A few days ago it was announced from London to seemingly universal joy that another “Royal baby” is on the way.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ( “Will and Kate”) are expecting their second child. The announcement was necessitated, as was the case with their first child, due to the mother’s propensity to severe morning sickness that will prevent her from being able to commit to public appearances for a time.
Her willingness to endure this was regarded as laudable, as it indeed is, and there was immediate speculation as to the “baby’s” gender and possible names, and place in the Order of Succession to the throne, etc.
In the 19th century, the English commentator Walter Bagehot commented that modern Royalty was “the brilliant edition of a universal fact”; e.g., births, marriages, deaths, etc.
In essence, a “Royal Marriage…Royal Baby… Royal Jubilees…Royal deaths” are the same as anyone else’s. There is just something emotively and symbolically moving in “universal facts” occurring to one family that seems representative of our own.
There was, however, soemthing quite striking in the language in all the reactions to the announcement. The “baby” was already referred to as a “baby.” To my knowledge, there wasn’t the slightest question raised that the announcement was good news.
However, one “entertainment figure” hit the modern note.
She “tweeted”: Will she keep it?
THAT’s some question, isn’t it?
The very thought of an abortion being the response to the “royal” pregnancy I’m sure would be repugnant to most people.
Yet millions of “babies” are aborted deliberately each year.
Why isn’t it as repugnant as a response to the butcher, baker, candle-stick maker’s wife’s pregnancy?
Because the “baby” is royal?
Or maybe, the “brilliant edition” of a “universal fact” is this: that the “Royal” baby is human, like that of any other woman’s pregnancy. Bagehot would tell us that a birth in a Palace is simply the brilliant version of a birth in a cottage.
If (please God) saluting guns will thunder, church bells peal, and crowds cheer next Spring at the new royal birth, it is only because we sense deep down that EVERY birth is glorious. We just can’t do it all day long, every day so they do it for one family, which stands for all families.
The “mass of cells” in the womb of the Duchess of Cambridge is for most intents and purposes biologically the same as the “mass of cells” in the womb of the woman sitting in the waiting room today in an abortion clinic.
One is a “baby”, the other isn’t?
God help us to see the truth!
September 10, 2011