Have you ever heard a discussion or watched an interview and wondered, “Why didn’t they ask them that?!” And then, felt that in not asking that question(s) the whole point of the subject being discussed was missed?
I don’t claim to always think of such things in the moment myself (yet another way i am not like Jesus). But, it struck me very firmly between the eyes the other day as i read this article in our local news paper about a 9 year old girl (now 11) who “identifies” as a boy and so is now seeking to (slowly) become one – a decision now fully supported by her parents (which on one level – as a parent myself – i get what they’re trying to do) and championed by society.
Now, surely, it does take some deal of courage to pursue this course – admitting (surely) that this *is* a very different day and age when such things are not nearly as shocking as they once were. Nor do i doubt that this child is sincere in her beliefs.
But here’s the question that’s not being asked in this whole deal (nor do i ever see it in any articles like it):
Why is pedophilia wrong?
Not the question you were expecting? Follow it through.
We say pedophilia is wrong because we (rightly) say a child does not have the emotional or physical maturity to grant any form of consent to an adult for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. So even if they really felt strongly that they did consent to sexual activity with any adult, we would rightly restrict such a desire; claiming that they had not the capacity to make such a choice, nor any frame of reference to discern the consequences of such a choice – how could they?
But here’s why this is precisely the question that needs to be asked when we read an article like this one or any other like it:
Because although gender identity is not solely about sexuality (it isn;t) the two surely cannot be divorced from one another; they are inextricably linked together by design. And so, in asking the question, “Why is pedophilia wrong?” we unveil a devastating disconnect in our thinking today.
For here, we have a 9 (now 11) year old girl – who we would rightly restrict from any sexual activity with an adult b/c we would rightly say she is not capable of consenting to such a choice however she may feel about it – but that we also say in the same breath can understand her sexuality to the point where she can know that she is not truly a girl, but a boy! Huh?
We rightly respect one standard (for now anyways) and yet in the same breath discard it on the altar of present cultural attitudes. This is nothing to say about the fact that 30 years ago (surely much less than that even) this was not even a question that was being asked by children, “Do i ‘feel’ like i’m the sex i am biologically?” And, no, this is not b/c we’re so much more “enlightened” today. (Opportunistic reasoning perhaps?)
The Word of God, psychology, even our own experience tell us that – in North America – having any clue who the heck you are at any level that we would call mature and well reasoned, does not come until much later in life; not to mention the literal phone-book of mitigating factors along the way that also shape that identity – that shape who we are as people. What sex we are is not supposed to be one of the hard ones to get. It’s supposed to be one of the ones you get earlier on just sitting in the bathtub and looking down. Beyond this, the whole point of parenting is based on the premise that children are not capable of making adult decisions and, thus, need a responsible adult to lead, guide, teach them, etc. To discern their hearts and ask basic, age-appropriate questions like, “What does it mean to you to be a boy, and not a girl?” or visa versa.
Have you ever been about to do something incredibly dumb, and then had a moment of clarity just before (either internally or externally imposed on you) and thought, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What the heck am i doing?”
Though i am a deeply committed Christian, i assure you, this is not a religious argument i’m making primarily. We’re in straight up logic-world here.
When it comes to the subject of 9 year olds “deciding” what sex they really are and parents abandoning their kids to make decisions they are hopelessly incapable of making: someone needs to ask the question: “Why is pedophilia wrong?” It will absolutely evoke the very same reaction above in your own minds:
What the heck are we doing?