Sunday, January 27, 2008

Celebrating celebrities who chose to be alive...or something

I just saw a video that really irritated me. Wanna watch?

Yes, I'm well aware that whoever created this video didn't mean it to be irritating. Well, probably not. But as I watched it, several questions tore through my head:

1) What does it mean to say, "The following chose life?" It isn't clear whether these celebrities have spoken out against abortion, chose not to have an abortion when the opportunity presented itself, or simply mentioned once in passing that they were Christians (which obviously makes them anti-abortion activists). The video depicts an interesting amalgam of personalities. Whereas I expected the typical list of right-wing celebrities and athletes (many of whom make it), names of people I genuinely respect and admire also appeared. Which compelled me to wonder when George Washington and that guy with the nail in his head in Happy Gilmore picketed Planned Parenthood. Bono and Martin Luther King Jr. are also curious choices, given that their idea of Christianity is actually helping people and advocating for peace, as opposed to saying "Jesus" and "abstinence" a lot. Would they be honored to be nominated?

2) What does it mean to be "pro-life"? Several people on the video aren't exactly known for respecting life once it's born. George W. Bush is an interesting choice, given how many births his presidency has canceled out. Some appear to get the "pro-life" label based mainly on ability to generate children and/or hurl anti-gay invective. Others, like Mel Gibson, Duane "The Dog" Chapman, Gary Busey and Oliver North, are just embarrassing to the cause. Dan Quayle is the clincher. Was a good picture of Ted Nugent not available?

3) Who are they to judge? I'll leave that answer to the video's lively comment thread. But I will say this: whether or not these public figures represent the Christian principles of humanity, the video can't do justice to the billions of people on this planet who make a difference regardless of their publicly stated faith (or lack thereof). Good people are good people regardless of politics, religion or level of fame. Conversely, not even the glossiest presentation can vindicate those who represent the worst about "life."

Seeing this video reminded me of a puzzler I saw in some church magazine years ago: "Virtually every member of this pro football team is pro-life." The answer: Washington Redskins. Is that presumptuous or what? Are any of you ever asked this at work? Can such a thing even be measured?

In any case, this video is the most misguided roll call since the Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs rocked nobody's world back in '06. Let's hope it says everything about its creator and little about the people included within.


gg said...

At first I thought it was something to do with suicide. They choose life. Then, I saw Dale Evans and Roy Rogers. They're dead, from old age.

Some people really need hobbies.

rhonda said...

eh, i've had my ass handed to me in the past for making my views on this touchy subject try to be mild, i just think that especialy in these conservative parts where we are from, everyone looooves a fetus, but mother and child are both fucked and on their own as soon as that kid is born. people can spout off a blue streak about how everyone winds up fine and kind of melts into a happy little family, but one trip to the rural middle school of my youth should be enough to at least challenge that foolish notion.

pudding-monkey said...

I agree with the questionable choices. Whatever one is trying to convince people of through video, it's generally a bad idea to put Oliver North and Mel Gibson in it. Unless it's a video about jerks.

This is Magical Shrimp, BTW.