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The Obamacare 'scandal' you haven't heard about
Few Bible Belt pastors mention what's in their backyard, millions of poor people trapped in the Obamacare “coverage gap.”
November 8th, 2013
10:01 AM ET

The Obamacare 'scandal' you haven't heard about

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - The Rev. Timothy McDonald gripped the pulpit with both hands, locked eyes with the shouting worshippers, and decided to speak the unspeakable.

The bespectacled Baptist minister was not confessing to a scandalous love affair or the theft of church funds. He brought up another taboo: the millions of poor Americans who won’t get health insurance beginning in January because their states refused to accept Obamacare.

McDonald cited a New Testament passage in which Jesus gathered the 5,000 and fed them with five loaves and two fishes. Members of his congregation bolted to their feet and yelled, “C’mon preacher” and “Yessir” as his voice rose in righteous anger.

“What I like about our God is that he doesn’t throw people away,” McDonald told First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta during a recent Sunday service. “There will be health care for every American. Don’t you worry when they try to cast you aside.  Just say I’m a leftover for God and leftovers just taste better the next day!”

McDonald’s congregation cheered, but his is a voice crying in the wilderness. He’s willing to condemn state leaders whose refusal to accept Obamacare has left nearly 5 million poor Americans without health coverage. But few of the most famous pastors in the Bible Belt will join him.

Joel Osteen? Bishop T.D. Jakes, and other prominent pastors throughout the South?

Like McDonald, they preach in states where crosses and church steeples dot the skyline yet the poor can’t get the health insurance they would receive if they lived elsewhere. All declined to comment.

When people talk about the Affordable Care Act, most focus on the troubled launch of its website. But another complication of the law has received less attention: a “coverage gap” that will leave nearly 5 million poor Americans without health care, according to a Kaiser Health Foundation study.

Learn more from Kaiser about the coverage gap in states that refused Obamacare

The coverage gap was created when 25 states refused to accept the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. The people who fall into this gap make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and not enough to qualify for Obamacare subsidies in their state insurance exchanges. If they lived elsewhere, they would probably get insurance. But because they live in a state that refused the new health care law, they likely will remain among the nation’s uninsured poor after Obamacare coverage kicks in come January.

The coverage gap has been treated as a political issue, but there is a religious irony to the gap that has been ignored.

Most of the people who fall into the coverage gap live in the Bible Belt, a 14-state region in the South stretching from North Carolina to Texas and Florida. The Bible Belt is the most overtly Christian region in the country, filled with megachurches and pastors who are treated like celebrities.  All but two Bible Belt states have refused to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

Should Bible Belt pastors say anything publicly about the millions of poor people in their communities stranded by the coverage gap? Is it anti-Christian for state leaders to turn down help for the people Jesus called “the least of these"? Or should pastors say nothing publicly about such issues because they are strictly political?

CNN's Sanjay Gupta explains who falls into the coverage gap

Who speaks for the poor in the coverage gap?

When these questions were sent to many of the most popular pastors in the Bible Belt, they hit a wall of silence. Virtually no prominent pastor wanted to talk about the uninsured poor in their midst.

Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest church in the nation, declined to be interviewed about the subject. So did Bishop T.D. Jakes. Their megachurches are both in Texas, the state with the nation’s highest number of people without health insurance.

Max Lucado, the best-selling Christian author who is a minister at a church in Texas, declined to speak; Charles Stanley, the Southern Baptist pastor in Georgia whose In Touch Ministries reaches millions around the globe, declined to speak; Ed Young Sr. and Ed Young Jr., a father and son in Texas who pastor two of the fastest-growing churches in the nation, also declined to speak. 

Bishop T.D. Jakes declined to talk about the millions of poor people stranded in the “coverage gap."

The list goes on.

The silence is not hard to understand. Obamacare is a polarizing political issue in the Bible Belt. A pastor who publicly weighs in on the subject could divide his or her congregation or risk their job. And some prominent pastors like Osteen are popular in part because they  do not alienate fans by taking political stands.

