Monday, June 13, 2005

The Choice Is Yours

Just caught up with Vita Mea, the online home of Roman Catholic seminarian Dennis Schenkel, whose mission trip to Guatemala is inspiring him to write some of his strongest-ever posts. His provocative "Coming Out" is about something that I've only heard one Catholic clergyman discuss—and I'll keep that man's name private. Dennis writes:

Some people have been telling me for a long time that I should change. My lifestyle has not been compatible with the Christianity I profess. It doesn´t matter what my urges are, or what I´m attracted to, they say. They claim I can change and that just because I´m attracted in a way that´s different from other people, I can simply exercise some kind of self-control. They´re telling me that I´m not some kind of animal who doesn´t have control over what he´s attracted to.
Do read it before you make any conclusions—and note Dennis's use of "what" as opposed to "whom."

Dennis goes on:
I choose, regardless of my inclinations. I´m not compelled beyond reason by urges beyond my power to do things I know are wrong.
It's sad that this is such a radical idea in today's society—the idea that we bear personal responsibility for whether or not we act upon physical urges. Planned Parenthood, for example, is all about "choice," yet it insists that when it comes to resisting physical urges, we don't really have a choice—we can choose only how we will handle the aftermath.

I can relate to Dennis, because to this day I struggle to unlearn past behaviors that were limiting and instead widen my horizons to admit the better choices that God enables me to make.

What Planned Parenthood and their ilk will never understand is that many of the very physical behaviors which it touts as fine "choices" are in fact constricting, because—put in a godless context—they force us to view our bodies as mere repositories of physical sensation.

Admittedly, it's scary to think of a world where one's choices are truly choices, requiring personal responsibility and not mere acquiescence to physical urges. Nonetheless, the rewards of such a lifestyle are well worth the risk.

In Planned Parenthood's worldview, a person can make only the "right" choice, because each decision is according to what is right for one at the moment one makes a choice. But where there are no wrong choices, there really can be no right choices either.

I've made a lot of wrong choices, and sometimes I still make them. Yet, as Paul wrote, Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. Standing in His love, I have to believe that it is never too late to change my behavior and bring it in line with His vision for me, which is that I be in Jesus' image—or, looking to a feminine paradigm, the image of His Mother. Now, that's an alternative lifestyle.