Saturday, July 21st | 9 Av 5778

November 2, 2011 7:20 pm

It’s Now Official: The World Has Gone Insane

avatar by Moshe Averick

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Can you guess which one is really the "boy" scout?

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, one of the great Hassidic masters, tells the following story:

A high ranking minister rushes into the inner chamber of the king with terrible news. He informs the king that he has discovered that the entire year’s wheat crop is infected with a blight that will cause everyone who eats from it to go insane for one year. It is not possible to confiscate the wheat, for the population of the kingdom will starve to death. If they let the news out there will be an uncontrollable panic. The king and minister both conclude that they have no choice but to allow the natural course of events to proceed and the entire population will be insane for the year. The minister suggests that the two of them should procure untainted wheat so at least there will be two normal people left. The king considers the suggestion but rejects it. “We must not separate ourselves from our people; we too must eat from the wheat. However, we will both paint X’s on our foreheads as a sign, and when we look at each other, at least we will know that we are insane.

The Girl Scouts of Colorado recently announced that Bobby Montoya, age 7, has been accepted into the local Girl Scout troop. This would not be considered newsworthy except for the fact that Bobby Montoya happens to be a boy. Rachelle Trujillo, a Girl Scout of Colorado official, explained, “We do not require proof of gender when a family wants their daughter to be a member of Girl Scouts.”  As long as the child in question is “living life as a girl,” that makes them eligible for membership.

According to Bobby’s mother, he has believed he is a girl since he was two years old. “I believe [he] was born in the wrong body.” She was very upset that her son [?] was “humiliated” earlier this month when he was rejected by the local troop leader of Girl Scouts for…well, not being a girl. She has since been assured that the troop leader will be given “sensitivity classes.” According to his mother, he normally goes to school in male clothing to avoid teasing, but since the clash with the Girl Scouts he has started dressing in female clothing in public. In fact, Bobby Montoya appeared on a local news station for an interview dressed in girl’s clothing. “I like brats, Barbies, strawberry shortcake,” he told the reporter. “I like any girl stuff.”

I don’t know if there is any way we can escape the insanity that seems to float in our air and seeps in through the cracks of even our most efficient insulation and weather stripping. I do, however, have a suggestion for those of you who care…start painting x’s on your foreheads immediately, before it’s too late.

Rabbi Moshe Averick is an orthodox rabbi and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website at

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  • Hi, It`s a very good post, thx.

  • Frederick

    I think some of you are missing a major piece of this and that’s the fact that he’s seven. Research has shown that gender identity can be fluid and by locking this child into a gender role this early could prevent him from living a life as a boy later.
    Really people. Your parents allowed you to make life altering decisions at 7 years old? Your parents even let you take the bus alone at 7 years old? We can’t condemn the parents for acting like parents and not allowing the child to dictate his role in the family?
    And here’s something that I think will bother a lot of you here: this child wouldn’t be better off if he lived his life as a boy? Put away stigma because a great chunk of society has already thrown it away. He has a whole GLBT world he’ll be able to enter and that’s becoming more mainstream every day.

  • Lithp

    “However, we will both paint X’s on our foreheads as a sign, and when we look at each other, at least we will know that we are insane.”

    That doesn’t even make sense.

    So, your metaphor would suggest you advocate leaving people you deem “insane” to live their own lives, free from you trying to constrain them to what you deem “acceptable”?

    • Lithp,

      The point to the story is obviously that sometimes when you are surrounded by insanity in a society it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, not to be affected. At least, one must be aware of their own “insanity.”

      It was simply an introduction to the insane idea of accepting a boy into the girl scouts.

      • Lithp

        You’re screwing up your own story. The King is given a CLEAR CHOICE about whether or not to be infected & he WILLINGLY accepts it. The point is that he is wise because he puts the needs of his people first. He does NOT tell the population they are to go insane OR try to stop them, he lets nature unfold because it won’t hurt anybody. He then takes it a step further and joins his people, rather than staying sane and alienating them.

        What do you think the Wise King of the story would do in this situation? For that matter, what would you do, if you were Bobby’s legal guardian?

        I want real answers, not dumb hypotheticals about people who think they’re Napoleon, which by the way a more comparable analogy would be “Thinking they’re French.” Or do I have to explain the obvious difference between identifying as part of a group & hallucinating that you’re a specific person?

