If you're like me, you've been a bit perplexed to say the least at the level of reprehensible vitriol coming from secular liberals since Trump's election. For example, have you seen some of the stunts from the actor Shia LaBeouf? He's been staging public demonstrations and seems to be pushing the hysteria limits in order to get media coverage. He recently had a performance-art exhibit on the street where his supporters had their hands up, rhythmically chanting: "He will not divide us; he will not divide us" like they were members of a cult. The irony is that LaBeouf was arrested at the anti-Trump art show on charges of assault.
And, of course, we had the Women's March on Washington, where we were treated to the vitriolic rants from the likes of Madonna, Ashley Judd and scores of others who railed against President Trump and against conservative voters and values in our country.
Now, as much as conservatives despised Obama's agenda, I can't recall a reaction remotely comparable to what we've seen since early November. So why are we seeing this? Why are secular liberals so nasty, hysterical and absurd?
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I think there is an explanation here. We have to remember that secular liberalism actually entails irrationality as part of its belief system. To be a secular liberal means, at least in part, to be irrational. Why so? Secularism is based on a commitment to two fundamental tenets: scientific rationalism and personal autonomy. What's important here is that scientific rationalism is the only way we can know things on secular terms. So when it comes to those things in life that stand outside of scientific rationalism, such as meaning, morality, culture and self-identity, there's no reason to be reasonable.
Perhaps you remember the Supreme Court's decision in the case Planned Parenthood vs. Casey back in the 1990s, where justices defended Roe v. Wade by stating that matters such as abortion involve "the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy. … At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." In other words, these intimate and personal choices, as the Supremes call them, fall outside the realm of rational objectivity. Thus, those who pride themselves as defenders of scientific rationality embrace irrationality as an intrinsic part of their belief system.
Another way of looking at this is what we call a nature/culture dichotomy. Historically, culture was understood as the tangible, material, social embodiment of the divine meaning and purpose embedded in the cosmos. So culture made the divine meaning and purpose inherent in nature explicit.
However, with the advent of this new secular conception of knowledge, modern science in effect exposed all value systems as mere cultural fabrications. Scientific rationalism has uncovered the fact that the world is not governed by the gods or any kind of divine meaning, but rather by physical, chemical and biological causal laws. We are not born into a world of divine obligation, the secular concept claims; no, "objective" values are merely culturally specific meaning systems contrived by humans and imposed upon otherwise meaningless cause-and-effect processes.
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We see this nature/culture dichotomy emerge and work itself out into a biology/identity dichotomy. Historically, one's biology was intrinsic to one's identity – if you had a male body, you were identified as a man. However, with a biology/identity dichotomy, one's identity actually transcends one's biology.
So one of the problems that came out of the Women's March was: What actually is a woman? The donning of the so-called "pussy hats" sent supposedly exclusionary messages to the transgender community, since the implication was that female anatomy is a prerequisite to womanhood. That belief is based on science, but liberalism doesn't stop there. So what do we do when science and self-identity clash?
Inevitably, irrationality must trump (dare I say) their scientific standards for rationality. For example, it is a biological fact that a human zygote, from the moment of its conception, is by definition human; that is scientifically inescapable. But that is unacceptable for the feminist ideology so dedicated to the genocide of abortion; and so for secular liberals who continue to hold to abortion, an irrational ideology eclipses a thoroughly rational biology.
This is why I agree with the great 20th century historian John Lucas, who has concluded that we are witnessing the death of liberalism; and it is dying precisely because liberalism has committed itself to its more absurd premises. Now it may take a while for that death to actually evidence itself in social decomposition, in secular liberalism basically melting away from society; but make no mistake: secular liberalism is dedicated to its own absurdities; its proponents are committed to carrying through with its entailed irrationality. And thus the utter hysteria and frenzy and derangement we see coming from these corners of our society are but the final gasps of a dying belief system.