is right and wrong, but whether we are male or female, “transgendered,” “gender non-conformists,” you name it.
But however much we repeat those lies, they remain untrue and, ultimately, unworkable — no matter how many Bobby Montoyas there may be. Let’s continue to speak this truth in love — for the sake of all the Bobbies in the world.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: November 7, 2011