Saturday, February 1, 2020

Pro-Choice at Heart?

Recently, I watched a few videos about Catholics who are peacefully demonstrating their desire to end the holocaust of abortion in these USA. The debates that occur with "pro-choice" onlookers are interesting to say the least. I am not really clear on one thing: how could anyone view these interactions and see the hateful and irrational behavior of pro-abortion advocates as good (in any way at all)? I guess maybe the demonic likes other things that are demonic.

One comment that came up often in these debates was when a woman would say "you're a man, you have no right to tell a woman what to do with her body". Desiring to show them their ridiculously faulty logic, I thought about a possible response. It would look like this:
Pro-abort: "You're a man, you have no right to tell a woman what to do with her body." 
Pro-lifer: "Then you have no right to tell a man what to do with his body when he decides to rape you."
Pro-abort: "Yes I do, because that involves harming another person."
Pro-lifer: "So does murdering an unborn child."
No, I do not believe that the woman has no right to say "no" to the rapist; that is merely to show the error of pro-choice thinking. Since, however, modern science has shown that life begins at conception, the only argument pro-aborts can resort to is to say that "it's a woman's right to choose". Hence, we will not get very far if we do not put more effort into overcoming the root of their argument: choice. It needs to be pointed out that the idol of personal choice is going to lead to the destruction of society if it is not knocked down off its pedestal. Furthermore, we have make sure that we are consistent in what we are saying and not being "pro-choice at heart" in our own lives.

This whole idea of "choice" has so infected (and corrupted) our thinking that we often cannot see it. I recall the story of the widower who went out to buy socks for the first time after his wife passed (maybe you have heard this one before). He saw the multiplicity of options and ended up crying because he had no idea what choice to make; he just wanted to buy the one that his wife always bought for him. Choice is not always a blessing. Seeing someone overwhelmed by the tyranny of choice makes us realize what we are taking for granted.

When we live our lives with the idol of "my choice for my life" then higher priorities often get missed. The idol of choice without moral boundaries is truly rooted in a demonic deception. The problem stems largely from the fact that "choice" is often equated with "freedom". Properly understood, freedom is a moral good. Choice, however, does not have a moral direction inherent within it. In the Scriptures we see people often told "choose the good or the bad"; in other words, choice can go either way, and it is not morally neutral to have a choice.

We have been so influenced by the idea of personal choice that we unfortunately think of our commitment to Lord as a "free choice". Yes, we do need to make a choice to serve the Lord, but when we emphasize our own authority in choosing, we forget that God commands all, everywhere, to repent and follow Him (cf. Acts 17:29-30). If I understand my choice to follow God as "my choice" it is not the same thing as seeing it as "my submission to God Almighty".

Why do we do the many things that we choose to do; what is our motivation? If we get married, go to college, or take a job because "we chose it" then we are putting ourselves in the place of Absolute Master. Extend that to the next level and you will see the problems that ensue. Do you go to Mass "because you chose to" or because God commanded you to? Yes, a choice to obey is what happens, but how, primarily, do you view that action? Do you see it with you on the throne of choice, or willingly standing before God? It is not the same thing in our hearts and thus it is not the same thing in our souls.

This is one of the problems with parish membership in the Catholic Church being so flexible today. When someone views their association with a parish community as "their choice" alone they see it as something that they are in charge of. In the New Testament parish association is familial and always connected to the larger Church. When we look only at our bond to Christ and His Church as "what I want" then we miss the fact that God calls us to serve Him in His Church because it is what He wants. We are supposed to ask, "Lord, how do You want me to serve here?" and not, "Do I want to be here?" The latter begins from the same selfish motivation as the person who says it is a woman's choice to end her child's life.

If we are going to be consistent (and effective) in our pro-life stance, then we must also acknowledge we cannot be "pro-choice" in our hearts. Just because we have made the right "choice" regarding the life of a child, does not allow us to place ourselves on the throne of authority and idolize our own choices. Let us not just resist pro-choice decisions about the lives of the unborn, but also in every area that could come against our Lord. Let us make one choice: to submit ourselves to whatever our Lord wants before we consider what we want.