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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. kp

    The person who puts their faith in a politician is a fool.

    November 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  2. Mathprof

    Charlatans.

    November 10, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  3. Maria Carvalho

    Those are the voices drowned out by the hypocrite Republican "outrage". They don't dare tell the people that the problem is mainly caused by their sabotage of the law. But the truth will shine through. These demagogues will be exposed and the country will get the real, noble, principled Republican Party we used to have before it was hijacked by bigots, haters and assorted thugs.

    November 10, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  4. shoos

    “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.”

    HA! Nice dodge. LOL.

    November 10, 2013 at 7:48 am |
  5. Duane Bradley

    Maybe they are silent due to the fact that they are not socialist. Obama is a SOCIALIST. He has managed to lead the destruction of the best medical healthcare system in the world. He destroys excellence at every opportunity. Our system was not perfect, but now that Obama has his hands in it, it will go down in ashes. Bankrupt and for nothing. When our 17 trillion debt comes crashing down on us and the GREAT DEPRESSION arrives, what will you say. "WHOOPS. I didn't know!!! "

    November 10, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Dave

      You'll say, "My 2 votes for Bush don't count because I am a member if the Great Hypocrisy Party."

      November 10, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Dave

      People like you are so hated in this country that you personally are why the Republicans will never hold a majority again in America.

      Yours is the disgraced ideology of a dead party that has permanently divided America against you.

      November 10, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  6. Douglas

    Tea Party / Austrian school acolytes of the "new austerity" and their Ayn Rand lapdogs like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, shut down the government to punish the poor. They only hurt the economy even more with their antics. These people will starve the poor and allow the bodies of dead US soldiers to sit in cold storage to get their way.

    Vote them out in 2014/2016!

    November 10, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • Rob

      Geez. That again. If you'd look it up. Obama NOT the republicans shut down the government. The republican congress passed a bill that covered all of government except obamacare. Their proposal wouldve paid for and kept government open. Obama repeatedly stated that he would not negotiate. He wanted it all.
      Many will wave the party flag over tgat. However, please.... just look it up. Please google it if you have to. I'm not trying to spin or influence. Just stating what is now recorded history.
      Anywho.... I'm curious what this has to do with this "news story"

      November 10, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • livingston

        The American people are not blind and we are not stupid. We don't have to 'look it up' because we saw who shut down the government. The gop/teaparty shut it down because trying to vote it out 40+ times didn't work. It is called a temper tantrum if you are 2 years old. We saw and we will remember at every election for a long time to come.

        November 10, 2013 at 7:56 am |
        • Dave

          Yeah, but Republican voters are liars, hypocrites and truly bad people. That's what this article is about, how truly bad and lacking of basic decency the right tends to be. They will never stop lying about Obama. They will never tell the truth. They will never care about others besides themselves.

          All because they are not decent human beings but rather arrogant and ignorant bullies

          November 10, 2013 at 8:04 am |
        • livingston

          Dave – Sadly, "arrogant and ignorant bullies" does sum up the current gop/teaparty. In all my may years, I have never seen such mean spirted people be excepted as 'leaders' since WW2. Very sad people.

          November 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
      • Rob

        As usual the facts are irrelevant to you.
        "We don’t have to ‘look it up’ because we saw who shut down the government."
        Dear Leader will help sort out all those pesky facts for you.
        As for the masses that wanted this... yeah. We are seeing those nationwide signed up numbers now. What's it now? 5? 10?

        November 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • rankin4

          As usual the facts are irrelevant to you.
          "We don’t have to ‘look it up’ because we saw who shut down the government."
          Dear Leader will help sort out all those pesky facts for you.
          As for the masses that wanted this... yeah. We are seeing those nationwide signed up numbers now. What's it now? 5? 10?
          First off by using the phrase "Dear Leader" is insulting and insinuating that any who disagrees with you and supports social programs would prefer a Stalinist state. It makes me wonder where you get your facts from and if you have any kind of education at all.
          Second, many people including myself have signed up for health insurance using state exchanges, and many more on the national one. If state governments had been responsible and set them up, then most of the problem would not exist. i went to the hearings in my state and watched government work. The blame can be placed on lazy state legislatures, primarily in GOP run states. the GOP seems more interested in finding ways to keep people that dont vote for them from voting and busting unions.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Mike Sisco

      And what do those people you listed have in common? They all have or had government health care.

