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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. Michael Kewl

    ObamaCare was NEVER gonna help these poor souls out and it was designed that way...

    November 10, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  2. Fubarack

    Like gun rights or gay rights, or marijuana laws, sometimes you have to move to the state that has what you want.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      That's actually fairly true. If only the Free State Project took off.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  3. Maddy

    True. For instance, I really let u no who have it for her disgusting comments about a raping Sarah Palin in front of her disabled child

    November 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Maddy the good one

      U should concentrate on the important stuff troll, like I. I tell others to quit armed robbery on this blog of integrity. How many take names do u need? I no observer only has 231

      November 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
      • Observer

        The DIMWITTED Maddy thinks I use 231 names.

        The DIMWIT is off by 230. I only use one.

        November 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
        • Maddy

          So, u agree, Sam stone is a vile virus! U r somehow convinced that u r sinless, the one true blue holier than thou miss perfect.

          Just the opposite, hambone

          November 10, 2013 at 5:04 am |
  4. stanky weed patch

    Agreed

    November 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • stanky weed patch

      U no what I like best about athies, honestly? When one of their own gets out of line, they don't hesitate to tell her.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  5. fyi

    The problem with atheists is rather basic. They only find the good in others.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Please stop making general statements about atheists that have nothing to do with atheism.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
      • Maddy

        No! Butt out bucko! Or I'll call the CNN police

        November 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  6. thomas.krafft

    They say America must be a Christian nation, but when America tries to actually do Christian (and universally accepted virtuous) deeds, they reject it. One pastor said "the care of orphans, widows and the sick are given to the church, not to the government." Sorry, preacher – but the care of orphans, widows and the sick are given to the PEOPLE – through their churches AND their government. Jesus was murdered by preachers and politicians. These hypocrites still don't get that. They lift their hands to the sky, praising the Lord for everything. meanwhile, millions of people go hungry and sick just outside the doors of their church. Jesus said you don't need to go to church, and that Sunday (sabbath) should be spent doing good deeds, giving charity. When was the last time you heard THAT in church?

    November 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      What's virtuous about stealing my money to pay for the health care of people I couldn't care less about?

      November 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • thomas.krafft

        You are not an island unto yourself, even if you want to be. You are a free individual, who lives in a society that is part of a civilization with thousands of years of proof that we survive, and thrive, develop and prosper more when we help each other.

        November 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'm obviously not free if I'm subjected to theft every week. If you wanna help people, go ahead, that's your prerogative. I don't and I don't want my money to either.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • thomas.krafft

          You're welcome to move to any country which is predominately libertarian. Oh, that's right – there are none. You could get pretty close though by living in Mexico, or maybe Nigeria. And then you can see first hand what happens when society is run by those who believe everyone should just fend for themselves.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          First off, I'm a conservative, not a libertarian, although I'd certainly be close to libertarian. Secondly, neither of those systems are close to libertarian. Third, I believe you may be confusing libertarian with anarchism. I believe in a strong police force and the rule of law.

          Also, why don't you move to a socialist country? Cuba if you're hardline, or a Scandinavian country if you're just a namby-pamby liberal.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • Lara

        Please feel free to leave the society you don't want to pay for and go to your Mad Max Thunderdome libertarian paradise and enjoy! Take most of Texas with you by all means. I mean, if you don't get that we're all in this together...you need to go back to Pre K before they defund it.

        November 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Mad Max's society was anarchist, not libertarian. Also, from my experience with the average Texan (not all of them), they don't like freedom. They'd prefer to live in a fascist theocracy.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        The imagined freedoms of Libertarians don't carry much weight with me. I'll be more than happy to "steal" from them what's needed to make our society work.

        November 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I've already said I'm not a libertarian and the day will come when people won't tolerate being robbed anymore.

          REPEAL THE 16th!!

          November 9, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Might as well hope for an end to centralized government while you're at it.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I have nothing inherently against centralized government as long as they support freedom.

          Anyway, you're right, it's a pipe-dream that will almost certainly never happen. This is just my way of venting at the man. One can understand those militia guys building communes in the wilderness. If only they weren't all psychos.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • centeredpiece

      I guess you are blind to the many religiously affiliated organizations that toil (on days OTHER than the Sabbath) to feed, clothe, house, education and tend the poor and ailing. Must be nice to have such blinders. You can discharge your duty to help the poor simply by voting in candidates who take money from taxpayers to support programs that do very little to get people out of poverty. Jesus NEVER said to use the political process to discharge your duty to the poor. He said, "Feed them yourselves" to the disciples concerned about the crowd going hungry. He didn't say, "Quick, run into town and organized people to vote for Democrats!!" The idea that bloated and ineffective government programs fulfill Christ's invitation to "follow me" is beyond inane. It does, however, ensure that some can comfortably rest in their recliners, thinking themselves morally superior to the people whose money they take to run useless government programs.

