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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. Gerry Daley

    This "care for the poor" thing is just *so* inconvenient. Hey, they have fabulous homes and salaries to maintain while selling snake oil to the masses.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • edmundburkeson

      If you don't support Obamacare you are turning your backs on the poor? Democrats are flim flam artists – they really are!! They continually engineer methods of privatized taxation to get corporations, churches, and individuals to play or pay. Its time they were exposed for their bullying of America. Liberal compassion is nothing but a fund raising campaign – a way to hoodwinkle unwilling Americans into supporting leftist causes. Liberal compassion is an oppression of the highest order.

      November 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  2. DJ

    Jesus asks us to do things as individuals and NOT at the tip of a government spear. Using the tyranny of the many is the same as using the tyranny of one when forcing people to do things.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • And Jesus said

      Jesus taught to give to the government what they ask in order to pay for what government needs to do. I guess even Jesus knew that government would end up having to do the job that Church's preached should be done, but chose to give those monies to the ministers instead.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  3. And Jesus said

    Their Jesus spoke from his heart and was crucified.. ministers today value their homes, fancy cars, and high paychecks.. they can't tell their congregation things that might get them fired. "Following in Jesus footsteps." LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    November 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  4. Chip

    I see quite a bit of "the preacher is getting to much money/benefits for what he/she does." And you think those lackeys at the White House aren't?

    November 10, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  5. SteveInMN

    "A pastor who publicly weighs in on the subject could divide his or her congregation or risk their job."

    Any pastor who consider what they do as a "job" that can be "lost", or worries about offending the congregation, clearly has NO idea what the "job" is.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • guest

      Amen!

      November 10, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  6. Nogods

    Jesus loves to watch poor people starve to death.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Tom

      Oh. That's why he fed and cared for so many. Must be why churches follow his example and give to charities to help the poor far and above those who are non-religious according to many studies.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Care to back that up? Many many Secular charities are out there...the Red Cross is at every disaster; UNICEF; Doctor's Without Borders....they all do charitable work without selling the crack-pipe-of-religion.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  7. woodie

    fascism is a disgusting thing to witness.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  8. cneder

    Joel Osteen and TD Jakes are a couple of mouth pieces for Owebama. They love the little dictator. They also could care less about the poor.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • thekarl

      People forget that Osteen's sister and was blown up by a mail bomb during a power struggle within the church when his dad still ran it back in 1990; that is how much power and money is at stake. Power and money =corruption.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • rankin4

      rankin4 And that makes sense how? What are you even trying to say?

      November 10, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • tallulah13

      I think you're confused, cneder.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  9. Gary

    The preacher is full of BS.....

    November 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  10. JP

    For some reason, I do not like Joel Osteen. I'm not an atheist, just don't like him for particular reason i do not know.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      He's actually a reptile, not a human being. His smile gives him away.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Billy

      Could it be that for him, grease is the Word?

      November 10, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Wayne Rasmussen

      I dont agree, but I will defend your right to free speach....thank you sir, for your honest input.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  11. Juan Torres

    if you have a cronic disease go to canada or germany if possible, this country that was founded by slave owners said all men are created equall. yea right!

    November 10, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Billy

      Juan, do you walk to school or take your lunch?

      November 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • 11Grandbabies

      I have many Canadian clients and they tell me the reason Canada can afford health care for everyone is because the government owns the rights to, and produces oil and gas on it's territories. Our government could pay for health care without breaking the bank if they would follow Canada's example

      November 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • Colo001

        you don't really understand what the USA is as a country or why it was started to begin with?

        November 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  12. stevie68a

    The god of these preachers is Money.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  13. Bill Perney

    Hypocritical TV & megachurch "preachers" being hypocritical. Quelle surprise!

    November 10, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  14. Looking for Inconsistencies

    If one expects clergy to demand coverage for all (with which I agree) then one can't fault them for taking stands for or against issues such as gay marriage, racism, etc.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  15. Tom

    Dear biased, misguided, unkowledgeable article author,
    What you fail miserably to comprehend is that these states happen to be intelligent enough to understand that big government spending and handouts are completely unsustainable and will wreck the supposedly united states of America. Socialized healthcare will ensure that no one except the super rich will obtain quality healthcare. Part of the function of churches is to provide charity to those in need out of the pockets of generous churchgoers. On the other hand, you have big government forcing people to give money to their failure healthcare scheme that will bankrupt the country. I guess there are those who feel they must be forced to give to charity rather than giving of their own accord. Try to learn a bit more about the true beliefs of your southern bretheren, and if you do actually understand are are merely smearing the south then shame on you, you are evil.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Universal healthcare is a pipe-dream, pursued by failed states like Canada, Britain, France , Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Japan, South Korea... If we go down that path we too will find ourselves in the dustbin of history.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • cykill45

        failed states...your kidding right? those places you mentioned are ahead of us in healthcare, education, life expectancy and probably many other categories. they are doing something right.