The Rev. Phil Wages, senior pastor Winterville First Baptist Church in Georgia and a blogger, was one of the few Bible Belt ministers willing to speak on the subject.

He says he won’t preach about the coverage gap created by the state’s rejection of the Medicaid expansion because he has what he calls theological differences with the thrust of the new health care law.

Wages says the Bible teaches that the care of orphans, widows and the sick are given to the church, not to the government. Early Christians were the first to create hospitals, orphanages and hospices.

“I have an issue with the government coming in to get money through me - through taxes - to take care of people, when my argument is that I should be free to give to charities or to my church in order to take care of the sick and destitute,” he says.

Wages says he has no doubt that lack of health insurance is a monumental problem, and that many people are poor because of circumstances beyond their control. Yet there is no New Testament example of Jesus trying to shape public policy on behalf of the poor.

“I do not see any biblical precedent where Jesus ever went to Herod or Pilate and said you should be taking care of the poor,” Wages says. “Jesus told his disciples to take care of the poor and the apostles said the same thing to the early church.”

Wages’ position is impractical and unbiblical, says Ronald Sider, a longtime advocate for the poor and author of “The Scandal of Evangelical Politics."

Churches and charities don’t have enough resources to take care of an estimated 48 million Americans who don’t have health care. The Bible is filled with examples of God's fury over economic oppression of the poor, which Christians should regard as scandalous, he says.

“If you are not sharing God’s concern for the poor, it raises huge questions about whether you are a Christian at all,” he says about pastors who say nothing about the uninsured poor.

“As God’s spokespersons, you ought to be talking about God’s concern for the poor as much as God. In the richest nation in world history, it’s contradictory to have millions without health insurance.”

“It absolutely stinks”

The coverage gap may inspire a religious debate, but for its victims the issue is raw and personal.

A recent New York Times article about the coverage gap revealed that many of its victims are the working poor: cooks, cashiers, sales clerks and waitresses.

“These are people who are working people but they haven’t been able to afford health insurance or their employers don’t offer it and they’re stuck,” says Andy Miller, editor of Georgia Health News, a nonprofit news organization that covers health news in the state. “A lot of these folks have chronic health conditions.”

They are people like Shelley “Myra” Mitchell, a single mom with four children who makes $9 an hour working at a Chick-fil-A in Georgia. She makes $18,000 a year – too much for Georgia’s existing Medicaid program, but not enough to qualify for subsidies to sign up for Obamacare’s insurance marketplace in Georgia.

Mitchell’s voice grew edgy with frustration when asked to describe her health needs. She rang up about $20,000 in emergency room bills because she has no health insurance. She can’t afford to get pap smears, go to the dentist or get surgery for a two-year-old hernia. She can’t take medication for her depression and anxiety because she can’t afford it.

She thought she could get help under Obamacare but recently learned she can’t because Georgia did not accept the law’s Medicaid expansion.

“It stinks,” she says. “I’ve been dealing with this hernia for two years now, and I can’t get anyone to help me because I don’t have health insurance. It absolutely stinks.”

Why pastors should stay silent about the coverage gap

Mitchell’s plight may stink. But at what point should a pastor go public on such a complex issue, and what could he or she actually say?

Two prominent evangelical pastors openly wrestled with those questions.

Andy Stanley is one of the most popular evangelical pastors in the nation. He is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, a megachurch with at least 33,000 members. He is also the author of the forthcoming book “How to be Rich,” which urges Christians to be "rich in good deeds" instead of wealth. His church recently announced that it donated $5.2 million to Atlanta charities and provided another 34,000 volunteer hours.

Joel Osteen has the largest church in America. He also declined to speak about the coverage gap.

Stanley says the coverage gap disturbs him. The church cannot handle the needs of millions of uninsured people alone and should quit taking shots at government involvement, he says. But he adds that it’s not anti-Christian for political leaders in states like Georgia to turn down the Medicaid expansion for the poor.

“If you really want to know how concerned someone is for the poor ask them what percentage of their personal money they give to organizations that help the poor,” he says. “Ask them how much time they give to organizations that help the poor.”

