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. drowlord

    The "scandal you haven't heard about" is the same "uninsured poor" message that CNN has kept on the front page non-stop since before Obama's first election. Talk about misleading headlines.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  2. Kevin W

    As a pastor I believe that we have a moral, theological opportunity and obligation to care for the least of these. My problem with the Affordable Care Act is that there is nothing in the history of our government which suggests this law won't result in spiraling out of control costs. Should we proceed down this path economic DISASTER is awaiting us. Now, let me suggest a way we can proceed. Balance the budget and slash military spending by HALF and apply the savings toward universal medical care. I'm a veteran by the way so don't hit me with the peacenik label.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Madtown

      slash military spending by HALF

      November 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  3. smjhunt

    "“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.”

    What a total cop out. These people don't propose any realistic solution to the problem. There's no debate here in which you have two competing realistic solutions and you're debating over which one is better. I am quite confident that if you asked these people about potential abuse of the new coverage they couldn't give you a concrete answer. After all, this is not the government giving people money, it's the government giving them health insurance.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  4. ArtistCHD

    BIG BLAC-KEYS QUESTIONS: Is US President Barack Hussein Obama, The Mastermind Melanin Messiah? Is he The Called & Chosen Omnipresent One? Can he possibly be The Lord & Savior & Second Coming of “Jesus Christ”? Is Obama the best blessed President ever in the USA? Do Obama Care Compassionately? Asks CK-NWCA.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  5. sly

    I'm with Senator Cruz – I don't want those 50 million Americans to get health care. Most of them are US War Veterans who had their hands and legs blown off, and now they want to milk us dry for the rest of their lives? No way – I ain't paying my hard earned tax dollars for some cripple to get health care.

    The rest are poor blacks, and why should they get health care? I'm with Cruz – just ship them back to Africa.

    Come on Americans – we don't WANT health care for those 50 million. We make a lot more money that way.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  6. jeff

    I fully agree that we should help the poor. But the bible calls for the church to do it, not the government.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Good thing the government is secular and not beholden to anything said in the Bible.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mockingbird

      During the days when the Bible was written, there was not such thing as a "separation of church and state," and certainly no such thing as a difference or separation between politics and religion, or government and religion. Whatever religion you espoused was political, and whatever political ideas you espoused were necessarily religious. The Pharisees, Saducees,Essenes, People of the Land, etc... and the Roman government, for that matter - were religious and political, and political and religious. The people who wrote that verse were quite literally incapable of thinking that the "church" could do something instead of the "state." In those days, you either practiced generosity and gave alms, etc., or you didn't - period.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Mockingbird

        Sorry for the typo - I meant "no such thing," not "not such thing."

        November 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • jesus

      Well apparently none of my churches or congregations have [girled]manned-up. For shame. That is why we need ANY government to provide health care, because my christian masses are so fearful, so capricious.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Steve8271

      If the Bible calls for the church to do it then the Bible needs to speak louder.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  7. Wootings

    Why aren't the nation's most famous preachers calling this out? When it's clear that their religion would compel them to do so?

    Because the people who are getting rich off of religion aren't stupid enough to believe in it. Kind of like how drug dealers aren't drug abusers.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Keonte

      Beautiful analogy...........

      November 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      From alcoholic beverages comes alcoholism, the addictions that have no social boundaries... From drug prohibitions the marijuana industries are slowly making a comeback toward becoming the world's staple in textiles and paper and construction and even pharmacology industries not to mention its bio-fuel oil potentials...

      November 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  8. Rosaadriana

    TV pastors don't care about the poor, they care about money so they tell the monied what they want to hear.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • BobPitt

      IT is sure with Joel Osteen, the guy will not compromise on anything.. he wants to be free of any controversial position so he can keep racking the money in.. a slime ball..

      November 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  9. Wideranger

    I have never seen so many people say they can't get medical help! What happened to the law saying emergency rooms MUST give services to those who can't pay? What happened to Medicaid designed for those without insurance. Methinks someone is looking for something to gripe about?

    November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • David

      Precisely what law are you citing? Because there is no requirement I am aware of that compels a doctor or emergency room to provide care for someone that cannot pay them.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)[1] is a U.S. Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. Participating hospitals may only transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment under their own informed consent, after stabilization, or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment."

        The law the republican hero Ronald Reagan signed...

        November 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • AZ RN

      Hospitals must provide a medical screening exam and stabilizing emergency treatment to all who seek care. EMTALA does not force hospitals to give any care beyond that basic, even to those who are insured!

      November 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  10. amb

    MLK JR is smiling at Pastor McDonald.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  11. braden

    Jesus did not teach "Pay your taxes and Cesar will do your charity work for you". If rule of law is what Jesus taught then Obamcare is the right thing to do. People often get forced charity confused with free will.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  12. sftmayes

    Everyone in this forum seems to be such perfect beings. Glad everyone has the right to cast so many stones. Guess Stephen, in the Bible, didn't mind it. He asked God to forgive them. Sounds like Christians are evil and lesser beings.

    On the part of the Health Care. There is a huge difference in having the free choice to give to people in need, that deserve it, rather than being forced to by the government, in support of those unwilling to fight for their survival. Many churches I know of have programs that help the poor and hurting. Many Christians give their time and money to these enterprises, statistically more than those who have no faith. The Church of course, like all imperfect beings, (you included) needs to up their contribution to the poor and hurting, however, that isn't just the Christians problem, it's everyone's problem.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • sftmayes

      It's kind of the same as the Government mandating that all people no longer smoke. Forcing people to do things never solves the problem. (But that only works if your against Christianity right?)