        November 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Yes, I am kidding. But the US is behind in so many ways it shouldn't be funny.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • There, their, and they're

          I think you meant: "you are (you're) kidding . . . ."

          November 10, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom

      Well, you're right. Those countries have some fine relatively new healthcare. Have you read the articles in Businessweek and WSJ about the already skyrocketing cost of France's wonderful socialized healthcare? They're well on their way to bankruptcy as we will be if we follow them with our already teetering economy.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • rankin4

        reasonably new? Please explain.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Tom

      Once people begin to realize they can vote handouts for themselves, it won't stop until the country ruins itself financially. People don't take kindly to reversing governmental handouts. In France, the government tried to curb their expenses by not paying for illness not directly related to a long-term illness, which is paid at 100%. But there was such an outcry that the government had to say fine...100% is 100%. People are keeping their handouts and more, but what they aren't seeing that it is unsustainable and healthcare will start being rationed. Only the super rich will have quality healthcare. Socialized healthcare IS a pipe-dream.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  16. moneyhungry

    WELL SHUT MY MOUTH JUST KEEP THE MONEY COMMING IN. MY JET NEEDS FUEL, MY POOL NEEDS REPLACING, MY WIFE WANTS A NEW DIAMOND, MY DOG IS HOT ( NEEDS A LITTE AC), MY "HO" HAS ASK FOR A RAISE, NEED I SAY MORE

    November 10, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  17. Azezel

    The best insurance scheme would be federal funding for a system of primary hospitals. Then have a system that is open to cash, charity with reserves set aside for catastrophic. The problem with a bloated premium system is that the opportunity costs prohibit investment in the critical infrastructure improvements that would bring costs down. The way we are trying things is going to end up having health being 22% of gdp. We can't afford long term to pay more than 9% of gdp.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It is true that the ACA was conceived as a way to keep healthcare insurers in business while providing care to everyone. The 2010 expoenditure for healthcare in the US was 17.6%, highest in the world. So we are not being well-served by our market-based system. I do wonder, though, what the effect on GDP would be of an end to the healthcare insurance industry.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • counterww

        Our GDP would retract. Lots of jobs will go away.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Patrick Lewis

      Separate is inherently not equal, so you are promoting inequality right there, which erodes society and in this case, could actually kill people.

      And where are those numbers from? Sounds like garbage to me. And are you actually saying that if something winds up costing too much that we wouldn't change it?

      Lastly, When we talk about the moral imperative of caring for our fellow citizens, It's on us to figure it out, not whether or not to do it. It is a disgrace that the most powerful and rich nation in the history of history has people dying young and suffering for a lack of healthcare because they are poor. Maybe we get a few less F22's and keep thousands alive and with the ability to prosper.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Wee spend 4.4% of GDP on the military, and 18% on healthcare. While our military expenditures are vast, healthcare is in another league altogether.

        November 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  18. GripDog

    Funny article. Now had they spoken out, the same writer would most likely be screaming that they are preaching politics from the alter and whine that they should lose their tax exempt status.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • ATLmatt

      Arent hypotheticals fun? Lets make something up to complain about.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Nightlyt

      Churches should not have tax exempt status unless they spend more than 85% on community services. Just think of how many people that would cover for health care, food, shelter and so on.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • rankin4

        damn i never thought of it that way, that is a fantastic idea.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  19. rascalfacts

    Jesus said, " Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is His" . Charity has always been a function of the individual, the family and the church. Nowhere in the Bible does God say give to caesar so that he can do YOUR job. Therein lies the problem. Socialism is antichrist.

    November 10, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • berniecat@outlook.com

      and what is fascism then ,, that's the republic0n party today ,, fascist terriost =gop

      November 10, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • Rob

        Thank you for your contribution to this topic.
        Dear Leader acknowledges your support. Your next weeks rice ration has been approved.

        November 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Jeff Roem

          Funny how folks that oppose Obama call him Dear Leader and Messiah. Supporters don't.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      Some Christians are antichrists.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "socialism is anti-christ"

      And legislating from the Bible is un-American.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • sameold

      Yes, but you live in a democracy, I think that comparing a dictatorship during the biblical age with today's system of government is not a real comparison. Christ also said that the poor woman paying a penny for her taxed was paying more than all of the weathy men of the town.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • nclaw441

        Sameold– it was two pennies, not one, and it was her offering to God, not a tax. Jesus called for us to help the poor, and we should. Government, even today's system, does nothing efficiently, effectively or without fraud and abuse. Show me a government program that does act efficiently, economically and without fraud, and I'll apologize– a real one, not like President Obama.

        November 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Roger that

      Socialism is antichrist.

      Then why aren't Republicans screaming for the end of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?

      November 10, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  20. Azezel

    I suppose this free and open society has begun to deploy the clergy response teams to steam roll all that don't agree. Im sorry but it is about time to go walk my dog and change the channel.

    November 10, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • guest

      Interesting 'tag' you havechose for yourself; are you sure you know what it means?
      (Going for breafast now, will be back later.)

      November 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
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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.