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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. jj

    A single payer system would have given the best care to everyone. The right wing republicans and corporate interests are the reason why we have this hybrid scheme based on insurance, and this mess.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • QS

      Indeed – that's what we typically get for compromising with conservatives....less effective, watered-down legislation that somehow still benefits the wealthiest Americans over everybody else.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Michael

      We will have a Single Payer system as soon as Hillary Clinton is elected with a Democratic House and Senate.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Oh Christ, I just puked. That's the scariest thing I've ever heard.

        November 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Move the Britain if you want that sh!t. The US is supposed to be the land of the free, not the land of the mollycoddled.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  2. Keeth

    This is great. Democrats begging for Bible-based government programs.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • QS

      How did you get there?

      November 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  3. Pinkie

    I don't hear about these church pastors turning down people who receive 10% of their members government Social Security checks. What hypocrites !!!!! The reason Jesus turned to the church is because no one in the government was willing to feed and help the poor like it is today. Stop twisting my brothers words !!!!!!!

    November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  4. Reality # 2

    Only for the newbies:

    Putting a quick end to all the inanity of religion especially the Christian and Islamic cons:

    (only for the newbies)

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  5. Phil Hersey

    Because they are utter total non-believers in it for the job and the status and the attention. These hypocrites, who are Christians as they acknowledge Jesus as "lord", are sent to hell in Matt 25:41 believers or not.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      From Professor John P. Meier at the University of Notre Dame:

      "When commenting on the use of phylake (prison) in Matt 11:2, Meier [Marginal Jew II,198] notes that "the whole passage depicting the last judgment (Matt 25:) is either a Matthean creation or heavily redacted by Matthew."

      Find added discussion at http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb425.html.

      Bottom line: Matt 25 :41 is historically nil.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  6. I'mvotingforHillary

    They are "buffett Christians" who pick and chose what they want to preach about. If you are gay or have an abortion then you will find the condemning you, but if you are an adulterer, fornicator, poor, sick, etc they will ignore you. They are poor excuses for Christians.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Blaming the whole tree for its broken branches or wormy fruits is a shameful perspective to own up to...

      November 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  7. Seastanker

    Why are people on message boards always so mean?

    November 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  8. DaveCA

    Religion for profit businesses like Osteen's and these other money grubbers are "christian"s in name ONLY.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • I'mvotingforHillary

      So true.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  9. KaPueo

    What utter nonsense. No one will be denied health INSURANCE in any state. Health CARE, on the other hand is a different matter, because Obamacare is only about insurance. And why would anyone on the left – and this writer is surely on the left – want all those Right Wing, Christian, Conservative, Racist, Tea Party preachers (They are all those things aren't they?) involved with a government program?

    November 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • I'mvotingforHillary

      Yes they are all those things and if they can get involved with government issues when it comes to gays then they can get involved with the poor.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Josh

      Tell that to the thousands (millions?) on Medicaid/Medical or whatever the name might be, in state who's government has refused to expand their coverage. By choice. They've chosen to not accept a profound amount of "free" Federal money to cover those state's poor citizens. They refuse to help those in need for purely political reasons. It's sickening to say the least.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  10. Michael

    This just goes to show that the religion of most conservatives is just as morally bankrupt as their favored political party is devoid of ethics, honor and ideas for moving the country forward.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  11. A.J.

    This article is stupid!

    November 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You're a towel!

      November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • dylan

      Actually, You are the one!

      November 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • MJ

      I second the motion that this is one of the dumbest articles I have ever spent two minutes reading. The lines of nonsense under the pillar of a homeless person that likely doesn't even know that any of this is happening is comical. Who cares if the relegious leaders refuse to weigh in on the political debate? I seem to recall something about separation of church and state.....but maybe that was overturned by obamacare 🙂

      November 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  12. Name*js

    I know it makes the bleeding heart libs feel good to spend other folks money to help the poor but really you are just being selfish trying to relieve your guilt using other people's resources. In this way you bring everyone down and accomplish nothing except make yourself feel good on the inside while all you end up doing is hurting people. Liberalism always had the exact opposite effect of its stated intent. The Bible is not written to governments or nations (unless you are living under the old covenant still). It is meant for individuals and thus it is up to Christians or churches individually to give to those in need. As a Christian I agree that Christians in general could do a much better job at this but on the flip side I would not force my religion on any person. The argument that we should have socialized health care because we are a "Christian country" is simply ridiculous.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  13. CAF

    Dave A. hits it on the head. The Unaffordable Care Act, based on ridiculously out of touch assumptions, will lead to budget busting trillion dollar deficits. It's poorly designed from the outset and will not effectively control costs, in fact, it's going to logarithmically accelerate them, just as Medicare did due to inadequate cost controls.

