The Emperor Has No Clothes

We all know the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen.  A couple of con artists trick the emperor into thinking that the finest set of clothes has been made for him, and so the emperor parades through the streets, oblivious to the fact that he is naked.   After some grumbling by the crowd, a child finally cries out, “But he hasn’t got anything on!”

Most people when reading that story identify with the child.  We all want to think that we have the narrator’s omniscience and can see past the lies passed down to us by the powers that be.  I have to admit, though, sometimes I am as blind as the emperor.

I know a lot of college educated people who stopped their formal learning of the liberal arts around the age of 21 or 22.  After that they started making an income and quickly learned about the realities of American economics.  The theoretical knowledge they gained in college got hijacked by the pragmatic ways of living life to get bills paid.

Certain questions that seemed useless no longer got asked, such as “What are human rights?” and “Why do we deserve rights in the first place?”  Things like slavery were obviously wrong, but the questions of why they are wrong were no longer (if ever) asked. It was hard to even imagine that at one time there were otherwise decent people in society who were completely OK with slavery.

The reason for bringing up these things is that it is often hard for me to understand why otherwise decent people think that the killing of people who are inside the womb is OK. I’m not even going to use the “A” word because it domesticates too much the reality of what is actually happening.  The arguments for slavery are exactly the same as the arguments for butchering the unborn.

We all want to identify with the child from The Emperor’s New Clothes, because we think there is a truth and wisdom in the child’s innocence.  But when it comes to this topic there is only one side on the side of innocence.

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