Unconditional Love and Male Girls

A boy living life as a girl has been given the green light to join the Girl Scouts in Colorado.

What this incident further illustrates is the boundary-less-ness so desired by the human heart. No one, we say, should put limits on another’s desire and behavior, and we go to great lengths to remove any such boundaries, often couching our efforts in terms of “unconditional love.”

The phenomenon looks something like this: I want to join the Boy Scouts. But you’re a girl. No I’m not. You look like a girl. Appearances of gender are the result of a social construct foisted on the masses by religious ignoramuses. But, you’re a girl. I desire, therefore, I am, and I desire not to be a girl, but to be a Boy Scout, and to play with those cool camp stoves. But you can’t do boy stuff. You’re supposed to love everyone unconditionally, and I desire to be a boy, so you should affirm and support me in all my desires. Oh, alright…here’s your compass.

Imagine if the same logic were applied to other areas: Come on, Saddam, we’re taking you to jail. But I don’t want to go to jail. You’ve committed crimes against humanity. I don’t feel like a criminal. Quit trying to escape. My desire is to be free, and captivity is the social construct of the imperialist oppressor. Oh, alright…here are your WMDs.

What’s worse than a boy living life as a girl and forcing an organization to redefine itself to permit his admission to it is the attitude of alleged grown-ups about the situation. One of the news shows hosted a debate between “experts” who held opposing views regarding the Girl Scouts’ decision. The pro-Scout expert suggested that the decision was a wonderful example of how-things-ought-to-be, because what children of this age need is not parents telling them what they can’t do — be a girl, if you’re a boy — but parents who affirm and support children in their desires, who love them “unconditionally”.

This posits a view of love that does not set boundaries. But parental love for children is nothing if not boundary-setting: you can’t eat poison; you can’t play with knives; you can’t run in traffic; you must defecate in the toilet; you must wear clothes in public.

Biblical love, also, necessarily involves the use of (gasp!) authority and the setting of boundaries. God certainly loved Adam and Eve, but also put boundaries on their behavior: don’t eat the fruit of one, particular tree. They rebelled against that authority — asserting their right to “unconditional love” — and believed that God should affirm their desires whatever they might be. They were wrong, and God’s love then required the exercise of his authority.

Parents are called to love children biblically, not unconditionally, and act as agents of God’s authority.

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