It's a 'Disposable' Life
It is high time for more angels to get their wings but they need our help because Hollywood has long been establishing on this earth their own version of Pottersville, populated by soulless morons.
"Unlike the typical Pro-abortion theme of killing babies to avoid suffering, inconvenience, and other "traumas", It's a Wonderful Life tells us that preserving and valuing life is infinitely more important than seeking convenience, comfort, and the easy way out. Everything about this classic film speaks against the Pro-abortion position. So clueless and warped are many Pro-aborts in Hollywood that they applaud this film which basically tells them that they are fools!"
The other day I was watching It's A Wonderful Life starring James Stewart for the tenth time. It was nice to see what movies used to be like. There were numerous direct and indirect references to God, to faith, to prayer, and to the value of human life. The overall message of this seasonal classic seems to be that every human life has a value far beyond what we as human beings are capable of understanding and therefore we are in no position to disregard the value of any human life. Suddenly, I began to think about Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra, two of my favorite film personalities. I realized that these two men epitomized what Hollywood could be, what it used to be capable of being, and how far it had fallen in so many ways. Since I am particularly incensed by the horror of abortion, it occurred to me that It's A Wonderful Life is so much a Pro-Life film in contrast to much of the moral trash that is served on screens today. How is that classic so different from what is served today? Why is it so popular? What would happen to that film in today's moral wasteland? These are questions I attempt to answer here.
Two Men With Messages
At the core of It's A Wonderful Life are Frank Capra, the immigrant director, and Jimmy Stewart, its legendary star. Critics have noted that these two men stood for messages which have only grown over the years. Capra's themes throughout his films spoke about the dignity of the little guy, decency, wisdom, a sense of morality, anti-materialism, and individuals who fought against prevailing notions which countered their moral code. His heroes were heroes precisely because they were willing to fight against corruption, immorality, and materialism. They stood for traditional values and against anything which disrespected human existence. Married to the same woman for over 50 years, Capra, an Italian Catholic immigrant from Bisaquino, Sicily at least seemed to be attempting to stand for those same things. Jimmy Stewart also had a long marriage and, in addition, served notably during World War II. From what I have read, seen, and heard of him, it seems that this legendary actor also portrayed the kind of values and standards which Capra conveyed. So we begin this classic with two men of some moral, ethical, and value weight. Although they had worked together before, their partnership on Wonderful Life seems to be the climax, the punctuation, of their moral message.
Classic with a Message
Practically everyone knows the story of It's A Wonderful Life. A small town guy whose father lived to help others ends up grudgingly following in his father's service footsteps. Due to circumstances beyond his control and the bumps of life, he ends up in dire straits and seemingly in a desperate situation. At wit's end, he determines that he and everyone around him would be better off if he were dead and even comes to believe that it would have been better if he had "never been born". An angel trying to earn his wings takes him on a revealing journey to discover just how valuable his life has been and how many lives he has unknowingly touched. In the end, our hero realizes that life is too valuable to deem worthless and that faith, hope, prayer, trust, and love are better paths out of despair than surrender, despair, selfishness, hatred, and bitterness. The real treasure of this film is human life and its transcendent value and worthiness, no matter how insignificant that life might seem to our limited eyes and mind.
Obviously, this film's messages embrace a Pro-Life position because both see human life as a jewel which must be preserved at all of its stages and despite our own biased, selfish, ignorant, distorted, and often ignorant estimations of its ultimate and potential value and significance. The film ends up showing how trivial, selfish, shallow, insignificant, and idiotic anything we place above human life really is, and celebrates the notion that the kind of blessings which we pretend to acknowledge begin with life itself. Ultimately, anyone who pretends to be thankful for anything is a hypocrite and a liar if he or she does not begin by being thankful for the life granted by an all-loving God and nurtured by loving parents who saw the value of that life. In short, one cannot be Pro-abortion, Pro-murder of innocents, and dare to speak of thankfulness, blessings, and moral codes!
Unlike the typical Pro-abortion theme of killing babies to avoid suffering, inconvenience, and other "traumas", It's a Wonderful Life tells us that preserving and valuing life is infinitely more important than seeking convenience, comfort, and the easy way out. Everything about this classic film speaks against the Pro-abortion position. So clueless and warped are many Pro-aborts in Hollywood that they applaud this film which basically tells them that they are fools!
Three Contrasting Shadows
Contrary to the profound Pro-life theme of It's A Wonderful Life, we have three examples of the kind of pro-abortion propaganda served by Hollywood and international filmmaking these days. In the Cider House Rules, a young doctor becomes a hero when he puts his conscience aside to do "what is right" and abort the child of a young girl impregnated by her father. In If These Walls Could Talk a "compassionate" doctor provides abortion "services". In Vera Drake, a cleaning lady "helps out" women who need abortions in the 50s when abortion was illegal and "dangerous". All three of these films are basically pro-abortion propaganda which once again futilely attempt to portray abortionists as "heroes" full of courage, conviction, and an inner desire to serve. Consequently, they present as "heroic" to ability to put aside any personal moral issues in the ultimate "service" of helping women in need. Barbara Nicolosi, who runs a training program for Christian screenwriters, has observed that such films ultimately fail because "you cannot sell a lie" that abortion is inherently a good and moral thing. Nicolosi notes that "by definition propaganda is a violation of human freedom" so it is incredibly ironic and hypocritical that these clueless fools who attempt to push choice and freedom by pushing propaganda are contradicting their own misguided message with their own pathetic vehicle for that message!