      November 10, 2013 at 9:24 am |
      • thomas.krafft

        Sorry, but again, in a free society like ours, it turns out that a majority of us often wish to express our good virtues, compassion and charity through OUR government. And that's how democracy and our republic works. Just because you don't agree with me, doesn't mean I'm somehow un-American, or socialist, or anti-Christian, or any number of names and negative references – including several you chose to include in your comment. And here's the second part of this reply: You talk about wasteful government programs, or that some programs are abused by people who don't need any help. This is something that almost EVERYONE agrees is a problem. But when YOU never ask or want to find out exactly how much waste or fraud is happening, that speaks to your true heart more than anything else. So here are some facts: 1 out of every 5 children in America is hungry. That's 16 Million kids. Government programs that serve a specific purpose (as opposed to a general fund, like military spending) are actually often found to be MORE efficient and cost effective than private programs. And whenever some conservative has demanded a program be audited for fraud, the result typically found 2% to maybe 7% of recipients were cheating the system.

        Just using this one group of people, 16 million children, are you telling us you're willing to let 15,680,000 children starve and possibly die, just because 2% of food recipients might be abusing the program – or more likely, not actually be poor enough to qualify?

        Be careful when you open your mouth. Nonsense might come out. Just admit you have allowed yourself to get sucked into the frenzied mob, to become so angry at a made-up enemy that you can't even recognize it is YOU that is wrong – not about God, and not about the need for fiscal conservatism, but in thinking any progressive, liberal or social program is wrong. It is not.

        November 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  7. Adam

    It was her choice tho have four kids not go to collage sacrifice beforehand. I'm not empathetic of her case.

    November 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Birds

      I would not sacrifice my kids to any collage, either. As a religious art form it's a bit tacky.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • Maddy

        Well played.

        November 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Spoken like a true christian

      Spoken like a true christian

      November 9, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        How could you possibly deduce his religion from that?

        November 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Cynthia

      How do you know she sacrificed college? She might be a college graduate who married, stayed at home to raise her kids while hubby worked. Hubby also played and left her on day alone, broke with 4 children to fed. Maybe she took the 1st job she found to put food on the table. You shouldn't assume anything about her until her walk in her shoes and hear her entire life story.

      November 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  8. doug

    What have we to do with judging outsiders. If my kingdom were of this world my followers would fight. Christians need to understand they don't wage war against flesh and blood.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Jen

      That'd sure be a first time ever lesson for them.

      November 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  9. Leigh Anne

    I find it interesting that so many pastors would refuse to talk about care for the poor.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      This is the real view of many Christians, and I would say, many ignorant Christians.

      November 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  10. Observer

    Once again faith / hharri / fake Obserser, etc. is PROVING how Christians can LIE and have ZERO INTEGRITY.

    God hates liars according to the Bible.

    faith is in BIG TROUBLE with God according to the Bible. Ooops! Tough luck.

    November 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Maddy

      One twisted sister, for sure.

      November 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • MAX

        I can't stand him. I get so mad.

        November 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Maddy

          She is a pest.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • fyi

          The worst. I can't sleep!

          November 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  11. lol??

    Mad is on a soviet death panel for comments.

    Self elected, fer sure.

    November 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Maddy

      Lotsolies using the same tactics as "faith" does. Wonder why?

      November 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • lol??

        "Maddy
        Can you ever stay on topic?"..
        Council of one??

        November 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Maddy

          Apparently, you can't.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Can u keep a secret? Maddy is Sam stone.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Maddy

        No, I'm not, oh name-stealing moron.

        November 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  12. Sean Lynch

    DM Murdoch has self-published several accounts about her understsnding of the Lord Jesus Christ. She calls herself a scholar.

    Perhaps you've never heard of her. For a good laugh, take a look at some of the things she believes. She is a great humorist without intending to be. Her various preposterous and ridiculous theories guarentee her a permanent spot right here

    November 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Maddy

      Stop stealing names, you moron.

      November 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Horus

      DM Murdoch believes Horus was the dude the writers of the new testament used to fashion Christ after. Plus Buddha and many others.