    But all this numbers stuff is too tough for our 10th grade math dropout President.

    We need to bail out of the Obamacare fiasco before our economy is tanked and implement a rational, across the board plan for health care coverage that doesn't add layers of ineffective complexity like the UCA.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Brinkley Man

      Is this 2013 or 1935? Because I could swear that back in 1935, y'all said the EXACT SAME THINGS about the introduction of Social Security.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  14. Rich D

    God's love knows no bounds. Nor does man's hate.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • jrdedonato

      Simple but powerful...Well done!!!

      November 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  15. Brinkley Man

    I think it's plain for all to see. The All Mighty Dollar is what these "Christian" men covet. Way much more so than the All Mighty.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Praisethelard

      That's because the All Mighty Dollar is real, whereas the so-called All Mighty is fictional.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • Brinkley Man

        Amen brother. Amen...

        November 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  16. Dom

    The poor can always get care in the emergency room or urgent care. People try to make it sound like because they don't have insurance they are left to die or something. Not true – nobody is ever turned away from the emergency room or urgent care. They can also get emergency medicade if needed or just not pay the bill. What Obamacare is really about is making everybody pay and making the poor get some kind of insurance so the goverment (and taxpayers) are not stuck with their emegerncy room and urgent care costs. So like it or not – we are already paying for health care for the poor – ObamaCare just makes it more official. Where Obamacare goes wrong is it hurts some people who are paying for insurance and who will actually be better off now with none. So Obamacare needs to be tuned but I beleive it will in the end be better than what we had.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • ME II

      "nobody is ever turned away from the emergency room or urgent care."

      Only if their condition is life threatening, if I understand correctly.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Yes, they are condemned to die.

      The emergency room provides emergency care only – this type of care means that anyone with a progressive condition will die. If you have kidney or liver problems. Asthma that needs simple and cheap meds to be under control – they won't provide the meds, but when asthma has almost killed you, you can go get an ER treatment – and if it's in time, you're alive, if it isn't, you are dead. Lack of medical care kills people, and no, the ER does not take over.

      The ER doesn't have to help you – and will not – unless you are in immediate danger.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Or – take a diabetic. No insulin for them, no medicine. ONLY once they pass out in a coma (which, again, the hospital may or many not be able to revive them), or only when one of their limbs is gangrenous, will the ER do something – and even then – revivie, amputate, and kick them out again.

      Insulin is cheap, and would stop it – but it's not the ER's job to provide care, just to save lives.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • TELew

      Of course, how the poor are going to pay for an emergency room visit is a totally different issue. They generally don't have $1,000 laying around for an emergency.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Chrissy

      I have a brother who cannot work due to issues with his back. These issues could be surgically repaired. I can assure you no emergency room is going to fix his back.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  17. Chris

    It isn't the role of the government to ensure that everyone has AFFORDABLE healthcare. WHICH they failed to do in the ACA. It is the role of every Christian/ citizen of this country to take care of one another and it is definately the role of the CHURCH to help those 5 million people that fall through the cracks. Many churches do help in this way. I'm sure however ole'Joel will just write another self-help happy Jesus book and keep making millions. He preaches a religion that is totally dependent on the member coming back to feel better like a free weekly therapy session. Instead he should preach to people who take the real message of Jesus about being free, beautiful, and independent individuals that willingly chose to help on another. The same way God wants us to willingly choose to follow him and his message. If these people quit just going to church and hearing the Message and start LIVING the message we wouldn't need the gov't mandated health insurance tax that hurts more than it helps.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      And if you aren't of the right religion? Or your church is poor?

      Churches are a horrible safety net. Too often it's about membership drives, the religion, and not about caring for others.

      This is what the gov't is supposed to do – take care of all of it's citizens.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • QS

      The self-righteousness continues.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  18. Pat

    Our government has become nothing but a common thief, a middleman, stealing from the one and giving it away to another.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Chris

      been that way for a while now....about 50 yrs at least

      November 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Bunny

      Rush Limbaugh agrees with you. Sounds like you two have been chatting latley.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • hrladyship

      I'll bet you hated Robin Hood, too.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • amigay

      Yes, it's called SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS. courtesy of Ronnie Raygun!

      November 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  19. Chris

    This isn't a "scandal".
    CNN is one pathetic left wing propaganda network. How the hell do you know what they are preaching anyway? As if you are there, listening to all the sermons in the country.

    What a joke.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • drefromla

      if you hate CNN why are you patronizing their website? let me guess... fox troll?

      November 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  20. shabot

    These pastors are wise not to reply to something as political as Obamacare because as well intentioned as it is, it has flaws. They also have been burned by the media before and they know better.

    November 8, 2013 at 3:12 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.