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October 9th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Senate chaplain: Shutdown is 'madness'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - The federal shutdown has found its angry prophet.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black is usually a calm, pastoral presence on Capitol Hill, doling out spiritual wisdom and moral counsel to his high-powered flock.

But the Seventh-Day Adventist and former Navy rear admiral is mad as hell about the shutdown - and he's letting the Senate, and the Lord, know about it.

"Lord, when the federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of (soldiers) dying on far-away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough," Black said in his prayer opening the Senate on Wednesday.

"Cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness," Black continued, citing the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, who was no mean critic of government incompetence himself. "Forgive us. Reform us. And make us whole."

Black was referring to the withholding of death benefits for the families of U.S. soldiers because of the partial federal shutdown. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Wednesday to reinstate them.

MORE ON CNN: 5 crazy side effects from the shutdown

That might not be soon enough for Black, whose opening prayers have grown increasingly harsh towards Congress.

"Save us from the madness," the chaplain said last week.  “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”

Last Friday, he addressed the heavens on behalf of the Senate, asking God to  "remove from them that stubborn pride which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism. Forgive them the blunders they have committed.”

Washington's inability to keep the government open affects not only Black's Bible but also his paycheck. He's not being paid during the shutdown.

The Senate elected its first chaplain in 1789, and a minister has opened the chamber with a prayer for the last 207 years, according to the chaplain's office. Most enter the annals of history unnoticed. The chaplain is supposed to be nonpartisan, nonsectarian and nonpolitical.

But as the shutdown enters its second week political reporters have begun to tune in to Black's opening prayers. The New York Times put the 65-year-old on the its front page on Monday under the headline "Give Us This Day, Our Daily Senate Scolding."

MORE ON CNN:  Shutdown day 9: What you need to know

Black, who was raised in a rough section of Baltimore, served in the Navy for 27 years and was appointed the Senate chaplain in 2003 by former Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee.

For the most part, he has avoided political debates, but he spoke out during the George Zimmerman trial, telling CNN in 2012 that Trayvon Martin, the teenager Zimmerman killed "could have been me."

Even when he doesn't take a public stand, Black said his private meetings with the 7,000 people who work in the Senate gives him an opportunity to discuss the moral implications of lawmaking.

"I don't think there is ever a major vote where I don't talk to a number of senators regarding the ethical dimensions of the issues they are debating," Black told CNN in 2010.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Ethics • Leaders

soundoff (411 Responses)
  1. MJW

    How much more lies can Republicans and their supporters invent? I have never seen so many lies from public figures. I used to hear politicians are liars but I prove it more and more with this group of Republicans/Teabaggers. They are outright disgusting, I feel like I want to vomit everytime I hear one of them speak. They have gotten themselves in this mess simple because of their hate for the first black president. It is not over yet. I agree is Chaplain Black, but then there was another Chaplain on Saturday from the R side along with Rep Marsha Blackburn who stood in front of Congress and completely lied that the President and this Administration want to arrest Priests. I don't know how they can stand there with a straight face and not be ashamed of themselves. IT IS A DISGRACE THAT THESE DESPARATE PEOPLE WOULD STAND THERE AND LIE TO THE NATION. The public and News Media should call them out when they lie. We should list all of their names when they make blantant untrue statements. I am disgusted and angry.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  2. Jayhawk1989

    The photo shows House Chaplain Patrick Conroy, not Senate Chaplain Barry Black.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Jayhawk1989

      The video leads with Barry Black but the still photo is of Conroy.

      October 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Prairieson

      The House has a chaplain too? Good grief, get rid of these people. What good are they doing? If the D's and R's want spiritual guidance, go to the nearest church of your choice. Private sector companies don't employ chaplains to counsel their employees.
      And with full federal wages, benefits and lifetime pension no doubt. More wasted taxpayer dollars.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  3. zaphed

    yep. eieio

    October 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  4. Robert

    The U.S has given billions of dollars to foreign countries that still hate us. Yet they can not give benefits to seniors,
    the military, disabled veterans and it seems we are expected to police the whole world. I believe the Federal Reserve
    can forgive some debt. Our money says IN GOD WE TRUST didn/t he say forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Hmmm, how about saving some real money. Here is how:

      In order to pay down our $16 trillion debt, we need to redirect money used to support religions especially the Christian and Islamic cons and put it towards paying off our obligations..

