Let’s be honest, the world of popular entertainment has pretty much become a cesspool — mindless violence and sadism, sex-mania, ever-escalating profanity, venomous, anti-Christian worldviews peddled as plotlines. Still — like a glittering gem unaccountably floating in the septic tank, occasional, delightful surprises can turn up.
As they did for me, more than once, in the past couple weeks.
My wife and I have been fans of the dramatic Western-cum-cop show Longmire. (Warning: spoilers ahead). Premiering five-and-one-half years ago on A&E, it shuffled over to Netflix when the former cancelled it, and just wrapped its valedictory season. (As an aside, let me note this series — normally rather restrained, at least by contemporary norms — crow-barred a needlessly graphic sex scene into the last ten minutes of its finale which clangingly cut against the grain of the program’s previous sixty-two episodes, leaving a nasty, parting taste in the mouths of these two viewers, anyway …).
A story-line developed in Longmire‘s final installments: pregnant Deputy Sheriff Victoria Moretti is wounded in a gunfight, survives, but miscarries. Initially feigning indifference to the loss – “I feel terrible that I don’t feel more terrible” — she eventually breaks down in a scene of uncommon — and unanticipated — beauty and heartache. Confused and sobbing over recurring visions of a beaming little girl running towards her in a field, she laments, “I realized for the first time in my life, I wasn’t alone. My baby was with me all the time.” Next, agonizingly: “How do you get over loving someone so much who you never met?” Later, she confesses to her new romantic interest, “You’ll never mean as much to me as my baby.”
She’s talking about her deceased little one like it was an actual human being. Hasn’t Moretti been paying attention? It was only a “fetus” in her womb, one she’d had the legal right to purposefully terminate herself, had she so chosen. Okay, so she’s feeling some disappointment her pregnancy was cut short — but what’s with all the weepy, maternal sentiments? Over a gestating blob of cells?
Has some Operation Rescue plant been moonlighting as a Longmire script-writer? Did the pro-life zealots somehow manage to smuggle one of their own onto this crime show’s creative team?
Even more startling was dialogue from a recent outing of NBC’s Chicago Med: an expectant health food fanatic is endangering her own life, and that of her pre-born child, with her extremist diet. Doctor’s pointedly urge her to allow them to treat her under-developed offspring; she refuses; they approach a supervisor about requiring the negligent mom to allow their aggressive intervention. Throughout, there’s lots of tossing around terms like “your baby”, “my baby” “that baby”. Baby, baby, baby — not much “fetus”-talk among the parties involved.
When the hospital bureaucrat informs the docs the mom-to-be has the right to make whatever decisions she wants regarding “her body”, they retort forcefully, “There are two patients here … One of whom is not in control of what’s being done to it”; and, “This is child abuse.” (Remember, it’s a baby in-utero being discussed). In one exchange, the balking mother is reminded its “a tiny, defenseless person inside you.”
Again: “Baby”? “Patient”? “Person”? These are words typically applied to people, not to “uterine contents” or a woman’s “choice”.
How did all this ostentatious unborn-life-is-sacred chatter make it past prime-time TV’s pro-abort watchdogs? Were these scenarios run past Planned Parenthood’s money-grubbing, baby-organs-trafficking ghouls before making it on camera?
Are these – gasp! — the first stirrings of the ever-threatening “theocracy” about which leftist alarums never cease?
The television industry really must make up its mind. This split-personality approach toward those critters developing in some ladies’ tummies — and the Longmire and Chicago Med samples are only the most recent — can be terribly befuddling. What’s an impressionable viewer to conclude?
Fact is, besides conveniently making for much more compelling and palatable dramatic fodder, these (unintentional?) expressions of respect for life in the womb strike a reflexive chord with most individuals sitting in front of the little, blue screen. Normal sorts stubbornly experience a sense of undeniable ickiness when contemplating the demise of pre-born babies.
Admittedly, exempted from this instinctually reasonable cohort would be those like the morally gross Martha Plimpton. She’s the actress who, last June at a Seattle #ShoutYourAbortion event, frolicsomely exulted she’d had her “first … [and] best” abortion in that city. The studiously unreasonable crowd dutifully cheered her creepy proclamation. Sure, weirdos like this exist, but I’m referencing your run-of-the-mill human being, those not yet co-opted by the infanticide enthusiasts whose raison d’être is the “right” to snuff out others’ lives.
In some measure, pop cultures’ movers-and-shakers can’t help themselves; they know what‘s bottom-line regarding “the fetus”. As Sen. Gordon Humphrey put it succinctly many years ago, it’s perfectly logical that the offspring of a pair of human beings would be a human being. Reputedly, conservative giant William F. Buckley Jr. was slightly more tart in his evaluation: What else could it be, a tomato?
Amidst contemporary, trendy entertainment fare, these self-evident revelations can’t resist leaking through periodically. The created order, after all, persistently announces them, practically preaches them; men’s and women’s “guts” tell them as much, too (Psalm 19, Romans 1).
It takes exhausting amounts of work to evade the blindingly obvious: that the entity growing inside a pregnant woman is a person, only writ smaller. Yes, it’s physically diminutive and shielded silently for nine months behind mamma’s belly button – but it remains a member of the human family.
In these final months of 2017, after a full and bloody generation of legalized baby-killing courtesy of Roe v. Wade’s judicial abomination, a couple hours of scripted TV damningly re-emphasized what most folks already know in their hearts. Was that creative choice an accident? Pre-meditated? Who knows, but it happened.
Diamonds winking in the cesspool …
Images: Screen Shots: https://www.facebook.com/LongmireTV/; and By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55500454