      Her proof for this is based on logical connections. Horus lived before Christ. Therefore, he was the source for their ideas on how to make up Christ.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  13. Ken Margo

    A lesson for those debating rebrobate athies. They cannot win. Therefore, they cheat in any way, in every way.

    They hate Jews. They hate everything. They believe in zeitgeist. That's it.

    BOYCOTT CNN'S ADVERTISERS

    November 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Maddy

      Stop stealing names, you moron.

      November 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Maddy

        Okay

        November 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Maddy

          Bitch.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Observer

          mind your own buisness alqaeda. stop stalking.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Observer

          he is not interested in you. leave him alone

          November 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Maddy

          Stop stealing names, moron.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Maddy

          okay

          November 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • JR

          I was charged with stalking just yesterday.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      C what I mean?

      Maddy. Try this. Tell that troll to stop stealing names 500 million more times. C if that helps. If not, call him a lying witch, a lying christian, u no, all that stuff, for another 5 years. That should do it, ya think?

      November 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • sam stone

        Atta girl!

        November 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Maddy

        If the shoe fits, wear it, hypocrite.

        November 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  14. aaron

    You understand neither religion nor government. Makes sense why you blog on CNN. Joke.

    November 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  15. Bubba

    Nice to see Christians advocating care for the poor, rather than just Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. Jesus was NOT a Capitalist. Jesus was a Righteous Socialist.

    Separate Jesus from the GOP, because the two are working different social platforms to achieve the same SPIRITUAL goals, which is the ONLY thing the two have in common.

    November 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • lol??

      Socies hate families, babies, and fathers. That's weirdness in action and antichrist.

      November 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Maddy

        Do you ever tell the truth?

        November 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • lol??

        LBJ's War on Poverty was a war on fathers and the kings of the castles.

        November 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Maddy

          Can you ever stay on topic?

          November 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Maddy

          And why doesn't it surprised me that you would be against the Civil Rights Act?

          November 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • lol??

          Mad,
          "Maddy
          Can you ever stay on topic?".

          November 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Maddy

          Apparently, you can't.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • lol??

      Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

      Blessing americult, SCOTUS, and Obamascare?? NOT.
      AMA, burorats, and ins co CEO's?? NOT.
      IRS, attorneys, and health czars?? NOT.

      November 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Maddy

        Somalia beckons you.

        November 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • lol??

          Mad,
          "Maddy
          Can you ever stay on topic?"

          November 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Maddy

          So when you no answer, you parrot a question previously asked to you?
          You obviously hate the government of the US. Somalia beckons you. Is that CLEAR enough for you, lotsolies?

          November 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Jesus was a hippy carpenter who believed he had magic powers. I'd rather not live in a country whose health system was based on his teachings.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • MAX

        A carpenter! U don't even no if he lived. Give a rest akira

        November 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Derp.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Maddy

          You sound extremely confused, Max.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Akira

          @MAX: ???

          November 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  16. connie bennett

    I worked as a social worker for the Fed and the state of Oregon. Homeless and poor people have been getting medical care for decades. Under Obama care the death panels may decide to put them down along with the old and the seriously ill.
    Don't confuse and support the totalitarian power grab called Obamacare with Christian compassion as it definitely is not.
    Many Christian denominations built our nations hospitals and now they are being forced to go against Biblical conscience to kill unborn babies etc and deny care to those they normally served with care.

    November 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Maddy

      Oh, bs. There are no "death panels." And please show us, chapter and verse, where the Bible says anything about abortion.
      Quit parroting lies told to you by Rush Hannity Palin Beck. You look absurd doing so.

      November 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Connie doesn't mention that the poor in Oregon have benefited since 1993 from the state-run Oregon Health Plan. And she completely leaves out the fact that emergency rooms costs for people who can't afford to pay are covered by tax dollars. And apparently, she doesn't understand that the "Death Panels" she fears are run by the insurance corporations who will when possible, let their policy holders die rather than pay for high-cost treatments.

      November 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  17. Reality # 2

    Tis a matter of money and paying off our debts:

    How do we do that when we are paying huge amounts to keep Islam under control??

    November 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Cindy

      The Islam extremists are a real problem but what about all these pet projects, IRS exploits such as paying 4 billion in tax returns to people living outside this country in 2011, government waste, cronyism, back door deals.

      November 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Taz

        In other words, your GOTP.

        November 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Cindy

          Say What??????????????/

          November 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Taz

          Connect the dots, simpleton.

          November 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Donn S.

    I would suggest reading "Toxic Charity" a book that explains the harm in making dependents out of able body people. There is a better way and we should be smart enough to find it.

