Life is Worth Living

07-14-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
One thing people look for to determine if we are alive is if we have a heartbeat. That seems normal, except in our day and age. A priest friend of mine, Fr. Charles Byrd, recently wrote a thought-provoking reflection about companies such as Netflix and Disney threatening to stop production in his home state of Georgia, if they enact a law protecting a child’s life after his or her heartbeat is detected. Catholics stand for dignity of both mother and child. Here follows his excellent reflection.
– Father Wilson

“Regarding Disney and its decision to not film in Georgia because of its actors, well, it is just sad. For Disney to be so pro-abortion (or for Disney to allow itself to be aligned with and coerced by actors who dictate punishing Georgia because of its Pro-Life stance) is just odd given the history of Disney. Disney films are so frequently about cruel adults trying to kill or get rid of children. Just review the plot lines around characters like Mowgli, Simba, Hercules, Peter Pan and his lost boys, just to name a few. Dumbo is delivered by the stork to Florida, where his mother loves him and suffers trying to protect him from the rest of the cruel world/circus that sees the young elephant as deformed and ridicules him. Just consider Snow White, where a vain and jealous stepmother wants to kill a girl, and orders the princess’ death by the huntsman, who cannot bring himself to kill the child, so he urges Snow White to flee into the forest and escape. She later poisons her. Or look at the story of Cinderella where a vain and jealous stepmother would be happy if her stepdaughter had never been born, and yet a fairy godmother (that’s right – godmother) arrives to save the day and help her to live happily ever after. But is Disney watching their own stories?

“Two films really stand out. In 101 Dalmatians Cruella de Vil is a vain and worldly fashion designer who becomes jealous of her employee, Anita, who has married and is pregnant. Anita’s Dalmatian is also expecting a litter of puppies, and Cruella offers to buy the puppies. When Anita refuses, Cruella dismisses Anita, steals the expecting Dalmatian, and cannot wait to kill the puppies to make from them a fur coat. The villain’s name is obvious (Cruel Devil), but the name Anita also offers insight as it is derived from “Ann” meaning ‘grace’ and ‘favor’. (In the Bible, Hanna is the mother of Samuel, and we would come to know Anna as the mother of the Virgin Mary).

“Finally, consider The Hunchback of Notre Dame where a wicked and corrupt Minister of Justice seeks to kill a deformed baby outside of a Catholic cathedral, but the archdeacon stops him. The child is then named Quasimodo, taken in by the Church, and allowed to live. Quasimodo may be less than perfect in the eyes of the state, and his deformity and subsequent quality of life might be judged worthy of a so-called merciful death by the state; but Quasimodo lives, grows up, and becomes hailed as a Parisian hero.

"Yet now Disney seems to be making a stand for abortion and thereby going out of its way to align itself with the very villains of their stories. Really Disney? You're supposed to be the good guys in this cruel world!”