In today's Spokesman Review we have Reverend Steve Massey's view on the perils of requiring insurance companies to provide free birth control for women. It's an excellent example of someone who views the world and everything in it through a bakelite biblical View-Master.
Mandating that insurers provide free birth control allows people to be morally irresponsible without facing consequences. And it takes money from the pockets of those who choose to live more responsibly.
His View-Master only shows it's all about being morally responsible.
The no-cost-birth-control provision of Obama’s Affordable Care Act encourages a mindset of unrestraint. And it contributes to the sense of sexual entitlement that is a primary cause of abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, and the erosion of the family.
I’d much rather see our government encourage the only sure-fire method of reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions: abstinence. Reserving sex for marriage is part of God’s plan. Abstinence prevents unwanted pregnancies 100 percent of the time.
In Reverend Massey's mind, the issue is not about parents responsibly choosing when to have a child. It's not about responsibly preventing teen pregnancies. It's not about women being responsibly in control of their bodies. And it's not about responsibly treating medical conditions.
Reverend Massey looks at the images in his reel world and believes he is seeing the real world. He is correct that abstinence is a sure fire way to prevent pregnancy, but he's blind to the fact that teen pregnancies are highest where only abstinence is taught. He cannot see that a husband and wife may choose to wait to have a child. He cannot fathom that a woman may need "the pill" for a medical condition.
Cupping his hands tighter around his eyes to block everything except his one true 3-D vision in Kodachrome, he presses the lever and advances to the next picture.
Christians have a role to play in all of this. We can be those who live within the boundaries God has given us for sex. We can be those who support the hard work of helping women with unwanted pregnancies choose life for their babies, not abortion. Each unborn child is a precious gift from God, not a problem to be solved through abortion.
Reverend Massey's limited vision results in new boundaries for everyone else. In stating Christians have a role to play he implies that only Christians possess and follow the moral compass he desires everyone to follow. He also tries to create an equivalency between contraception and abortion as if they are one and the same. Again, it's the morality he derives from adamantly staring at the same seven tiny stereoscopic images.
No-cost birth control may at first glance seem like the solution to public health problems. But a more thoughtful look reveals the obvious: The end does not always justify the means.
I do not doubt that the Reverend Massey cannot see the irony of a man with 16mm transparency binocular sight telling everyone to take a more thoughtful look by shielding our eyes from that which surrounds us.
But the pictures are so pretty.