Dane Skelton

    Dane Skelton is the Pastor of Faith Community Church and the author of Jungle Flight: Spiritual Adventures at the Ends of the Earth, a book of true stories from the ministry of JAARS (formerly Jungle Aviation and Radio Service). His second book, Papua Pilot: Flying the Bible to the Last Lost Peoples, co-authored with the late Paul Westlund, is now available on Amazon.com and Christianbook.com.
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    • Feb6Wed


      February 6, 2013
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      On the contraception mandate debate, Froma Harrop is disingenuous.

       “Do nothing in a spirit of partiality.” So said the Apostle Paul to his protégé Timothy and his command has been much on my mind of late. Tectonic cultural shifts are happening at an alarming pace, shifting the ground of our social contract under our feet, even as we walk. The freedom and liberty to teach the whole counsel of God in matters moral, and to conduct business in accordance with a Biblically informed conscience, seem to be sliding toward the abyss. Look no further than the HHS mandate penalizing companies like Hobby Lobby with million dollar a day fines for refusing to fund abortion coverage in their employee insurance plans for evidence. It is terribly tempting in that kind of environment to lash out, to loose the dogs of sarcasm and really vent my spleen. So I’ve been working overtime not to do that.

       One of the ways I do that is by forcing myself to read syndicated columnists with whom I disagree, who do not write from a Biblical world view or who do not share my conservative views. I’m trying to “put myself in the other man’s shoes,” and avoid the prejudice of some of my more vitriolic conservative brethren. The Danville Register & Bee is helpful here, as it alternates conservative and liberal columnists on its opinion pages.

       Roland Martin is one of those columnists. Though I often disagree with his conclusions, I find him to be a candid reporter of the facts. Another journalist I’ve enjoyed is Froma Harrop, a member of the editorial board of the Providence (R.I) Journal, who is syndicated in the Danville Register & Bee. Both are excellent writers and usually “honest brokers” of ideas. By that I mean that they will report all of the pertinent facts of a case, giving the reader enough information to see the whole picture, and then render their opinion. I depend on these and other writers to help me think impartially on the issues.

       That’s why I was so disheartened by Ms. Harrop’s article, “Let’s Stop Arguing About Birth Control,” in the Satuday, Feb. 2 edition of the Register & Bee. In that article, Harrop explains the objection that many religious conservatives have against being forced to fund contraception through Obama-care. Well and good. The Catholic Church and some evangelicals oppose contraception on doctrinal grounds. However, even though Harrop reports that “lawsuits (citing religious objections) are flying to challenge the part of the Affordable Care Act requiring contraceptive coverage,” she makes no mention whatsoever of the core of the matter: forced funding of abortion coverage by business people of faith for whom abortion is the taking of innocent, defenseless life. In the liberal mind and media, and in Obama-care, contraception and abortion are one and the same. To deny abortion coverage is to deny contraception coverage. Harrop knows that. She also knows that it is disingenuous of her not to report it. And that is disheartening.

       If we are going to solve the problems of our society we are going to have to listen to each other. But if we expect to get a fair hearing we’re going to have to report all of the facts with impartiality.

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