    November 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Skarphace

      A "better way" would be welcomed. However, merely saying "people who cannot take care of themselves should not get any help from our government" is not the answer. In a rich country like America, there is no excuse not to care for the needy.

      November 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • Akira

        I agree. Any nation that doesn't care for its poor and marginalized cannot be totled "The greatest nation on earth. "

        November 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • MAX

          Agreed

          November 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I agree that there is a better way. However, I would rather not let innocent victim suffer while we figure it out and implement it.

      November 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Donna Houston

      And while we look for it these people in need right now should just die? or suffer in silence?

      November 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Donna Houston

      And while we try and figure it out the people in need right now should quietly die, or suffer in silence?

      November 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Cindy

      Yea but the libs won't let us drug test them or limit terms of enrollment shorter than 1 year, or castrate the lifers and the food stamp explosion is gotten way, way out of hand and people are actually paid to find food stamp recipients.

      HMMMMM, pretty radical thoughts............................................

      November 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • trey

        Shullbit. The worst welfare states are red. Why doesn't the states implement that, then?

        November 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • basedonfact

        Florida drug tested all recipients for 2 years. They found that less than 2% tested positive and spent more money on drug tests than they did in SNAP benefits over that period.

        November 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  19. kim

    This long artical is crap

    November 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Skarphace

      Since the article is so long, surely you can point to some evidence to your claim that it "is crap".

      November 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Rob

        For starters, it is devoid of factual 'news' (typical ccn baiting).
        I'll say it again. This swill is so funny. Its nothing but an attempt to draw fire away from the debockle of a 'plan' calleb obamacare. The lib steal and supplant program failed because noone wants it. Look at the numbers of those signed up. The libs spent all this time villifying republicans and pushing this thing. Yet no-one wants it.
        THEN when that became obvious, they say "but look at the religious. They are not helping" ??????
        The Christians have and continue to do more for the underprivledged in charity and direct support than you libs every did
        Idiot

        November 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Taz

          Do you ever get tired of spinning? Don't you get dizzy?
          Your nasty GOTP is imploding. Die off, already, you monstrous dinosaurs. Your party, WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA, are nothing but a bunch of whiny zealots who want to repeal every law that doesn't fit into your distorted view of 1850 "purity". Shove it.
          Don't like Obama? Vote him out. Oh, wait, you idiots tried that, putting up a candidate whose platform was THE REPEAL OF THE ACA, and America voted accordingly. Apparently they wanted the ACA.
          Stop lying. You guys are toast. Thank GOD!

          November 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Rob

          Taz
          You spoke 100% party puke. You did not mention any point of discussion. You drank the Kool Aide.
          You are obviously incapable of contributing to any valid discussion
          Idiot

          November 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Taz

          Everything you wrote with straight from Hannity rush. And you accuse me of drinking the Kool-Aid? Please.
          You are the one in capable of seeing what is in front of your face. You guys are dinosaurs. Die off. Quickly. Our country depends on it.
          Since you and your party are in capable of coming up with any idea to fix the ACA, your credibility is totally and completely shot.
          If you Moranza had any freaking sense at all, you would just let the ACA live or die on its own. What you idiots are afraid of is that it may WORK, thus making you morons look stupid for having opposed it all this time and exposing all of your lies.
          I don't typically make time for idiots like you in conversation, but in your case I made an exception. I won't do it again.
          Freaking idiot.

          November 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Rob

          There you go again. Nothing tangible. The only thing you offer is that someone else should offer an udea on how to fix the un-affordable care act. The "un-affordable" comment was not just punny. The facts surrounding its implementation and costs were known to be unsustainable for years. That is Not opinion. Look at the numbers playing out right now. Why couldnt tge dems see it and fix that and NOT NEED TO ASK FOR REPUBLICANS TO FIX IT?. That other idiot knowingly LIED now tons of people are losing what they were told they could keep.
          There's no point in talking to you. Obama will tell you what to say again in the morning. We'll talk again then.

          November 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • Maddy

          What a fun exchange between two totally partisan hacks!

          November 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • Rob

          Welcome to the conversation. I see you brought some insight to help us work thru this.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • Maddy

          I think both of you are unlikely to change your opinions; I don' think anyone could change your minds. You're both mired in your individual ideologies.

          I'll just stand safely away from ringside as you two sling poo at each other. Keep it out of the popcorn, please?

          November 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      What is an "artical"?

      November 9, 2013 at 1:39 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.