Stanley says it would be difficult for any pastor to talk about the Medicaid expansion without addressing the entire law.

“I tried to imagine a scenario where I urged people to write our governor encouraging him to reconsider his decision regarding the expansion of Medicaid for the poor,” he says. “As I imagined that, I got the feeling that by the time I finished explaining the issue, people’s eyes would be glazed over.”

Pastors who don't preach one way or the other on Medicaid expansion aren't callous or apathetic, says Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. They may be suspicious of a bigger government and skeptical of whether this move will solve the problem.

“The Bible calls on Christians to answer the cries of the poor,” he says. “All Christians must do that. The question of the Medicaid expansion is a question of how we do that. I don’t hear many people arguing that we shouldn’t care about the plight of the poor when it comes to medical care. The question is a genuine debate about the role of the state.”

Moore says some people have a “utopian view” of what state power can accomplish.

“Government programs sometimes encourage dependency, unintentionally break down family structures, and become unsustainable financially,” Moore says.

Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel megachurch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wondered aloud about what he could, and should, say.

Florida, which has the second highest number of people without health insurance behind Texas, has not accepted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Coy says he hasn’t spoken publicly about poor people missing health coverage in Florida. But he has called the governor to get more information.

“I’m not an activist guy. I don’t tell the government what to do. I am a church guy. I teach the Bible.”

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for the poor, though, Coy says. He grew up in a poor family that couldn’t afford to go to the dentist. His church also spends a large percentage of its budget on serving the poor.

Coy says he is suspicious of large-scale programs that are publicly funded because they are often abused.

“One side of our society is saying, 'We need this,' while on the other side is saying, 'This isn’t fair and isn’t going to work.’ So how should a pastor, who has a heart to help people, respond?”

Why pastors should speak out

The Rev. Shane Stanford’s answer to Coy is simple: Talk about justice for the poor like Jesus did.

Stanford is the senior pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis and author of “Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants.”

He is also HIV-positive. He was born a hemophiliac and contracted the virus when he was 16 during treatment for his illness.

Stanford says he publicly speaks out about the millions of Americans stranded without health coverage because he knows how it feels. Once, after heart surgery, he was getting a transfusion when a nurse came into the room and pulled the needle out of his arm because she said he had maxed out his health insurance coverage.

He says standing up for people in the coverage gap is a matter of justice.

“Sometimes pastors have to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.”

Stanford ignores fellow pastors who counsel him to be silent about his state and others that refused to accept the Medicaid expansion.

“They say you have to be careful talking about political issues,” he says. “When I look at their lives, part of me thinks they never had that needle yanked out of their arm.”

Conservative pastors who urge their colleagues to avoid politics are hypocrites, says James Cone, a prominent theologian who has spent much of his career writing books condemning white churches for what he says is their indifference to social justice.

“When their own interests are involved, they are very much involved in politics,” Cone says. “Same-sex marriage and abortion – they have no trouble politically opposing them.”

Cone, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, says a nation is defined by how it treats its most vulnerable members. But there is an entrenched hostility to poor people in America that goes unchallenged by some white, conservative Christians, he says.

“When poor people get food stamps, they get mad,” Cone says. “When the rich and corporations get tax breaks and pay no taxes, they don’t say anything.”

McDonald, the pastor who spoke out on behalf of poor people from his Atlanta church, says Jesus provided universal health care. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus healing marginalized people.

“He did it for free,” McDonald says of Jesus’ healing. “The reason the crowds gathered around Jesus primarily was for healing. People want wholeness.”

Perhaps the gap between Bible Belt pastors who say nothing about the uninsured poor and those who do is also rooted in history. 

Conservative Christians have traditionally emphasized providing charity to the poor - soup kitchens, donations to impoverished people in undeveloped countries - while progressive Christians have blended charity with calls for public policy changes that help the poor.

The distinction between both approaches was distilled by a memorable quote from the late Brazilian Roman Catholic Bishop Dom Helder Camara, who said: "When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why so many people are poor they call me a communist."