        • lthp,
          I’m not going to argue with you about the story, it’s really beside the point. Male and females are radically different. Physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

          A male who thinks he is female or visa versa is suffering under a terrible delusion. They think they are something they are not. A man and a horse are not the same thing. If a man thinks he is a horse he needs a lot of help.

          • jp

            What Moshe seems to be trying to say is that if he were Bobby Montoya’s guardian, then he’d shout “Of course you’re not a girl, just look at your penis!” at Bobby until Bobby committed suicide.

            But that doesn’t sound so good, so he’s evading instead, because he’s a coward who wouldn’t know menschlichkeit if it bit him on the ass.

          • Lithp

            You don’t even know what the point is. First you put up an allegory that you are unable to successfully relate back to your point. Then you prove to be either unwilling or unable to answer simple questions. All you’ve been doing is repeating the same meaningless phrases over & over again. Forcing me to assume that JP is probably right.

            I am willing to bet that some of the things you think are different between males and females actually aren’t, because I really rather doubt you know much about biology or psychology at all. In fact, if there WERE any such thing as spirits, I doubt you’d be an expert on THEM either.

            Frankly, you are suffering from the terrible delusion that your ignorant opinion is actually worth a damn.

  • Tolpuddle Martyr

    As a Rabbi your expertise on mental illness is up there with a typical therapists trained in Psychology’s understanding of classical and medieval Talmudic philosophy and Kabbalah!

    Mental illness =/= violation of your personal prejudices!

    • Martyr,

      If someone thinks they are a horse, a bird, or Napoleon, we know that something is terribly wrong. A boy is not a girl. If they think they are, something has gone terribly wrong. That fact that it doesn’t bother you does not make it sensible. It just means you have bought into the insanity around you. I warned you to paint an X on your forehead.

      • Tolpuddle Martyr

        Does your definition include untrained laypersons who think that they are an authority on mental illness?

        In any case, what’s “terribly wrong”? Does it hurt anyone? No. Does it hurt the kid? No. Does it hurt the other kids? No.

        So who effin’ cares?

  • Mira

    There is considerable scientific evidence suggesting that transgenderism has a biological basis, and is a perfectly natural variation among humans.

    I don’t think there is any problem with Bobby joining the Girl Scouts. I was a member of the Girl Scouts, and for me it was more about getting involved in the community than being a “girl” (I was definitely not into “girl things!)

    Meanwhile, in the Boy Scouts, homosexuals, bisexuals, atheists, Wiccans, and even wishy-washy agnostics would be dismissed from service immediately. I’m not sure about the status of the Girl Scouts, but the Boy Scouts receives public support and sometimes money regardless, and therefore is breaking the law.

    • Mira,

      Wikipedia, is not really an authoritative source for something like this. Men sexually harassing woman, absolutely has a biological and genetic basis, so what?

      The desire for murder and revenge also has a biological,neurological, genetic basis. so what?

      If a man thinks he is Napoleon, we know there is something wrong? Why? Because he is NOT Napoleon. A boy is not a girl. If he thinks he is there is something terribly wrong.

      • jp

        So what? Here’s what:
        If feeling “I am a woman” is different to feeling “I am a man”, then there is likely to be some difference in brain structure between men and women. Mira posted some references pointing to work that suggests that that is, in fact the case.

        Moshe, YOU are the one who keeps saying that males and females are utterly different (one I don’t personally give much weight to, but let’s go with it here), so brain-based difference should be something that you expect to find, as it would explain the differences that you insist are real. In short, it’s supportive of your worldview, so there aren’t even any dogmatic reasons for you to reject findings of brain-based gender difference.

        What these studies also show is that it’s possible for a human to have a typically female brain structure, and male genitalia. Or vice versa. It’s not common, but it happens.

        Now, it’s not possible for Bobby to have Napoleon’s brain, or a horse’s brain, but it IS possible for him to have a brain that contains the bit that thinks “I am a woman.”. Because for most people, brain gender matches genitalia, it’s a pretty safe bet to infer brain gender from genitalia. But, and this is why the research that Mira posted descriptions of is important, it’s not 100% reliable, and we KNOW that from direct observation of people with non-matching gender markers (ie this is proven to be real, not mere theory).

        You have a theory also. Your theory says that the experience of gender, as determined by the brain, will always match the gender associated with a person’s genitalia. In a small number of observed cases, reality does not support your theory.