      November 10, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  7. Rob

    John Blaine. Deflect much?

    November 10, 2013 at 7:14 am |
  8. Rob

    Religious irony? How about journalistic irony?

    November 10, 2013 at 6:50 am |
  9. Chris

    This article is complete propaganda. If of partial truths and misrepresentations. Not much else to say about it.
    To those that feel hostility to Jesus, please I invite you to church. To those who think Christians are full of hate, please I invite you to church. To those separated from God because of some perceived failing on His part, I invite you to church. You'll find the Truth if you open your hearts. Challenge yourselves, you may come to a new realization.

    November 10, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • myschievousme

      I've been to church and sadly I met the most judgmental, intolerant people possible. They're out to take down anyone who doesn't believe just like they do. As far as I could tell, they only purpose religion served for them was to use it as a club in the culture wars. People so worried about who said "oh my god" that it was impossible for them to see they weren't even helping out the needing in their own congregation. Help doesn't come from religion without a quid pro quo.

      November 10, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • sam stone

      beware of those who capitalize "truth", because it is THE truth share, but THEIR truth

      November 10, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  10. Mike MacKinnon

    Well-written and fair coverage of a massively important story the mainstream press has ignored. It's the ultimate irony...we ignore the plight of the poor as poverty kills millions, allow sick lies about "dependency" and "personal responsibility" to blame poverty on the victims and silence the voices of decency and progress on the left...all while the lunatic myth of "liberal bias" is screamed daily by hate radio and foolishly believed by people who ought to know better.

    November 10, 2013 at 5:53 am |
    • Dave

      They ought to know better but they don't because these are bad people. Hate radio satisfies a need they all have. It gives them that dose if hate and bigotry that is universally shared on the right. They provide each other aid and comfort. A group think of hate by bad people.

      November 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  11. Tom

    No irony here, just a very biased perspective. We could claim the same irony in liberals fighting against any type of welfare reform. Wasting tens of millions on able bodied adults who CHOOSE to live in dependency limits the help we can give to those who truly need it. Or the irony of supporting Obamacare over a single payer system. Billions will be paid to the insurance industry middleman that could have gone to providing meducal care.

    See how easy it is to make people look stupid? But Obama's fan club (like this pseudo reporter) doesn't care about facts or results. All that matters is blind support and the illusion of a free ride.

    November 10, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Mike MacKinnon

      How frustrating, to be so right yet horribly wrong. Welfare "reform" is a scam, like the rest of the greed-based economics of the US right. To claim anyone chooses poverty is false, and it is vile and an insult to Christian principles and common decency to call helping any needy person a "waste."
      On the other hand, while it does accomplish great things and is a step in the right direction the ACA is far too friendly to private insurance and is not what is really needed, a single payer system.

      November 10, 2013 at 5:46 am |
  12. steve

    So to fix the 4 million without coverage they left 5 million without? Brilliant lets elect him for a 3rd term.

    November 10, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • Tim

      If you are too lazy and ignorant of the subject to comment ,please don't. This was clearly covered in the article. The "Obamacare" law as passed covered ALL of these people by raising the Medicaid limits (and providing the funding to do it) and making it mandatory that states accept it or lose all Medicaid funding. The Supreme Court struck this part of the law down and many southern states refused to comply for political reasons. Blame these states and / or SCOTUS for the gap, not the law.

      November 10, 2013 at 7:44 am |
      • livingston

        You want them to read something that they might not agree with? But if they expose themselves to something that isn't exactly what they were told to think they might actually find out that maybe, just maybe, they are wrong. And they can't have that.

        November 10, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  13. emily

    Yeah, make a retarded, unfunny statement to deflect everything I just said. I'm right.

    November 10, 2013 at 2:55 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      What's funny is that I like tea but I hate iced-tea. Strange, huh? Has anybody ever tried iced-coffee? Doesn't sound nice.

      November 10, 2013 at 2:58 am |
  14. emily

    If I were atheist, why bother having morals? I mean, if there technically weren't any 'consequences' or afterlife, why should I be a good person? Lol. Atheism and morals are oxymorons. You are self-serving, don't delude yourselves.

    November 10, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Tea gets a bum rap here. It can be a refreshing alternative to coffee as a hot beverage.