That may be changing as a new generation of evangelicals rise in the Bible Belt and elsewhere. One minister who speaks to them is the Rev. Timothy Keller, a conservative Christian author who pastors a megachurch in New York.

Keller is the author of “Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just,” a popular book that argues that evangelicals should do more than preach personal salvation; they must “speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.” He is a role model for many younger evangelicals.

“God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to ‘do justice.’ ’’

CNN.com recently contacted Keller to see if he would talk about "Generous Justice" and how it might apply to health care and the poor. Did he think pastors in Bible Belt states should say anything publicly on behalf of poor people being denied basic medical insurance? His publicist said she would contact Keller with the request.

Several days later, she returned with Keller’s answer.

He had no comment. 

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Baptist • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Courts • Culture wars • Ethics • evangelicals • Fundamentalism • Politics • Poverty

soundoff (3,619 Responses)
  1. jerry

    Everyone qualifies for health care under Obama care. There are subsidies for the working poor through the state exchanges. It is either a federal exchange or a state exchange. Is this article talking about not expanding medicaid rolls in certain states? There is still health care available. Why are you blaming the pastors for some flaw in the law?

    November 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • QS

      "Most of the people who fall into the coverage gap live in the Bible Belt, a 14-state region in the South stretching from North Carolina to Texas and Florida. The Bible Belt is the most overtly Christian region in the country, filled with megachurches and pastors who are treated like celebrities. All but two Bible Belt states have refused to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare."

      November 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • John BlakeCNN

      Hi Jerry:
      This is John Blake, author of the article. I've decided to hop on the comment section to respond to readers, if they had questions or comments for me. It's just not true that "everyone qualifies for health care" under Obamacare. I once thought that. But if you live in a state that refused to accept Obamacare, it's going to be much more difficult to qualify for Obamacare. I explain why in the article. The result: at least 5 million people, most of them working poor, won't be able to get basic health insurance because states refused Obamacare. I'm not blaming pastors for this. I'm asking in the article if their ministry is about serving and defending the "least of these," should they say anything publicly about all these poor people stranded without health insurance.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Tom Murray

        I see the church fighting for the poor and weakest people not just in this country but around the world. And on top of that they do not discriminate, even if your are not born yet, the church will and does fight for them too. The church is always there for everyone, just walk in take a seat and ask for help. My bet is you will find more than help.

        November 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  2. radioman

    Taking care of the poor and reaching out to minister to them has always been a natural directive of Christ. Why is it that if somehow the government fails to take care of them that pastors need to point that out? Isn't that the church's (Christians) responsibility in the first place?

    November 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • QS

      You have it backwards – it's the churches and religions in general that have failed to do what they say only they should be doing, so the government has developed programs to offer help to the poor that cannot come from religion.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • John BlakeCNN

      If pastors speak for the church, then pastors would be speaking out on behalf of the poor for the church.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  3. mrkhrrs

    What this article completely glosses over is that people in states that are using ACA aren't enrolling due to sticker shock.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • QS

      Things that aren't true should be glossed over.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  4. Lou Fischer

    Great reporting. We need more done on the income inequality in our country.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  5. tet1953

    Oh, that explains it. Jesus didn't make everybody have health insurance, so neither should we. Gotta love bible thumpers.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • prfreedom

      Olsteen and the other slick shyster aren't Christian Preachers no matter what they say to confuse the sheep. They're first and foremost businessmen. They are out to make millions while they sell you Christianity so watered down that the Devil will drink it and smile.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • QS

      Religion would be doomed if more people understood the inherent lack of logic in their religious beliefs....or not – generally they just dismiss logic by citing "faith" as if the two exist as one.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Mike

      Good one!

      November 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  6. aubreyjensen78

    The crux of the matter is this. We are approaching the Second Coming of Christ. As we fast, pray and intercede, I believe the Church in America will see a Third Great Awakening. Like the Early Church in the Book of Acts, we will see signs and wonders, that include healings and miracles among the poor, executed with greater efficacy than any policy or legislation can create. But, it is critical to seek His face and be who our Lord wants the Church to be...not what Washington mandates.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • wannabegates

      I believe you are right. As part of this, the church will finally step up to their responsibility. Since the beginning G-d has mandated believers to take care of the poor, and the widowed. Not the state, not Obumacare, the church itself!