        At this point you have two choices:

        1) admit that your theory is wrong. That genitalia does not predict gender with 100% accuracy, only 99.5% (or whatever), as observed in reality by counting real, actual, transgendered people.

        2) continue to contend that your theory is right, and reality is wrong. That it’s all merely delusion. This means you need to come up with a different reason why people with a mismatch between their brain structure and their genitalia report gender disphoria.

        The second approach does not have a good track record, although it’s very common amongst the religious or superstitious when reality clashes with dogma. No evidence of the effectiveness of prayer? Reality must be wrong. Double blind trials show homeopathy to be ineffective? Reality must be wrong. Biblical creation accounts violate the known age of Earth and the laws of thermodynamics? Reality must be wrong.

        You should try accepting reality sometimes. It’s not as scary as you think, and it’s certainly less effort than juggling which bits of reality you can accept, and which your dogma requires you to reject, even when that reality is there right before your eyes.

        • Jp,

          If brain and genitalia are MISMATCHED something has gone wrong. If a person has some strong chemical or genetic predisposition to commit random acts of violence, something has gone wrong. If a man thinks he is a chimpanzee (whom we supposedly share much genetic material) and acts like one, something has gone wrong. If a man thinks he is a woman or visa versa something has obviously gone wrong, unless of course you don’t believe in the concept of normalcy and right and wrong. In fact, that would make sense in an atheistic world, everything is relative. All reality is determined by the zeitgeist.

          If you think that men are women and women are men,you are entitled to think so. If you think it is normal to think you are something you are not, be my guest. In fact the most recent atheistic comment I heard from a college student at an Ivy League University was that since we are all just different arrangements of atoms and molecules, there is no essential difference between herself and the plate from which she was eating. If you think you are a plate, be my guest.

          • jp

            Yes, if the gender of the brain and genitals are mismatched, then that is unusual, and people with such a mismatch are a very small minority. So what? Do you think that the fact that they’re a small minority means it’s OK to indulge in bigotry against them?

            Do you have a basis for determining the gender of transgender people by examining their genitals instead of their brains? If you acknowledge that a mismatch can occur, and it’s possible for someone to experience self as a woman while having male genitalia, why do you think that your hysterical shouts of “but look at your genitals” should trump that persons sense of self? Do you think that transgender people are not aware of what genitals they possess, and that there’s a mismatch with their sense of self? That’s the point here. Who the hell made you the arbiter of whether genitals are more important that self-perception of gender when the two don’t agree?

            I understand normalcy just fine. Better than you, I’d wager, if you think that normalcy means everyone ought to be normal. What’s normal is diversity, with a tendency to the mean, and relatively few outliers. That’s what we have here. A population with most individuals cisgendered and a small minority transgendered is normal, expected, and in accordance with observed reality. A population without this sort of inter-subject variability would be abnormal.

            So it’s natural and expected for a population to have individuals who are far from the mean, or what you term to be “normal”. You seem to be making the argument that if someone is far enough from the mean: transgendered, mentally retarded, unusually short or tall, or a genius, then it’s OK to shun or exclude them from society, or to refuse to adapt social institutions to cater for their differences.

            Transgirls in the Girl Scouts? No way!!! Access ramps for the wheelchair dependent? Nuh uh – walking is normal so they can stay outside. Making government resources available in formats for the deaf or blind? Why should we cater for those people? They’re not NORMAL. Give them the same sort of support NORMAL people get and if that doesn’t suit them, then tough.

            What a vile, uncompassionate attitude you have, where people must conform to the norm (even on criteria determined by their biology) or be mocked, ignored or abused. It’s effectively a master race argument, and I would have thought that you’d know better than to make it.

      • Emma

        “Wikipedia, is not really an authoritative source for something like this.”

        Those little blue numbers lead to citations. Those citations are scientific studies. It won’t kill you to read them.

        “Men sexually harassing woman, absolutely has a biological and genetic basis, so what?”

        No, it doesn’t. You’re doing a disservice to men and women. Men are absolutely capable of being polite to women, it’s just that our culture encourages them to see women as sex objects. Some men take this to heart and try to find any justification they can to make harassing women on the street morally acceptable.

        “The desire for murder and revenge also has a biological,neurological, genetic basis. so what?”

