Opinion: Hollywood's tantrum over pro-life laws is totally misplaced

Bich Ngoc Le / Unsplash

Hollywood is outraged. This week the governor of Georgia signed into law a so-called “heartbeat" bill that essentially bans abortions after the first six weeks of pregnancy. Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi have also passed similar laws this year Hollywood is outraged because it views these laws as cruel atrocities against women.

Hollywood (I'm using that as general shorthand for the principle creatives and executives in the movie/TV industry) feels particularly emboldened to speak out in this case because it has spent a lot of money on productions in the South over the past decade, especially in Georgia. Avengers: Endgame, currently on pace to become the highest-grossing movie of all-time, was shot almost entirely in Georgia. Just like it did when North Carolina was considering its “bathroom" bill in 2016, Hollywood is threatening to withhold its production dollars from Georgia over this heartbeat bill. Consider the audacity of Hollywood thinking that Georgians would rather have Hollywood's cash than save innocent lives from the forceps and suction hose of abortionists. It's ridiculous.

Yet, here's the thing. I don't want to get mired in another Hollywood bash session. Maybe it's a naïve approach, but this is an appeal for Hollywood and social/political conservatives — supposed mortal enemies — to reason together.

I don't hate Hollywood. In fact, in spite of its incessant assault on many things I hold dear, there is enough good entertainment produced that I'm a pretty loyal customer. Movies can actually provide some rare common ground between left and right. My family enjoys “movie night" almost every Friday. I look forward to showing my kids some of Hollywood's best past and present art. We enjoy discovering new gems together.

Recently, we watched the 2011 movie The Help with our 14-year-old daughter. My wife and I had seen it before, but our daughter had not. There is a poignant series of scenes in The Help that are relevant to the current headlines about pro-life bills in state legislatures across the nation. In the scenes, Celia Foote (played by Jessica Chastain), has a miscarriage. It is apparently her third miscarriage. We see her digging a small hole and placing a box, presumably containing the miscarried baby's remains, in the ground. It is a sad funeral scene.

The baby in the box is a person, with all the significance and dignity that entails.

As she's recovering in bed, Celia tells her housekeeper, Minny: “He [Celia's husband] doesn't know about the baby. Or the two before."

Celia is very early in her pregnancy, yet, in a departure from the left's relentless abortion rhetoric, she calls the fetus a “baby." In these scenes, you have some of Hollywood's top talent making a clear statement that the miscarried child is a tragedy to be mourned.

The miscarriage funeral scene in The Help is striking because it makes me wonder whether those involved in the movie realize the ramification of what the scene communicates. The box, containing the baby's miscarried remains, is a coffin. In Celia's loving, mournful, respectful act of giving a proper burial, the movie is saying the baby in the box is a person, with all the significance and dignity that entails.

Now imagine if another character in the movie had an abortion at the same time as Celia Foote's miscarriage, at the exact same point in her pregnancy. But no box for the baby's remains, and no funeral. What's the difference? Why is one baby's death a tragedy, while the aborted baby is something to celebrate (#ShoutYourAbortion)? It seems the only difference in that scenario would be the mother's desire — whether or not she wanted to have the baby. This doesn't make sense. Either all human life in the mother's womb is precious, as the Celia Foote scenes acknowledge, or all life is disposable at the mother's whim. We can't have it both ways.

One of the things that movies can do best is encourage empathy. To borrow a line from Harper Lee, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." Where is Hollywood's empathy for the millions of people in Georgia, Mississippi and several other states who support these pro-life measures? The assumption is that pro-life people are anti-women, but I can attest that is decidedly false. Neither do they want to control a woman's body. They desire to protect the baby's body (many of which would grow up to be female by the way).

I hope reasonable abortion supporters will consider this paradigm shift — abortion is not about the woman, her body or her right to choose. It is about the human growing inside of her, who is every bit as real, significant and dignified as she is.

As it pertains to abortion, empathy is misplaced on both the left and the right.

As it pertains to abortion, empathy is misplaced on both the left and the right. On the pro-life side, there is often too little empathy for the women in legitimately dire circumstances who get abortions. On the pro-abortion side there is too often no empathy for the unborn child.

I don't hate Hollywood for its outrage over these pro-life laws, though I think its outrage is misplaced and largely misunderstands the pro-life position. My prayer is that abortion supporters would come closer to understanding the perspective that every unborn person who dies through miscarriage or abortion is equally tragic. Both deserve a tiny box. And a garden funeral. And our tears.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…




Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.