The Brave New Secular World

In Shakespeare's The Tempest, upon seeing outsiders for the first time, Miranda says:

          O wonder!
          How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!
          O brave new world! That has such people in it! (Act V, Scene I).

Miranda's "brave new world" is actually her optimistic observation of drunken sailors staggering off their ship that had run aground. The notion of a "brave new world" is further used by Rudyard Kipling in his 1919 poem The Gods of Copybook Headings:  
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins...
Science fiction writer Aldous Huxley, in 1932, following the lead of the Bard, used the concept of "brave new world" as the ironic title of his futuristic novel Brave New World. Huxley's work was published one year prior to the Humanist Manifesto I that optimistically anticipated a utopia free from the restraints of traditional beliefs, offering a new "religion" of Humanism that would replace existing religions that were based on a supernatural being and supernatural revelation. Huxley, however, was not so optimistic. His Brave New World was a "negative utopia" ("dystopia"), akin to George Orwell's 1984, devoid of God and goodness. Huxley's novel parodied the 1923 utopian novel Men Like Gods by H.G. Wells.

Fast forward to 2011. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we can see the foolish optimism of the Humanistic Manifesto I, written at a time when Germany's Weimar Republic was being replaced by the Third Reich, in which an Austrian immigrant named Adolph Hitler would seduce Germans into thinking they were the incarnation of Nietzsche's ubermensch ("supermen"). With the stench of the Holocaust embedded in the nostrils of post-Word War II humanity, secular humanists had no choice but to admit that their 1933 "Manifesto" was too optimistic. In 1973 Humanistic Manifesto II was published as an updated utopian projection of secular thinkers, ironically in the same year that the United States Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, essentially providing for abortion on demand, legalizing the killing of more than 50 million unborn babies as of 2011.

The question is, whose view of the future is turning out to be more accurate--Huxley or the humanists? In a bit of further irony, elements of Huxley's Brave New World appear to have emerged, but the humanists do not see this as a dystopia--instead, the shift toward "secular values" is embraced as a sign of the humanist's utopia. 

A recent case is illustrative of the point.  In England, a Christian couple, Owen and Eunice Johns, had previously raised four biological children and fifteen foster children. They were denied the opportunity to continue as foster parents because they did not believe in telling children in their care that homosexuality was a good thing. Their case went to court, essentially pitting "anti-discrimination" laws against the couple's religious freedom. The issue before the court was whether sincerely held religious beliefs must give way to the new, secular notion of "equality" that essentially views all forms of sexual preference as equal. The highest court in England earlier this year decided that the couple's unwillingness to tell children that homosexuality is "good" renders them unfit as foster parents. Traditional values, rooted in divine revelation, must give way to "equality" as defined by the new secular "morality" that will not, and cannot, use the historic labels of "right" and "wrong," much less "sin," when describing human behavior. The only apparent "sin" in the religion of secularism may be the belief that there is a divinely-revealed objective standard of right and wrong.  

The Council that denied the Johns the opportunity to continue as foster parents lauded the court's decision in a display of post-modern thinking, stating the Council "valued diversity and promoted equality" and "encouraged and supported children in a non-judgmental way, regardless of their sexual orientation or preference." Being "non-judgmental" is the prime directive that has come down from the secular Sinai, and it must be followed in all cases except where someone has the temerity to take a moral stand. In such cases, the new secular values permit judging those who would judge good and evil, right and wrong. The sheer hypocrisy of such contradictory requirements should be evident to anyone with an open mind. It is as if we have reached the confluence of Through the Looking Glass and 1984.

When a court holds that laws "protecting people from sexual discrimination" mean that a couple is unfit to be foster parents because they could not tell a child that homosexuality was an acceptable lifestyle, we have entered into Huxley's Brave New World. However, the reason why Huxley's negative utopia has emerged is because it as a brave new secular world. Religious values, as the humanists have wanted, are being replaced by "secular values." In an age where "tolerance" has become the equivalent of a secular sacrament, the application of "tolerance" to real-life situations, such as the Johns' case, shows how insidious secularism is, and how exceedingly harmful its application is to areas such as child-rearing, education, and the interpretation of anti-discrimination laws. The court's ruling sends a clear message that mainstream Christian beliefs are potentially harmful to children and that Christian parents with traditional Christian views are not suitable to be considered as potential foster parents. The court's ruling also confirms that Huxley's Brave New World has arrived.