      November 10, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Haven't read much of the bible, have you? You think we're immoral yet you believe in a god that condones rape; child abuse; oppression of women; oppression of LGBT and mass murder. Morals existed throughout society long before your god was ever imagined and they will exist long after people stop believing in your god.
      An education is a wonderful thing, you might wish to consider getting one.

      November 10, 2013 at 6:00 am |
      • Sawmills

        That is not true whatsoever.

        November 10, 2013 at 8:06 am |
        • truthprevails1

          No, you think that because you like to pick and choose what parts you accept.
          (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
          If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

          (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)
          If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

          (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)
          "When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion."

          Evilbible.com breaks it down for you....so much immorality in that book, it should be in the horror section of bookstores, not the religion section.

          November 10, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Mike MacKinnon

      If your "morals" are only because you want some reward or, worse, to avoid punishment then they are not morals at all. Many Christians see through the lie of "hell." Salvation is not a reward to Christians for being "good" or God's chosen but is a gift of grace for all. If you follow Christ just to get into heaven, you aren't following Him at all, and the atheists are not only moral but more moral.

      November 10, 2013 at 6:08 am |
  15. Maddy

    no honey. not really.

    i do no that u that u have so much integrity u r like a shining light.

    when your pain becomes overwhelming, if u seek him, u will find what u have been longing for since u were a little girl. i pity u. pain is the great equalizer.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  16. TYPICATHEIST

    Q: Why atheists couldn't help themselves but to turn every issue into a religious debate?

    A: It eases their misery.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Derp.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Observer

      Q. Why do Christians turn every story about gays into a gay-bashing religious rant?

      A. Hypocrisy.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:20 am |
      • Maddy

        Y don't u tell Sam she is a degenerate snake?

        November 10, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  17. Here

    Why is it liberals only mention the Bible when it comes to welfare and they never talk about baptism and repentance. They cherry pick the Bible for their political ambitions but never tell people to repent and sin no more as the Savior did. I believe we need to help the poor and I do, but don't use the teachings of Christ for your political agenda. Where is the left telling their followers not to commit adultery or fornication? Jesus is not a politician he is the Savior of the world and if you don't understand he was here to save mans soul not give them healthcare then you don't understand the Bible or you are just using it to manipulate people.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      To be fair, the Christian right also cherry-pick from the Bible to support their own agenda. The Bible can be used to justify or condemn pretty much anything you want it to justify or condemn, so it's obvious that, in a majority Christian country, it gets dragged out by the left and the right to suit their own ends.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Roger that

      I won't use a Bible verse to try to manipulate you. I'll simply tell you that your Bible is a complete train wreck and one of the most immoral pieces of literature ever written. Put the Bible down and show some consideration and compassion for your fellow man. That might not be something that your god or Jesus might do, but give it a try. You'll be a better person.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:15 am |
      • emily

        The Bible is not a simple piece of literature, it is a holy book. Immoral? Have you seen the world around you? Do you think believers sit around and think of ways to kill others? Then why have so many murderers, serial killers, dictators NOT believe in God/religion? The ones who use His name to perpetrate such evil are not truly religious. I have met atheists who are absolutely miserable people, far more immoral than anything written in the bible. Get real.

        November 10, 2013 at 2:43 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          True Scotsmen wear kilts.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:47 am |
        • Roger that

          Seriously, do any of you people actually read the Bible>

          November 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • Kris

        Really?! Have you ever actually read the Bible? The Gospel is full of Jesus saying to love and cherish our fellow man, to treat people the way we want to be treated, to help one another, etc etc. I don' t know why you treat God the way you do and say the things you do, but you shouldn't speak falsely...it only gives you the appearance of being a fool. Keep in mind that I am not calling you a fool, I am only relaying back to you what image of yourself that you are putting out there for others to see.

        November 10, 2013 at 3:19 am |
        • Roger that

          Yes I have. You obviously have not. Take off the belief blinders and faith goggles and read it for the first time.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Maddy

      Liberals vary in character and integrity about the same as conservatives. This country was built in part by liberals who worked the rear-ends off, fought and died in our stinkin wars. They fought to get paid a fair wage. For a woman's right to vote, to free slaves, to establish civil rights, a 40 work week, insurance coverage thru employers, social security and a zillion other things.

      November 10, 2013 at 2:57 am |
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About this blog

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.