January 22nd was the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the court decision that legalized abortion in America. I had wanted to write something on the subject before the month was out, but in order to do that, I’m going to talk about a movie first. Today, I came across some notes I jotted down from when I first saw the movie Wreck it Ralph, Disney 2012, and was shocked to see the clear pro-life theme running through the plot and living through the characters.
It’s another one of those times when a little section of popular culture feeds American society what we have long dismissed as old-fashioned or atypical—and we embrace it with touched hearts, little realizing that we are embracing the very script that we have denied. While many have enjoyed Disney’s Wreck it Ralph on the surface, appreciating its playful characters, comical allusions, and creative plot-line, the movie has a lot more to say, carrying deeper meaning below the surface, which is incidentally where the most important parts of the story evolve from.
The mythical world of computer games and characters is ordered and arranged by cyber-scripting, deep in the heart of the arcade’s memory. This is also where we find the great deception that has stolen something very precious from the most loveable character in the movie.
The little girl, Vanellope, is considered a “glitch,” even though “King Candy” is actually responsible for her deficiencies, having gone into the DNA of the game “Sugar Rush” and stolen her identity as the princess of the game. Not only did the villain steal her destiny as a famous racer and assume the kingship in her place, but he also changed the game’s basic memory and rules of citizenship—its constitution, if you will, in order to erase any memory about the deception from everyone’s mind. He will stop at nothing to keep her from racing and regaining even a measure of normalcy; and while she is forced to live as an outcast, he reigns as king and encourages the ostracization that others put her through. Even her friend, Ralph, is initially convinced by King Candy’s argument, which—like most subversive arguments—does not come across as wrong or maliciously hurtful, but masquerades as “the right thing.” King Candy assures Ralph that he is keeping her from her destiny “for her own good,” because she will certainly be rejected by the game players, cause the shutdown of the whole game, and ultimately perish herself when the game is unplugged.
Any of this sound familiar? If it doesn’t, consider the pro-abortion arguments and see how shockingly they compare with King Candy’s. Arguably the largest proponent of abortion, Planned Parenthood plays the part of “societal helper,” making people believe that doing away with children who were not wanted in the first place would be better for everyone involved, except of course, the child. However, in spite of their candy-coated lies, the same is at stake for both the preborn child and Vanellope – a destiny and a life. This destiny may not be visible yet, but it remains nevertheless innately given, something that he or she can “just feel in their code,” as Vanellope explains it to Ralph. Isn’t that what we are made up of on the most basic physical level? DNA code? What if someone were bursting into our “codes” and seeking to derail our destinies? What if someone were seeking to take all of our potential away, under the guise of “the greater good?”
The truth is…it’s already happening, and a movie like this cannot exist without the corresponding reality close at its heels. Society has a conscience and no matter how much it is buried under the day-to-day barrage of desensitization, it still lives. The proof of its existence lies in the immediate popularity of a movie like Wreck-It Ralph. How can society live in such disregard for human life and yet immediately embrace a film that shows the innate worth of an unwanted “glitch,” and elevates as “heroic” the one caring enough to fight for her? I argue with hope that society’s basic conscience is not yet dead. How many destinies have we taken away from children? How many people have we lost? Presidents, doctors, lawyers, senators…even race-car drivers. The point is…if movie audiences find the tampering of computer DNA abhorrent, how much more angry should we be at the idea that this perverse stealing happens all the time?
However, as in the film, only the brightest light of Truth will destroy the destroyer. I realize this is stretching the analogy a little, but bear with me. Like Ralph, we can pound our fists against injustice all we want, but if the power of God and the Truth doesn’t shine through us the way the beam of light in the film shone to destroy the cyber bugs, our efforts will be futile. How does Ralph know that it is wrong to take from the little annoying girl what is rightfully hers? How do we know? Perhaps it is written in our “code.” Perhaps we know the basic rules of “citizenship,” not just on earth but in heaven—the way things were meant to be.
Deep down, we know, like Ralph, that our “code” carries whispers of the Divine and as Ralph and King Candy find out, you just don’t mess with the DNA of destiny.