If unborn children really had rights, the infant daughter of the actress Katie Holmes and the temporarily-humanoid immortal starseed that styles itself 'Tom Cruise' would have been delivered by a lawyer. Breaking the absolute silence of the delivery room, the lawyer, on the infant's behalf, would have sued for spiritual guardianship and demanded that all profits earned from sale of the child's story and image-- including 'virtual' profits in the form of publicity for its parents -- be deposited in a trust account to fund its lifelong psychotherapy needs. It would also be stipulated that such therapy could not be interfered with or curtailed by 'Cruise' or his religious representatives.

Of all the world's great traditions of exploitation -- master over slave, husband over wife, rich man over poor man-- parenthood is the most absolute and the least subject to scrutiny or pressure. Not only do the stronger parties involved have the right to construct the weaker one's reality and then imprison their subject inside of it, they have the right to create the subject at a moment not of its choosing and not necessarily to its advantage. For Holmes and 'Cruise' to have marched a helpless new spirit into the global media s***-storm that they, their publicists and their clerical overseers have been whipping up for many months now should not only be an actionable infraction but a grave reminder to all of us not to toy around with unformed soul material.

Suri, lovely child, you are free. You just don't know it yet. You don't even have to, ultimately, keep that name they gave you. You can be an 'Amy' like your friends. None of what happened is your responsibility. Your mother, she chose to relinquish her personal liberty. Your father, he chose to forsake his humanness. But you, at eighteen, as an American citizen and-- in the words of the Desiderata-- 'a child of the universe' will have the right to hop any bus you want and take it as far as you want and never return.

I'm a stranger, child, but I'm a parent, too, and on behalf of many millions of parents who cherish the awesome power that we wield over those who come to earth with none , I make you this promise:

You shall be released.

--Walter

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