Modern life, in its dizzying range of grim experiments and moral anomalies, is often compared to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. But not even Huxley could have anticipated all of its astonishing permutations.
Readers now shrug at headlines that would once have been thought wildly satirical, such as the recent one, "Transgender Teacher Sues Catholic School Over Firing." Parents evidently didn't care for the male teacher's sudden interest in earrings, long hair, and manicures. The teacher will no doubt win the case.
Americans shrug at Obama's occasional appointment of "transgender" nominees or Joe Biden calling transgender discrimination the "civil rights issue of our times." This is all accepted as perfectly normal.
The total emancipation from human nature is the goal toward which the culture is speeding and not many people seem to care. According to the New York Times, a new generation, ripe for this gender-swapping culture, has been born: "Generation LGBTQIA."
At top American universities, where the shadows of the future fall longest, the acronym LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) is seen as outdated, according to the paper: "If the gay-rights movement today seems to revolve around same-sex marriage, this generation is seeking something more radical: an upending of gender roles beyond the binary of male/female. The core question isn't whom they love, but who they are -- that is, identity as distinct from sexual orientation."
And so these students have coined a comically cumbersome new acronym: LGBTQIA. The Times explains the last three letters: "'Q' can mean 'questioning' or 'queer,' an umbrella term itself, formerly derogatory before it was appropriated by gay activists in the 1990s. 'I' is for 'intersex,' someone whose anatomy is not exclusively male or female. And 'A' stands for 'ally' (a friend of the cause) or 'asexual,' characterized by the absence of sexual attraction."
University administrators, loath to appear behind the times, are falling over themselves to accommodate these students. The University of Missouri at Kansas City, boasts an LGBTQIA "Resource Center," where students can get directions to the "gender-neutral" bathrooms on campus. The Times identifies the University of Pennsylvania, Vassar College, Lehigh University, and Amherst College as other members of this vanguard.
The chattering class scoff at Pope Benedict XVI for harping on the anti-nature ideology underlying the gay rights movement, even as its unfolding, on display in stories like this one, brings more and more vivid confirmation to his analysis. The left seeks to conserve everything save human nature, he noted recently.
"People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves," Pope Benedict said in his annual Christmas address. "The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man's fundamental choice where he himself is concerned."
Huxley saw the coming manipulation of human nature too but not its total abolition. He didn't imagine "LGBTQIA." And as the New York Times points out, even that acronym will give way to a longer one, as identities within identities are formed.
Some students, for example, find "transgender" too limiting and speak instead of "bi-gender." On Monday, they may wish to be male. By Tuesday, they may change their mind and wish to be female. One student is quoted as saying: "Some days I wake up and think, 'Why am I in this body?' Most days I wake up and think, 'What was I thinking yesterday?'"
Another student saw herself as "agender," prefers the pronoun "they" to he or she, and now just sees herself as an "amorphous blob."
The Times put this story in its fashion and style section appropriately enough, as the story's sources treat gender like a garment to be changed by season and see human nature as artificial and passing as clothing. Such stories will multiply and migrate to the front page before long. Once God-determined human nature is eliminated as the measure of morality, everything becomes possible.
All that is left beyond the brave new world is an endless variety of self-manufacturing.