Today we have compelling reasons to be ashamed of elected officials claiming Christian values.
Yesterday a group of Christian clergy connected with Moral Movement Tennessee staged a demonstration at the Tennessee state capital. The clergy object to Tennessee state lawmakers claiming Christian values but blocking expansion of health care for the state’s poor under the Affordable Care Act. The demonstrators read 2,000 Scripture verses that directed believers to care for the poor, sick and suffering. The group is advocating for the passage of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal.
Insure Tennessee would use federal Medicaid funding to expand health insurance coverage in the state that has been blocked in the state legislature by leading Republicans. These same Republican lawmakers claim to hold Christian values but continue to block health care expansion for the poor in their state citing only political motivation and financial concerns. Whatever the reasons behind the denial of Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, it seems clear that Judeo-Christian values are not among them. There is no imaginable Christian belief that can support Tennessee’s continued refusal to provide health care to its poorest residents.
Meanwhile at the same time in Washington D.C. a group of Republican congressmen gathered by Trent Franks of Arizona spoke outside Capitol Hill Tuesday in support of the Little Sisters of the Poor case on the eve of oral arguments in the Supreme Court case. Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the plaintiffs argue on behalf of Christian employers that because they pay for part of the cost of an employee’s health insurance, then they should have the final say in what is and what is not covered under the policy. Ridiculous. The group specifically objects to contraception and abortion prescription drugs that are required coverage in all health insurance under federal law. We get it, conservative Christians despise abortion. But interfering with employee benefits and imposing those values on employees is no longer an acceptable expression of religious values in this country.
In his last public address Christian Revered Billy Graham recognized the disturbing trend. “Ungodliness floods our land. Moral decline has become normal”. If ever there was a time to be ashamed of our nation’s so-called Christian politicians, today is the day.