        Murderers are also subject to a number of other factors, such as their environment. There are “aggression genes” that make one more likely to commit violence, but there is also evidence that a good childhood free of emotional and physical abuse can possibly prevent this.

        “If a man thinks he is Napoleon, we know there is something wrong? Why? Because he is NOT Napoleon. A boy is not a girl. If he thinks he is there is something terribly wrong.”

        There are brain differences between men and women. Even you admit this. Why is it so hard to understand that a man’s brain can be born into a female body, and vice versa?

  • jp

    The ignorance in your article would be astounding if it wasn’t so expected.

    It’s attitudes like yours that lead to LGBT teenagers having a suicide rate around 300% that of heterosexual teenagers. You should be ashamed of yourself, but instead you’ll look down on everyone else from your self-important perch, and label their compassion “insanity”, and your intolerance as “good sense”.

    And then you’ll go on and write some more columns about how you have superior, God-given morality, and everyone else thinks it’s OK to do awful things to others.

    Moshe, stop, and think about this. Are you sure you want to be part of the problem that costs people their lives? Because at the moment, you are. Think about that awhile, and apologise for this column. It’s what a real mensch would do. Are you a real mensch?

    • Moshe Averick


      If a person is convinced he is Napolean, I will try to help him in a “menschlich” way and will treat him like a mensch. No matter how caring and understanding I am, it does not make him Napolean. Bobby Montoya is not a girl, he is a boy. To act any other way is a form of insanity. There is obviously a big problem here, either with the boy himself or (more likely) with his mother.

      I don’t know where you got your statistics. My assumption is that the homosexual lobby will say just about anything, completely fabricate if neccessary to further their agenda. This is exactly what the abortion lobby did. They simply made up outrageous figures regarding women dying through illegal abortions. They constantly threw around the number of 10,000. Dr. Bernard Nathanson has written that they all knew it was a ridiculous lie, but they felt justified because it furthered the cause. In fact, the number of woman who died in illegal abortions in the 60’s and 70’s was negligible.

      I always try to be a mensch. How about you trying to maintain your sanity? They are two separate notions

      • jp

        Just typical, Moshe. If your stats don’t match your ideology they must be lies. Your ideology, in this case, kills people.

        My sanity is just fine, thank you. Again you seem to be suffering a bit of ideologically driven cognitive dissonance. Those you accuse of insanity are calmly accepting that human diversity means that a tiny percentage of people experience gender disphoria, and are happy to treat them with the same respect and dignity they would any other person, even if that means making a bit of an effort to adjust some “one-size-fits-all” ways of thinking. That’s what you call an “insane” approach.

        Meanwhile your “sane” approach involves hysterical scaremongering, demonising seven-year-olds for being “different”, and inventing conspiracy theories to attempt to discredit suicide statistics.

        Sorry, but that’s not being a mensch in my book, and it’s others who decide if you’re a mensch, not you.

      • salvage

        >If a person is convinced he is Napolean

        So you’re saying the kid is crazy? Is that true of all gays? So your god calls for the execution of crazy people? If so does that make sense or seem right to you?

        >They simply made up outrageous figures regarding women dying through illegal abortions.

        Uh huh, let’s say that’s true, what would be an acceptable number of women dying from back alley abortions? Personally I think I’m comfortable with 0 and you? 10? 20? 100? 1,000? What’s “negligible” when it comes to a human life?

        I get the impression that you don’t give your opinions a lot of thought.

  • Mike W

    Does a seven year-old child really know and understand his or her sexual identity? Should we be encouraging children to be ‘different’ or should we be compassionately guiding them and allowing them to make these decisions when they are more mature? I agree with Moshe. When seven year olds are indulged by parents and societal institutions to be ‘different’ then the world has truly gone mad. I’m about to paint an X on my head.

    • jp

      Mike, did YOU know your gender at age 7?

      • Moshe Averick

        What kind of ridiculous question is that. I certainly knew my gender well before 7 years old. Your question is a wonderful illustration of the madness that grips us.

        • jp

          I wasn’t talking to you, Moshe. I agree everyone knows their gender identity by 7. I did. Bobby Montoya does. It was Mike W who asked:

          “Does a seven year-old child really know and understand his or her sexual identity?”

          and it was him I directed my question to. If you think it’s absurd to suggest that a child doesn’t know their gender identity by 7 years old, take it up with him, don’t just give him a free pass because he’s on “your” side of the argument.

