Let me start out with a disclaimer, this one may be a little rough around the edges.
I am royally pissed.
I was driving home listening to a Christian radio station and the DJ was talking about some of the companies who put out April Fool’s Day ads over the past weekend. I saw some and they were generally poking fun at their product, Chick-Fil-A did one on steak burgers and so on. But this woman points out that a Canadian Airlines had one about having “child free airplane flights”.
So I look up the video as soon as I get home. Sure enough there it is with almost 250,000 views less than 24 hours after airing. It begins with an exec from the company introducing a new “service” from their company. He pleasantly asks, “…tired of kids running and screaming up and down the aisles and are looking quite simply for some peace and quiet?”
Then a family is shown checking in with a preschooler circling a mom holding a toddler. After mom kisses the sweet little guys head the kids are seen sitting in a plastic bin (like you put your dirty shoes in) going down a conveyer belt like a suitcase. The voice over says that they will arrive “with the luggage and other kids” outside of the airplane.
The children are then hoisted into the cargo hold where we are told they can run, scream and eat from a “state of the art feed trough”. At the end you are told this is to give you the “peace and quiet you need”.
So imagine this: Next year I am going to make an April Fools video about oh, let’s see, how about handicapped people getting in line first and getting all the best parking spaces. It’s not like having no legs isn’t a choice, right? We can think of a way to get rid of them. Oh, and why not lampoon senior citizens, good grief they aren’t going to be around much longer and what a stinking pain it is to have to wait behind them at the cash register as they count their change. They don’t even know how to get on the internet so they wont even know we have made a funny video about them. Or let’s see… what about all of those earthquake victims? The ones who are buried underneath of a shabby building didn’t deserve to live anyway, right? Gosh, is there anyone else left that I can make fun of… maybe war vets, or single mothers, starving orphans?
Do you really think anything is beyond being devalued and mocked? Don't kid yourself into thinking that I am being reactionary or extreme.
Don't ask where do we draw the line?
Ask Is there even a line anymore?
As I have studied children’s issues I have sadly found that our North American culture does not value children, for that matter most of the world doesn’t either. (And by value I mean, put your laws and your money where your mouth is.)
The numbers don’t lie:
There are 2.2 Billion children in the world.
Almost half of them live in poverty.
121 million have no education.
And 10.6 million of them died before their 5th birthday.
One fourth of the people who live in the United States are age 0-17.
21% of American children live in poverty.
For every 1000 babies under age 12 months 21 of them have been abused… and it was documented.
Lastly I give you the most haunting statistic:
While they were still helpless in their mother’s womb 42 million of them from around the world were killed by abortion.
So you tell me was it funny to talk about children as inconvenient annoyances? Was it hysterical to think about pitching them into a cold dark cargo hold and setting them up with “feed troughs”? Is your peace and quiet enough to make you chuckle at the thought of storing the kids out of sight for a few hours?
Out of sight out of mind?
Maybe it wasn’t very funny to me because I see that the world has been chucking children under the floorboards of society for too long now and just turning up the music a little louder when they cry too loudly.
What in God’s name do we value anymore? What is beyond ridicule and mockery?
It certainly doesn't seem to be human life.
Each one of these children that the video so lightly labels as cargo is a divine creation. Made with a purpose and a plan by a Master Builder. They are covered with God's hand prints; they are an eternal soul. Children are potential and power just waiting to be nurtured and tended. They hold the keys to unlock the mysteries that have stumped all of us more important adults our whole lives. For a while they need our hands to hold and our wisdom to lead them, but someday we will put our hand in theirs as they guide us to the end of this life.
What more precious, beyond value, gift do we have other than children? Nothing at all.
Please be more careful how you hold them in your hearts, minds and words.