Nicolosi notes that such films do not fail because of poor acting, directing, production, or writing, since often the work in the films is good from a dramatic and artistic standpoint. They ultimately fall because "There will never be a Pro-choice To Kill a Mockingbird because Mockingbird speaks the truth about racism" and these Pro-abortion films are built on selling lies under the guise of truth and heroism.
So, we see, the Hollywood of today is a cesspool of immorality steeped in deception, bias, distortion, and agendas based on a worldview which honors sex as recreation, a life without moral limits, total freedom from conscience, a value of life based on looks and possessions, a moral compass based on one's needs, and a complete intolerance of any message which is inconsistent with that despicable and pathetic prescription of living. All we need to see is the snub of Mel Gibson this past week for any recognition in the Golden Globes nomination to see that sewer getting ranker and ranker as the septic tank rises in denial of what the red states and families have proven with their dollars - true artistic masterpieces loyal to moral principle will generate profits, but they will not profit from the message sent because they have ignored Christ's words in Mark 8: 36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
It is thus no wonder that so many look to a film today as The Passion and the classic It's A Wonderful Life as breaths of fresh air in an environment steeped in moral pollution. It is also a testament to the hypocrisy, falsity, and idiocy of an industry which can honor this classic while standing for precisely the opposite moral position! It is ironic that this classic is much more popular today than at its release. It is almost as if we have to see what we have lost to see its real value. This classic's popularity today is simply that it stands for the kind of moral, ethical, traditional truth and wholesome values which the recent elections reflected most Americans really yearn for. I predict so also will Mel's masterpiece become a classic in the same vein.
Updated "Pro-Death" Version
Based upon the absurd notions spewed by the Hollywood of today, Frank Capra's film would have a very different conclusion. First of all, there is a chance that our hero might find a way to rationalize selling out those he served while catering more to his own selfish self-interest and comfort. Even if he still fought for the little people, his "right to choose" not to have been born would have been enforced and honored as respecting his humanity and individuality. Perhaps the movie would have then portrayed everyone as being "better off" because of our hero's choice to never exist, thereby proving that all of us are quite disposable. This lie would have been necessary since honoring our hero's "right to choose" not being born while presenting his decision as causing bad things to happen would contradict the Pro-abortion theme that choice to end life can be a good thing! I will leave it to the twisted fools of Hollywood to attempt to present our hero as being truly a hero for skipping out on life. I also guess that God, Heaven, and an Angel could not be involved in this whole decision since this would have been offensive to many and might seem a bit idiotic given the typical religious position on abortion. The alternative, to have the devil, hell, and a demon involved, while being truthful, would probably also be offensive to those who see killing babies as anything but evil! In summary, this "updated" version would be anything but a classic and likely a piece of deceitful rubbish much like the pro-abortion trash described above in the three shadows.
It's a Wonderful Life is a classic precisely because it stands for the kinds of traditional values and moral code on which America was founded and which helped it grow as a great nation. Its present popularity is nothing more than a reflection of the public's hunger and thirst for that kind of society which grows more distant with every abomination and blasphemy.
This same yearning is what drives Traditional Catholics to preserve the customs and rituals always held so sacred in the Church over the centuries. Many don't realize what they had until they've lost it. Catholics hunger for absolutes and direction. Today, that is not forthcoming because the New Order has sacrificed so many of those traditions in favor of being politically correct and in tune with modern times at the expense not only of their own soul, but that of countless millions who have been duped by those who spin a wonderful life from Mr. Potter's point of view. Not rewarding, not encouraging. By dropping their guard and giving up the firm grip and abdicating the powerful influence of the Legion of Decency, they opened the floodgates for Hollywood to go from the golden age to the "gollum" age where, to borrow from J.R.R. Tolkien, evil lurks beneath and the ugliness of all of this has come to the surface, decaying as it slugs its way towards its ultimate doom.
Present Hollywood is nothing more than a pathetic pro-abortion propaganda factory trying to sell lies as profound moral, ethical, and social messages. It cannot aggressively sell its pro-choice rhetoric like it has offered similar arguments against racism because, for the most part, its offerings in the latter area are based on truth while there can be no truth in a pro-abortion message. It is left with the tragic and futile effort to sell abortionists as compassionate heroes who nobly serve the needs of women in need whose problems magically end with the destruction of their "problem". The despicable and absurd nature of this pathetic message alone explains why Hollywood pro-choice efforts will never become classics of anything other than immorality and liberal waste.
The stupidity of Hollywood's pro-abortion position can best be stated by that paragon of morality, Cher, who worked on and starred in If These Walls Could Talk. In describing her film, Cher described abortionists as courageous, compassionate, noble people seeking to serve and not seeking money. She attacked the media as portraying abortion clinics as taking away people's humanity ( which media is she watching?) and equated an abortion with a heart transplant, calling it a "life-giving and life-enhancing operation" for those who go through that procedure. With this profound dribble, what need do we have of further discussion? Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart, where are you when we really need you? Help, Clarence!
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.