Sunday, January 22, 2006

The false god of 'Choice' (Homily on Anniversary of Roe v. Wade)

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

This is an uncomfortable topic to discuss.
I want to try to deal with it appropriately.
It is important to explain
what we believe, and why.

We’ve all heard the saying, I think,
about “the elephant in the room.”
So often, we have an awkward situation,
and rather than confront it,
we work around it, we try to ignore it.

After awhile, we get used to it;
somebody comes in, and shakes his head:
“what’s wrong with you?
There’s an elephant in the room,
and you act as though you don’t see it!”

Maybe you think I’m talking about abortion;
I am; but it’s much bigger than that.
I’m talking about that popular idea, “Choice.”

I love choices! Don’t we all?
What’s wrong with “choice”?
Nothing, particularly.

The problem is when we elevate “choice”
above everything else.
Because what we’re really doing
is elevating
the one who makes the choice.

The result is corruption:
Corruption of the truth,
Corruption of our ability
to reason as moral people;
Corruption of people themselves.

Let me show what I mean.

If a couple says,
“We just found out
we’re going to have a baby!”

A single word seemingly changes everything:
Is that baby human? Is he or she precious?
Should we, as a society, protect babies?
Of course! It’s a foolish question.

But take the same situation, same facts—
but change one key word:
“we found out we have a choice…”

Somehow, choice changes everything,
even reality itself!
The baby stops being a baby;
The value of a human being
is turned off and on
like a light switch.

Here’s what we’re all told:
“Who are you to say that’s a baby?
That should be”—
wait for it…”an individual choice.”

If only it were so easy!

The obvious, terrible consequence
is the loss of unborn children’s lives:
more than a million every year.

But the corruption goes farther.

Notice what is happening
in the medical profession.
Doctors are supposed to be healers;
Instead, they merely help us “choose”—
regardless of the consequence.
So—in Oregon, doctors
prescribe drugs to kill people!

Another horror of this idolatry of “choice”
is what happens to people with disabilities.

Did you know you don’t meet
as many people with Downs Syndrome?
It’s true:
90% of children, diagnosed before birth
with Downs Syndrome, are aborted.
Nine out of ten!

It goes even further.

Sometimes we say,
“How people live their lives is their choice”—
meaning, “I don’t have to warn you—
I don’t have to try to save your soul!”

Look at the debate about marriage:
Whatever you choose, is fine:
two men, two women;
leave one marriage, and start another.

What matters above all is choice:
Not our identity as men and women;
Not the commitments we’ve already made;
Not what God asks of us.

Notice how the false god of choice
corrupts everything it touches.

And choice is a false god—
it betrays and abandons
all who trust in it.

And no one knows that better than millions
of men and women who bear the unseen,
unacknowledged wounds left by abortion.

Many will say, “you made your choice”—
and walk away.

Sometimes what they hear from prolife folks,
from the Church, does not sound welcoming.

When Jonah brought a tough message to Nineveh,
it wasn’t to condemn, but to save!

When St. Paul says, “time is running out,”
He says that, not to condemn, but to save!

Christ himself said:
I came, not to condemn, but to save!

Every time we celebrate the Mass,
we experience once again
the mystery of our faith,
that Christ died to save us!

That’s why its so important
we celebrate Mass again,
and again, and again!

Christ died once for all;
But we need lots of reminders!
We need to know his mercy endures forever!

If you need that healing—
there are people who can help you.
Project Rachel
is an organization that exists
to help heal anyone, men or women,
injured by abortion.

The Elizabeth New Life Center
in Dayton is a resource.
We’ve had information in the bulletin;
if you missed it, you can find them online,
or simply give the office a call.

If I can help, I will.

Call me, and we’ll talk confidentially.

I began by saying,
this is an uncomfortable subject.
There’s one more reason it’s uncomfortable:
because we may wonder,
“does this mean I have to do something?
Do I have to change?”

I suppose Andrew and Peter, James and John,
might have asked the same question,
looking at their nets,
just before they dropped them.

And—if you’re even asking the question,
you already know the answer!


Anonymous said...

Your best post -- from the scripture and from the heart. You are a man of God!

Your friend, Chris F.

Anonymous said...

Padre Fox,

Your instruction was good; however, you missed poking the other "elephant in the room" you know, contraception. In today's first reading, it speaks of how, after the people heard Jonah, " . . . the people of Ninevah believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth." Don't we have a similar need for a type of sackcloth in the Catholic community? I mean, would that the Catholic People of God believed in God and proclaimed a fast from contraception. Would that they put all their birth control pills and other devices preventing "life" in the collection baskets! Then, just as our Blessed Lord turned the water into wine, imagine what the Holy Spirit would do for our Lord's Church were this type of fast from contracteption to take place among the Catholic People of God.