      To wit:

      Redirecting our funds and saving a lot of "souls":

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:

      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

      – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

      – Eighteen billion dollars/yr, to Pakistan will stop.

      – Four billion dollars/yr. to Egypt will end.

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:

      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      – The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

      – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr. in grants. (add to that the money saved by "pink-slipping" all the chaplains in the military and Congress).

      Giving to religious groups mostly Christian in 2010, totaled $95.8 billion,

      – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:

      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

      Added details available upon written request.

      October 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Unfortunately stop the wars and military spending in the USA and support affordable education to create a culture or invention and innovation, this would encourage serious growth and help everyone in the USA.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Only for the new visitors to this blog:

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
      Continued below:
      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

      – The capture of Abu Anas al-Libi on October 7, 2013

      October 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  6. Dizzyd

    If it were up to the Repubs, there would BE no pie! Sadly, one could go to school to train for a career and STILL not get a job. Why do you think there are so many college grads out there who can't find a job in their field to pay back their debt? And I'm pretty sure they all didn't fool around for 4 years to get a Liberal Arts degree. Nice try, though.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • zaphed

      we do it 100 times better and 10 times cheaper on bangalore. manesh ganesh

      October 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  7. magicpanties

    Yep, tea party madness.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  8. brian

    Religion is part of the problem. When I talk to some of these hard core Republicans they say they are doing what their chaplain told them to do.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  9. Tom123

    "This is madness." AMEN.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  10. Paul

    Madness?? (Senator stands up) THIS ... IS...SPARTA!! (kicks chaplain into well).

    October 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  11. lunchbreaker

    He's missed the whole point of this situation. The important thing is which party is to blame. 😉

    October 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  12. EdL

    When the Senate chaplain speaks does someone listen?

    October 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • K-switch

      Who?

      October 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • gstlab3

      nobody has to listen to this man of god because God has been outlawed and can never ever have a place within any government funded activity.
      ,the tax payers have no idea what is going to happen next.

      reporters are on notice.,
      are they real reporters?
      ask that woman what's her name? fienstien?
      yeah that's her name.,
      she can tell you who's real.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Joe

      Why do they have a Chaplan?,is seven day adventist our national religion?

      October 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  13. shawn

    there is a huge amount of irony that is being missed. You have a leader of an organization just like millions of other organizations, that pay zero zip, nadda in tax's, are exempt from property tax yet have mega million dollar business meeting places called churchs. The church is the world largest land owner, they do not pay their fair share of tax's and are exempt and protected solely for the fact they believe in an imaginary friend....

    October 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  14. Xeilley

    Where is the prayer for Obama to be reasonable? Its the White House as the executive leve that this prayer should really be for "Lord, when the federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of (soldiers) dying on far-away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough," Obama can stop this madness just as easily as the Congress can stop the maddness. The buck stops with the presidency NOT with Congress. Obama is a self righteous narcisist that is only playing politics while Congress has legitmate concerns about the out of control spending of this president. Obama take leadership and stop playing chicken with the lives of the people you are suppose to represent.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Please. The gall of anyone trying to pretend that extortion is a reasonable form of negotiation. Come to the table clean, without trying to extort any demands (whether valid or invalid), do your job and then ask to negotiate on your issues. Don't pretend that this is anything other than a crime.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • magicpanties

      ok, so Obama should dump ACA because a minority of right-wing zealots don't like it.
      Mmm Hmm.

      This is would be like Pelosi in 2005 shutting down the gov if Bush didn't dump all his tax cuts that the Dems didn't like.
      Guess you would've been ok with that, eh?

      October 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Dan W

    Why do we have a senate chaplain? Are all the faiths represented? Separation of church and state. A senate chaplain, that's madness.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  16. sly

    Praise Allah, and praise Senatory Ted Cruz and the Republicans for helping Allah defeat the evil American enemy.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  17. uncle fester

    This is Sparta!

    October 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  18. Samantha

    Wait a minute! They have a Chaplain in the Senate but we are not supposed to let school children say the Pledge of Allegiance because it has the word GOD in it. Really ? How does that work?

    October 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Colin

      Yeah, we shouldn't have either. It just goes to show how willing to break the separation of church and state The religious are. Atheists aren't even allowed to serve as chaplains. That is taxation without representation.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Garrett from Texas

        Just out of curiosity...what is an Athiest supposed to be a chaplain OF?

