The Fraternity of Dunces


It was called a “heartwarming reaction.”

A father took his four-year-old son to the toy store to return a duplicate gift. The boy could pick any toy that he wanted. Star Wars Legos. A football. Perhaps a dump truck.

The boy chose a Little Mermaid doll.

Out of the toy store and back in the car, dad pulled out his camera phone to assess the situation.

He couldn’t have been more proud of his son. Or himself.

“I let my  boys choose their life. Choose your expression. Choose what your into. Choose your sexuality.”

The two boys in the car with dad let out loud cheers.

And then dad gave the world this line.

“Choose whatever.”

Choose whatever.


I guess that you could say that this is our culture’s new motto. Choose to sleep with whatever you want, whenever you want. Choose to be whatever race that you want. Choose to be whatever gender you want. Choose to kill your baby if you don’t want it.


Kids do not need to choose whatever. What they need is loving leadership. A kid who chooses whatever will pee in his neighbor’s window air conditioning unit. And you can be certain that the neighbor won’t be quite as tolerant as that heartwarming dad.

More than the so-called freedom of choosing whatever, kids need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. They need to be taught the difference between life and death. And yes, no matter what our friends at Target may say, they need to be taught that their is a difference between men and women. In short, they need you to clear up any confusion they may have about sexuality.

At some point in the history of parenting, we adopted the approach of, “Well, the kid is into it so why fight it.” This lack of parental leadership and teaching is a big reason why so many of our kids are growing up to be sexually confused. Or curious. Or whatever the label is. Look, everything is a medical condition. There are commercials on TV for conditions you’ve never heard of that can be cured by drugs you can’t pronounce with a host of side effects that you don’t want. But there is one condition that never gets any attention.

Bad parenting.

Bad parenting doesn’t always manifest itself in abuse and neglect. Sometimes it shows up in millions of affirmations that come with absolutely zero direction or correction.

A funny thing happened after I watched that heartwarming video about the dad who has decided to let his four-year-old choose his sexuality. I got in my truck and heard a story on the news about a fraternity at Old Dominion University that has gotten into trouble. I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine a fraternity doing something stupid but just stay with me on this one.

As freshmen and their families arrived on campus and made their way by the Sigma Nu house, they were greeted by three signs.

“Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time…”

“Freshman daughter drop off…”

“Go ahead and drop mom off too…”

The man reading the story on the radio gave a one word commentary.


Now, I agree with him but one thing has been left out of our collective outrage at this fraternity of dunces. Fraternity chapters and university presidents are falling all over themselves to tell us that none of this represents their institution. But no one is asking why this is happening.

Maybe it has something to do with a generation of parents who have told their kids, “Choose what you’re into. Choose your sexuality. Choose whatever.”

Sometimes choosing whatever looks like a little boy with a girl’s doll.

Sometimes it’s another group of little boys trying to woo mom and her daughter into their fraternity clubhouse.

And sometimes it’s a man mutilating himself because he doesn’t want to identify as a man anymore.

I know that the Choose Whatever Approach seems fun, loving and liberating, especially in regards to sexuality. But here’s the thing. Sex education abhors a vacuum. Mom and dad, if you’re not teaching your kid about sexuality, someone will.

It could be the coach who lost the teacher lottery and had to use his extra planning period to show kids how to put condoms on bananas.

It could be the television.

And it could be some sex-obsessed child predator and his fraternity buddies.

Either way, it won’t be pretty if you just sit back and do whatever while your kid chooses for himself. Without you actually doing the job of a parent, you can be sure that your child will become a card carrying member of the fraternity of dunces.

Contrary to the politically correct norms of our day, men and women are different. And if parents want to do what they can to prepare their children for the Legion of sexual philosophies that will come their way, they will take the time and trouble to teach them those differences.

The dad in that heartwarming video finally wrapped things up by giving his kids a promise.

“You have my promise forever to love you and accept you no matter what life you choose.”

On the surface, that looks loving. In reality, it’s quite far from love. Love isn’t a pass for parents to sit by passively while those under their care choose whatever.

Love does.

Love steps in.

Love corrects.

Love instructs.

And after all of that, if your child still chooses to rebel against what you taught, love is what keeps you there with arms opened when he comes back, heartbroken from the consequences of choosing whatever.

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