Nothing like a glass of wine to relieve the stress of killing a baby, eh, Olivia? (Photo from Newsbusters)
Not being much of a network television watcher other than “Blue Bloods”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “NCIS New Orleans” and the occasional “Hawaii Five-O”, this writer will confess to having no clue what the premise of the nighttime serial “Scandal” is, anything about the character Olivia Pope or creator of the show Shonda Rhimes. I don’t even know what night of the week it airs. (Ahh, Thursday. No wonder I don’t know anything about this. It’s choir night.)
After the last ten days, though, the program and the uproar the creators stirred when the main character “took care of her little problem” with Franz Grüber’s beloved “Silent Night” playing in the background, it can be said that many of us know that the show “Scandal” IS a scandal as is the creator. For the first time in a long time on network television, abortion was in the headlines as part of entertainment.
A lot of Americans may not remember a lot about the 1970s television, but the title character in the sit-com Maude had an abortion in November 1972. Abortion was a topic featured on news programs like 60 Minutes for a number of years. Teeny-bopper movies “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Dirty Dancing” and “Teachers” among other films in the 80’s all dealt with the topic. However, in each of these cases, abortion and the seriousness and weight of the decision making was part of the characters’ experiences. It was not treated lightly, and some of the brutal realities that go along with it were displayed for all to see.
As the decades since Roe vs. Wade have marched on, there has been a steady stream of the reality of abortion in American entertainment (including Shonda Rhimes’ other shows “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” ), but until “Scandal”, no presumption of social acceptance, and certainly no acknowledgement of the tacit relationship of abortion with the war on children. As bad as the background music of “Silent Night” AND “Ave Maria” was in the episode, even more troubling was the voice over, said to be using the voice of Olivia Pope character’s father:
“Family is a burden … a pressure point, soft tissue, an illness, an antidote to greatness. You think you’re better off with people who rely on you, depend on you, but you’re wrong, because you will inevitably end up needing them, which makes you weak, pliable. Family doesn’t complete you. It destroys you.”
Family is a BURDEN? A child is a “mistake”? Family DESTROYS? Was this episode really meant to depict abortion as a quick, painless and easy decision (none of which is true), or the next step in the ratcheting up of selfishness in American life that has contributed mightily to the destruction of the family in nuclear and extended forms AND the war on CHILDREN conducted via their parents’ reproductive organs?
Family is not an antidote to greatness. It is the support system ordinary people depend on when things go off the rails. Family are the people who care not just for the new progeny, but the elders and the sick. Family are the ones who know a person best. Usually. And family teaches individuals how to live socially, how to relate. Some families are truly dysfunctional to the point of destruction, but the rest of us are normal, whatever that means. It may not be completing, and the reality of family can be VERY messy, but having family does not make one weak. Giving into the temptation of selfishness…that’s another matter.
There has been much discussion on the choice of “Silent Night” as the backdrop of an unborn child’s murder. That is a song written in desperation on Christmas Eve in the 18th century when a church organ broke. It is a simple German folk hymn about the Messiah, the Son of God, and his mother. As objectionable as that song choice was, the “Ave Maria” was a flat out slap in the face to Christianity.
Ave Maria, (Hail, Mary)
Gratia plena, (full of grace)
Dominus tecum, (the Lord is with you)
Benedicta tu in mulieribus (Blessed are you among women)
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus (and Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.)
That is how that prayer begins. Where did it come from? The first chapter of the Gospel According to St. Luke:
 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’ s name was Mary.  And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.  And of his kingdom there shall be no end.  And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?  And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:  Because no word shall be impossible with God.  And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
The mother in “Silent Night” and “Ave Maria” humbled herself, and accepted God’s plan. She is an example for us in submitting to God’s will no matter the difficulty, even in the face of an unplanned pregnancy. Fictional Olivia Pope’s child was conceived in an illicit affair. A member of this writer’s family was as well. This child once remarked to another relative, “I was a mistake, wasn’t I?” The response was, “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
God doesn’t. But the creator of “Scandal” and the people at Planned Parenthood who congratulated the team on championing “women’s rights” did. They assume they have won the social acceptance battle of abortion itself. They haven’t. Not by a long shot as ultrasound technology has advanced and former practitioners describe what happens during the procedure in great detail. The blinders are now essentially gone, so long as the discussion is honest (which it isn’t from the pro-death crowd).
However, no matter how one looks at it, the battle lines are once again drawn in the pro-life/abortion divide. Look to see more of this pimping of abortion from some quarters in Hollywood in the war against children and the family. (The shows I list above actually are all about family, when it comes down to it.) It’s happened before, but this time around, any pretense of honesty about the emotional toll from one side is gone, and they are invoking religion in a way that insults practitioners of Faith. THAT is what makes this scandal despicable at it’s very core.