        October 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Muri

          Common sense

          October 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Woodrow

          Steve Martin did a song called the Athiest's Don't Have No Songs – the Athiests First Hymn. Maybe they just sing that over and over.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Wendy

          Reply to Garrett – yep, I am waiting on a reply to that one myself.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Anonymous

          According to wikipedia in countries like Belgium and the Netherlands they have "humanist" chaplains. Atheists can be humanists (and many are.) Though I guess in fairness this is for western europe where there are a lot more atheists and therefore it is more fair to have them better represented. Not too sure if it is possible for an atheist to be a military chaplain in America, though I don't see why they couldn't, at least in theory. In practicality I suppose most atheists only want to destroy religion instead of learn about it therefore making them unlikely to become chaplains.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Typifire

          @Anonymous

          Excuse me? Atheists want to destroy religion and aren't interested in learning about it? Did this "fact" come from a poll you recently administered or are you merely making blanket statements due to ignorance. I would consider myself agnostic at most now, but during college I considered myself atheist and my minor was Philosophy & Religious Studies. I found that far more interesting than my major in Graphic Design, but you can't make a living with a Philosophy degree.

          So, please don't make such blanket statements in the future.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Anonymous

          @Typifire

          As I said there are atheists that do want to know about religion, such as the humanist brand of atheist. Or perhaps such as the agnostics like yourself (though I guess agnostics aren't realyl atheists since they accept a possibility of a deity/pantheistic force.)

          Like I said MOST atheists seem to want to destroy religion. Here allow me to help you out. Go read the Scalia article. There's plenty o comments written by many atheists. Seems to me most of them want to destroy religion. Heck even look at most the atheist comments right on this article. Seems the open-minded ones that want to learn abotu religions like yourself are in the minority. Fair enough for them, that's their belief, which is why I don't think many of them are going to attempt to become military chaplains lol.

          October 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • ken in MO

      That is not true. My sons schools says the pledge of alligence...and always has. I know many people like to say it is so but it is not, and never has been true.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • Woodrow

        I'm surprised that you didn't claim to be a principal at a school to give your argument more weight (like claiming to be a doctor and an economist).

        Btw – claiming to be an economist doesn't really give weight to anything. If you gathered 500 economists in a room they couldn't agree on anything. The old joke...if you string 2,000 economists end-to-end you still wouldn't reach a conclusion. In other words, an economist's opinion isn't worth squat because there's always another economist with an opposing view.

        October 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • Melissa

          I am not a principal, and the Pledge of Allegiance is recited everyday at my child's school AND it is even on the outside speaker. She goes to a public school. People who say the pledge is not said in schools obviously does not have a kid in a school to know if they are blowing hot air or not!!

          October 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  19. Tell Republicans What You Think

    The RNC website has the Contact Us button back and you can go there and tell them yourself to allow a clean spending bill vote in the House.

    They are also running a photo contest in some odd attempt to distract people from what they are up to. I can think of a few photos that might be appropriate – like captures from the John Boehner / Michele Bachmann video on last Saturday's Saturday Night Live.

    And please consider donating to the DNC. We can take back the House in 2014 thanks to these obstructionist antics by the republicans and teabaggers. Time to put them out to pasture where they can't do any more harm. Sadly we have to wait a year to do that...

    October 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Republicans - I think Democrats Stink

      Thanks for the tip. I told them to keep up the good work! I'm tired of the democrats' efforts to "redistribute the wealth." If they want a piece of the pie, they should take school seriously and actually WORK for a living.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • ken in MO

        You know what? The wealthy have never been weathier at any time in history. The stock market is MUCH higher, corporate profits at an all time high. The wealthy are doing just fine. Most of your tax dollars are not going to the poor, they are going to the wealthy. The redistrobution you talk about it is actually backwards. Our govt takes from the middle class and gives to the wealthy. FYI. I am an economist...I know of what I speak. Educate yourself and learn the facts. I am not meaning to insult you...but you are just flat wrong here.

        October 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Woodrow

          That's funny, Ken. I saw you post to another article claiming to be a doctor. A doctor AND an economist. Your parents must be so proud.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • stephenfalk1

        Talking points from an idiot...Jesus..do you have ONE original thought in that empty head of yours?

        October 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • ken in MO

      Amen!! I will do just that. This is completely insane. They need to get over the fact that a black man is in the whitehouse. The next one is going to be a woman!!!