      November 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Mike

      Are you off your meds again?

      November 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • David

        People have been waiting for the second coming of Christ since 1000 AD. If you want to make this place a better place, devote your time to the here and now, otherwise you are just a bunch of opportunists saving yourselves and stepping over others you could help to get there.

        November 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  7. redrydr

    While I generally agree that we should speak out, I can see it now....Pastor speaks out, secularist media challenge separation of church and state.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  8. Mark Gale

    This is a typical of the Marjoe movement. They are good Christians only when it suits them. I am sick and tired of these
    two faced people. It is a shame that the poor in the South most of whom are African-American will suffer because of the
    selfishness of the Marjoe movement who say they support all Christian principals but really do not. Hey Joel hows that
    Mercedes you drive or is it a Rolls or possibly both. Did you thank your parishioners for them. I am sure glad I am Jewish
    and live in California.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  9. hey

    being poor is not a sin

    November 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  10. tired of the spin

    So now CNN is saying ObamaCare failure is the church's fault? They mention church steeples dotting the skyline so the church must be loaded, but how old are these churches? And is that the only thing that dots the skyline? And the work the Christian Church has done for the homeless is now tossed to the side? You should be ashamed! CNN, you have no trouble trying to keep God out, and now you want to blame Him??? Again, SHAME on you! But say what you want, God doesen't give or take depending on what CNN thinks, he will bring his people through.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • markinator

      The article did not blame any clergy for the shortcomings of the ACA. The article merely points out that in matters of gay marriage, and contraception mandates, these megachurch pastors in the american south cannot hold their tongues. But when they have to revert to caring for the poor, like they so often like to point out, they have no comment about it. If you had read the article, you'd know that.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Evan

      What bothers me more is how religion has played a role in our government. It was never meant to have significance because our founders realized that all empires that exisited were united under a single religion. This single relgion ended up eliminating tolerance for all other religions and thus causing these empires to spread "their knowledge" across the globe. Religions are irrational and can cause the most rational people to behave inan irrational manner. This is why I laugh at all of hate towards the muslim world and atheists. Like who are you people to judge anyone?

      November 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • JAMES OLIVER

      It seems we read different articles.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  11. Smithers

    The point of this article isn't because people are crying to hear what TD Jakes or Joel Osteen has to say on the subject, everyone knows they aren't going to comment because they are hypocrits. The point of bringing this up is to highlight that hypocrisy, and the hypocrisy of many people who paint themselves as followers of christ. If you read the actual teachings of the bible, Jesus WAS a socialist. He was against any kind of war or violence, even retaliatory. If Jesus magically resurrected today in 2013 America, many of the people who claim to live their lives in his way would be on Fox News tearing him apart as a socialist gay hippie.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Smithers. your interpetation of what Jesus stood for is wrong. Jesus made it clear he was not going to comment on the goveremnt. If you know your bible, you know where those passages are. Jesus did not expouse "socialism". He preached the "church" helping eachother as a "family" related by the spiritual blood of being christians. The "socialist" Jesus is usually used when those who could care less about Jesus use to attack "chritians". Its a huge stretch to link Jesus to political systems. But I agree with you that jesus and what often the main stream church teaches are not the same.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Smithers

        I would not pretend to be a religious scholar, what I was merely pointing out was how out of line current "christian" views are with what Christ actually taught. The mere act of spending billions of dollars to fight wars and build weapons, something many in the religious right hang their hat on, would have been something Jesus would have preached against. Turn the other cheek really meant turn the other cheek. I wonder how many right wing warhawks would have felt if we applied that principle towards 9/11.