Fr Martin Fox said...


That's a subject for another homily; one can't say everything.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox,

The "uncomfortable" is really contraception. My brother recently taught a class at our parish on Humanae Vitae. Only five parishoners showed up. Of those, each had a very difficult time with this "official" church teaching. His presentation was very positive, and also drew on the late John Paul, II's "Theology of the Body." My brother came away from the sessions with this observation: two thousand years ago a group of Christ followers rejected our Lord's encyclical on the Eucharist when He said, "if you do not eat my body and drink my Blood, you will have no life in you." As you are well aware, they replied, "this is a hard teaching to accept, and they no longer followed Jesus." So, too, did my brother observe that his fellow catholics were rejecting this "hard teaching" and when he contrasted this episode of those who rejected our Lord's Eucharistic Presence with Pope Paul VI's teaching on "Humanae Vitae, the group gathered was astonished and had to concede that my brother was right and had a very valid point. They related that no cleric in their adult lives had ever framed this teaching in this manner.

I am fifty years old (young!), a father of six, and I have often wondered why there is such deafening silence about the heresy of contraception that is followed by a vast majority of catholics in America. Only recently have I heard that the clergy in general refrain (hide)from instructing the faithful on this because many do not believe in Humanae Vitae themselves, or they are afraid if they do remind the souls in their care of this Church instruction, then many will walk out and collections will drop off. If this is the case, then how spiritually immature they are in the former and how untrusting in Christ in the latter.

The tsunamis of spiritual deceit created by Satan and which have intensified in our modern times is astonishing. I can only offer my daily prayers in union with all those numerous souls throughout the world who pray to our Blessed Mother Mary to sustains us during these times. I also find increasing comfort knowing that Our Blessed Triune God is in command. Additionally, if there was ever a time for the laity to pray for our Lord's priesthood, it's now!

Onward and forward in Jesus & Mary


Fr Martin Fox said...


Thank you for your advice.

Jenny said...

Wow. Great homily, father. I never quite thought of it that way, that we as a culture elevate personal Choice to the status of a god. Wonderful thing to think about. Thanks.

Deacon Jim said...

Well done!

Fidei Defensor said...

Amazing homily, I linked to it on my blog!

Fr Martin Fox said...


Thank you; if I may be so bold, I'd ask what made it amazing, in your estimation. It may sound odd, but just because I produced this homily, doesn't mean I know what about it is effective or why (I have my own ideas, of course, but the proof is in the tasting, as the saying goes).

So, if you hap back this way, and care to expand . . . that would be appreciated.

Tom.... said...

Father...that stat on Down Syndrome makes me a special ed teacher, I have know some really cool people who are Down Syndrome...what a waste it all is.
I would like to link your site to mine with your ok...Tom

Fr Martin Fox said...


Feel free, and thank you.

Fidei Defensor said...

No problem Father, I visit your blog almost daily and am happy to throw in my 2 cents since you asked. I understand what you mean about creating the Homily but then not sure why it is so good, like a day at the shooting range thinking you aren't hitting the target then when you get a close up view you see you were dead-on all along.

1-I have heard so few pro-life Homilies in my life that to hear a Priest be so upfront about it is refreshing.

2-Right off the bat you destroyed the euphemism and lies of the culture of death, "I love choices! Don’t we all? What’s wrong with “choice”?"

3-You then got into the "good" that is choice, like other good things (love, making money, eating, etc) in excess becomes an evil. All the seven deadly sins after all being healthy behaviors that went to far and became warped and twisted.

4-You linked abortion to the broader culture of death by brining in the Oregon law. Then you really brought it home regarding who really cares about the "little guy," talking about the 90% abortion rate for kids with down's syndrome.

5-Good job brining in the OT reading with Jonaha, and getting into a solid point, telling somone not to something wrong is not doing them a disservice. Supporting ppl's mistakes mindlessly is. Tough love.

6-Then you talk about Christ in the Mass, he who is "the way the truth and the life," stands in shinning contrast to the culture of death.

I am by no means an expert at analyzing Homilies, thats the best I can do. I know what I liked, your parishioners are lucky folks!

Fr Martin Fox said...


That's very helpful.

As I've heard in a different context, "consumer feedback is pure gold."

I realize that may seem an odd thing to apply to preaching the Gospel; and it's not as though I necessarily am looking to get plaudits. But knowing what happens on the receiving end of a homily is very, very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Great homily!!! We look forward to reading what you have to say on contraception...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Father, you are a man of God and I pray that you keep up the good work.
Yours in Christ,

Gregaria said...

I, too, loved your homily Father. Thanks!