      November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Keonte

        That's like you telling your kids not to eat candy, but you own a candy store.........

        November 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • sftmayes

          Not really. Shutting down the candy store would be worthless. Helping young people moderate their intake of sugar through training rather than rules is far more effective.

          November 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Spike5

      How much money does your church contribute to the local hospitals to pay for care for people who cannot afford it? How much does it give to pharmacies so someone who can't afford to get his prescription filled won't go away empty handed? How much does it give to dentists to see that children don't lose all their teeth because they couldn't afford a regular cleaning? How much does it give to opticians so a near-sighted child can see the blackboard?

      November 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  13. P.FREDA


    November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Babs

    How very "Christian" of you both.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  15. LAtheist

    How about the millions who are NOT religious ? They still deserve health care without relying on a religion they do not believe in. Are churches paying for cancer treatment ? Or simply handing out blankets and food ? Organized religion needs to get out of the way of progress and let humanitarians work to heal societies neglected.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  16. MariettaMike

    They are too busy being hard nose, conservative Republicans than being good Christians. Too many want to marginalize the entire program based on highly selective portions. I don't think ACA is really the best answer but as Patton told us, a good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow. The schizophrenia of a vocal cohort that women's health requires strict regulation while oil and gas drilling should not provides a glimpse into the mind of my nor no way mentality. Perhaps ACA will provide mental health treatment for them.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dave the Sensible

      Fox and Sarah Palin would have fun with that last thought, about mental therapy. They would call it Stalinist reeducation.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  17. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    "The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)[1] is a U.S. Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions."

    That is the law Reagan signed but most republicans don't seem to understand. They keep complaining about having to pay for poor people and the uninsured but don't realize that THEY ALREADY DO! All the ACA does is attempt to spread out those costs by adding more people to the rolls of private insurance through a mandate that the private insurers wanted. Did they want to accept the pre-existing conditions? Of course not, but emergency rooms already have to and at the moment those costs are spread out in the premiums those with insurance are already paying. I wish that everyone in America could take an economics class but I know that is too much to ask of the red states who would rather teach intelligent design and that prayer is a form of health insurance than to actually get an education.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Keeth

      You are wrong.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • BobPitt

        That is correct.. check your local hospital as ask..!!

        November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Babs


      November 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Keeth

      Most of those abusing our Emergency Rooms are Illegal Aliens. Obamacare doesn't cover Illegals. I hope you're not getting Soros money to type such nonsense. He's not getting quality propaganda.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • BobPitt

        Don't post nonsense.. go and check... I have..

        November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        You are wrong as the CBO points out that even in Southwest border states it is only 25% of the EMTALA costs for illegal immigrants and 60% of that 25% are for their children. So no, a majority of those using the mergency room law are not illegal but are the elderly, poor and children of Americans who got priced out of the for profit health insurance industry.

        November 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
      • David

        Illegal Aliens? Are you performing a poll at the local ER in your area to determine the citizenship of the people receiving free medical care? I doubt it. You are just a loud man with an opinion supported only by your hate and ignorance.

        November 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  18. Keeth

    Seven Funny Facts on Which we All Agree

    1) Most Americans oppose Obamacare
    2) Our President had to lie to get it passed
    3) So the Left is here frantically, paradoxically and hypocritically trying to couple Religion and State
    4) Which confirms just how desperate our government and their media lapdogs have become
    5) When I refuse to define poverty you'll know I'm a marxist disguised as a 'social justice' Christian (yes...we can tell)
    6) Now we can get back to the name-calling and church bashing from folks with a 'tolerance' bumper sticker on their car
    7) Read comments from those hating the church...now crawling to Christ...begging for help with their disaster and their liar in chief.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Rosaadriana

      No we do not all agree on any of those points.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Fun fact, basically nothing you said is fun or a fact, most of it being pure bs.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Bob

      Who's "we"? I agree with very little of what you said.

      November 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • P.FREDA


      November 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Nic_Driver

      Do you think that a Christian's obligation to the poor ends with private charity? Do you think it is a Christian act to deny health care to the poor? Do you think ideological differences with the opposing political party make it "Christian to deny them access to healthcare?

      November 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  19. duh

    Does anyone really think the Christian Conservatives/Religious Right are going to speak ill of the very politicians they support? OMG, how dare they ask for insurance for the poor and down trodden and bolster, gasp, a Democratic president? Seriously, they are like any other corporation making money off the masses. they don't give a crap about the people as long as the money flows in and their cathedrals to themselves are built. Do you really think Jesus would be PROUD of a city of gold, palaces and works of arts, parades and pomp of today's church? Why isn't all that wealth being used for what Jesus preached? Religion in the blight of mankind. It is man's feeble attempt to live forever in some heavenly existence because he cannot simply accept the truth....you are an animal that is born, lives, and dies...like all things. Pray for God to ease the suffering...um, who the hell do you think caused the suffering to begin with? Let that simmer and screw with your mind.

    November 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Bob

      I know that democrats hate freedom of religion, but you just have to accept it. Name calling doesn't make you any more correct either.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  20. gary

    religion is a farce and those claiming to be Xtian are liars

    November 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Justin

      Thank you for your thoughtful and nuanced response.

      November 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
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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.