  • salvage

    Rather than beating and or humiliating the child into conformity they’ve let him be happy and comfortable with who he believes he is?!?! And an organization that exits to educate, enlighten and enrich children is going along with it?!

    Your so right Moshe, it’s crazy to accept people for who they are, everyone should adhere to the mainstream and anyone different, anyone we don’t understand should be forced to fit in even if it breaks them.

    It must drive you a little mishugina for matzo balls that the culture is shedding it’s fear and loathing of the gays.

    Tell me, your god calls for the death of gays yet he still keeps on making them, why is that?

    • Salvage,

      I guess the irony of the story is lost on you. Your problem is that you didn’t paint an X on your forehead in time. Good luck salvage; actually you’ll need a lot more than luck.

      • salvage

        Uh huh. Let me tell you a story:

        I met her in a club down in old Soho
        Where you drink champagne
        It tastes just like Coca Cola, C-O-L-A cola

        She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
        I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice
        She said Lola, L-O-L-A, Lola, L-L-Lola

        Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy
        But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
        Oh my Lola, L-L-Lola

        Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
        Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man
        Oh my Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

        Well, we drank champagne and danced all night
        Under electric candlelight
        She picked me up and sat me on her knee
        And said, “Dear boy, won’t you come home with me?”

        Well, I’m not the world’s most passionate guy
        But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola
        L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

        I pushed her away, I walked to the door
        I fell to the floor, I got down on my knees
        Then I looked at her and she at me

        That’s the way that I want it to stay
        I always want it to be that way for my Lola, L-L-Lola

        Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
        It’s a mixed up muddled up, shook up world
        Except for Lola, L-L-Lola

        Well, I left home just a week before
        And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
        But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
        And said, “Dear boy, I’m gonna make you a man”

        Well, I’m not the world’s most masculine man
        But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
        And so is Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
        Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

        And you didn’t answer my question, why does your god call for the death of homosexuals yet he keeps on making them?

        • Moshe Averick


          He’s your God too.

          • salvage

            LOL! No, it most certainly is not, my god would not be that crazy monster described in the Torah.

            He killed babies in their cribs for the crimes of their parent’s tyrannical government. Tell me how that isn’t terrorism? Did it ever occur to Moses to have your god whack the pharaoh instead of the babies? Like…

            Moses: “Let my people go!”

            Pharaoh: “No! Get back to work, I want 3 giant dog people by next week. Oooh and one of those giant pointy deals, point it South, like I’m flipping off those Upper Nile Jerks.”

            Moses: “Ooooh Yahweh?”

            Pharaoh’s pants explode with hundreds of diseased frogs that eat him and hop off.

            Moses: “Anyone else got a problem with the Jews taking off?”

            Uncomfortable silence in the Pharaoh’s court.

            At the very least your god lacks a certain amount of eloquence in his machinations.

            If I did have a god, and if it had to be based on the mythology of a Bronze Age culture I would lean towards something Minoan because bull leaping looks like fun and I imagine a lot of drinking goes on before.

            Of course if we were talking modern gods I would go with Eric Clapton, Bill Gates or Michael Vick.

            So that would be no, you’re not going to answer the question?

            What if I made it multiple choice?

            1) Your god makes gays because he is a rage addict, that’s why he also makes Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Liberal Jews.

            2) Your god used to hate the gays and demand their deaths but he’s mellowed out in the last 6,000 years and now is all “Ah, whatever.”

            3) Your god isn’t real and that bit about killing gays is just something that people put in as an excuse to kill a type of of other people they don’t like. It has more gravitas if you say “Hey, it’s not me, it’s my god!”

            I’m thinking 3) sounds the most logical, reasonable and with established historic precedent but please, enlighten me.

    • jp

      And Moshe, the same progressivism that’s sweeping away homophobia and transphobia is also sweeping away racism and anti-Semitism. I’m sure there are still some think letting Jews and blacks into the Boy Scouts is madness, and would love to paint X’s on their foreheads over that. Maybe they should, so you birds of a feather could recognise each other (and the truly sane could avoid the lot of you).

      • salvage

        I always have this vision of people like Moshe sitting on a bunk in the camps staring at the man with the pink triangle on his uniform saying “Now, you, you should be here!”

        • jp

          Harsh, but fair!