      They have become the party of the bigots. Shameful!

      October 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Woodrow

        Oh Ken, you can't even handle people who disagree on principle, resorting to name-calling. You've shown yourself the true bigot and racist.

        October 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • ken in MO

          Disagreeing on Principle is fine...but that is not what is happening here. Every part of Obamacare is a Republican idea. They loved every part of it until he agreed with it. The party leader's Rush and Ted Cruz have made it very clear why they feel the way they do. The once great Republican Party is dying a horrible death. There is no longer any reasonable leaders. Sad.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Wendy

          Ken – you do have a point. Racism is going to bring this country down, it is our legacy as a nation. Never before in history has a president of the United States been the subject of so much negativity, mockery, bigotry, disrespect – should I go on?

          October 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Woodrow

          So sad, Ken...you'd think a self-proclaimed economist would be more intellectually honest.

          If a couple of aspects of the bill were championed by a few Republican's at one time in history for one state, you say "It's the Republican's ideas." If Republican's wanted the equivalent of ObamaCare for the nation, it would have happened when they had the House, Senate, and Presidency. But nope – they did everything possible to stop Clinton's version too.

          Nothing new here. You and your ilk want control, and what better way to get it than to take over the healthcare choices for the nation. Nobody knew what was in the bill before DEMOCRATS forced it through in a rush, and now we'll all be paying the price.

          My letter from Humana spelled it out pretty good. My premium is going from $600/mo to $1,114. My deductible is going from 10,000 to 12,400. I'm self-employed and not rich. That increase is to add the extra garbage that ObamaCare requires that I don't need.

          What was that about "You can keep your existing plan" that I kept hearing the president say? My plan no longer exists because it didn't have everything he wanted me to have (like drug rehab coverage).

          He lied, and continues to do so.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • lroy

        He's not black. He's a mixed breed, biologically. One black parent plus one white parent equals mulatto. And know matter what skin tone he has, his policy positively sucks!

        October 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • ken in MO

          What policy? Romneycare? Almost every single piece of Obama/Romneycare was a Republican idea. They loved every single part of it until Obama said, "good idea, let's do it." Bigots!!

          October 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • ken in MO

        Woodrow, you must be a Teaparty person...making up your own "facts". I have NEVER said anywhere that I am a doctor. Your quirky little lies are not going to help you.

        October 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Woodrow

          C'mon Ken – yes you did. You change your occupation to suit your position to make yourself out as an 'expert', and it's a joke.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Woodrow

      LOL – Clean, as in "everything that the President wants or could possibly want that everyone else has to pay for and put up with for generations." I bet your definition of clean and mine are quite different. My version: Clean Budget = Balanced Budget.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Rob

      Yes, because it's only the Republicans causing this mess. You're delusional.

      I say put all of them (including the President) in prison for treason and criminal incompetence and start over with a whole new batch of people in congress and the White house.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • stephenfalk1

        You should stop bringing George Bush Jr. into this...oh wait...

        October 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Woodrow

          Wow – still going back to Bush bashing to take the focus off of Obama's terrible policies. You have to get some new material.

          October 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Anonymous

      The Dem leadership is just as screwy as the GOP leadership. Both parties should throw out the leadership before the failed leadership of both parties brings the nation down. Both parties' leadership circles can agree to spy on you, detain you without trial, detain political dissidents in 2012, make wars, and spend tons of money (especially on their lobbyist brothers.) Yet both parties' leadership circles can't even agree to fix the economic mess that they both caused!

      I'm sorry but anyone that picks one side over the other is just as looney as the failed leadership in the GOP and the Dems. It's sad too cause there are actually some genuinely good politicians in both parties, but the draconian leadership in both parties overrides the people with sense.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • AmericaTheBeautiful

      Republicans have already passed a bill to fund the entire government except Obamacare. Every person not paid; every park closed; every nonsensical sentence offered on MSNBC is because Harry Reid declined to fund the government.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Woodrow

        Correct – and they even passed a budget that allowed citizens to choose ObamaCare this next year, or postpone it by a year...the SAME deal that the President gave friends of his through executive order. Why should the president's friends get an exemption, but not the American people? That's the only thing that the latest budget had as part of it, and Reid and Obama said no.

        October 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  20. Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

    Madness is having a Senate Chaplain at all. Keep your religion out of government if you want to keep government out of your religion.

    October 9, 2013 at 3:38 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.