        November 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  12. annier

    Rick Warren, Jakes, Osteen live like rock stars. You really expect THEM to be concerned about the poor? They are ALL hypocritical b@$t@rds.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • The Scam

      Well the ti-tle got the slick part right,

      Joel Osteen’s gay problem: The religious right is history if he can’t solve it

      Evangelicals need to tone down their views to stay relevant. The slick Houston pastor is showing them how it's done

      http://www.salon.com/2013/11/03/joel_osteens_gay_problem_the_religious_right_is_history_if_he_cant_solve_it/

      November 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  13. L

    Atheism is like any religion. You believe you are correct and everyone else is wrong. Then you hate when others think their right while you think the same. "God does not exist" is your opinion and belief not a fact.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • 7

      Atheism isn't a religion as there is nothing to worship.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • Samuel Jackson

        A shark ate me....a f$!ckin SHARK!!!

        November 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bryan

      Only because you don't understand Atheism. There is a major difference that you are ignoring. Atheism doesn't make a claim with little to no physical evidence. Religious people make claims for a belief that involves an implied belief in magic and ghosts (I'm paraphrasing but thats the heart of it). We have no problem with you making that claim. However, the burden of proof is on you. Atheism doesn't make any outrageous claims that are unsupported by facts. Atheists don't claim that an invisible man talks to us or that human beings are capable of miracles. Therein lies the difference. Atheism requires no faith. If you showed me proof of a god, I would convert this instant. However, you haven't so i wont.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  14. sly

    A veteran gets his leg blown off, and when he returns home to America, he is prohibited from getting medical care, due to his 'pre-existing' condition.

    Unbelievable that some Republicans want to prohibit 50 MILLION Americans from getting health care.

    No surprise that the TeaBillies hate the poor and the blacks, as they hate all non-whites, but the rest of the Republicans should be ashamed to want to deny health care to Americans.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • pat

      Yes, the Republicons should be ashamed, but they are not. And that demonstrates just how phony these faux religious fanatics really are. They like to preach about it, but not really walk the talk.....

      November 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  15. CSD

    Face it – most of these "bible"-belt snake oil salesman know that their "flock" cannot stand the realty of a black president regardless of any so-called "christian" ideals, The KKK considers itself a "christian" organization – so what?

    November 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  16. MickeyOregon

    Why is the Church, are the churches expecting government to do this at all. Before it was decided that the government should run (incompetently I might add) all social welfare systems, this was the job of churches and the community. Under BHO's health insurance tinkering (it is NOT at all healthcare reform and was never meant to be) church funded hospitals (the nation's majority) and community hospitals (the nation's second largest number of hospitals) are forbidden to provide free or discounted care to the needy, because that would compete with BHO's little scheme. Churches should NOT be asking the incompetent heartless wasteful bureaucracies to take over their job. Or, like liberals, they will turn off their own charity with the expectation that government handles it all.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • krankenstein111

      What exactly is Obama's "little scheme" ? And are you saying that if government stayed out of the healthcare business that the churches would take care of it all? funny how they dont want Government in their lives. but they want the tax breaks. The Neocons cant even fund healthcare now, are they expecting the loyal flock to pony up more than the 10% their God tells them to now? good luck with that! I just see the money being spent on elaborate buildings, superPAC funding, and lawsuit payouts over the little issue of priests and their fascination with little boys privates. bunch of sociopaths.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  17. shuffler

    Easy fix. Let those who cast stones, that church, pay to insire those poor. Making poor out of middle income folks is not the answer.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  18. davidusaf

    "The coverage gap was created when 25 states refused to accept the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare."

    Well this is just unacceptable. The Governors of these states should be jailed. After all Obama knows what is best for you.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  19. aubreyjensen78

    Jesus said, "the poor you will always have among you." The Early Church throughout the book of Acts witnessed signs and wonders among the poor. As churches pray, intercede and fast, a Third Great Awakening will hit the Church in America, caring for the poor unlike any other time in history, before Christ's Second Coming. We will see signs and wonders again. The Church will always be victorious, when governmental politics fail.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Will that be before or after the 7 headed, ten horned, ursine footed, amphibious monster climbs out of the sea?

      November 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        What do you mean, an African or European 7 headed, ten horned, ursine footed, amphibious monster?

        November 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.