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Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« on: December 22, 2013, 05:47:07 PM »
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=1EF627C8-31C3-444E-A453-8456107EFF0D

 Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
By: Paige Winfield Cunningham
December 22, 2013 01:07 PM EST

Under the big evangelical tent where tens of millions of Americans worship, Hispanic churches are embracing Obamacare despite the concerns about religious freedom that have tarnished the law for many of their fellow believers.

Pastors have encouraged support since enrollment for health coverage began in October. Their take is that the law’s positives outweigh its negatives, especially for the one in three Hispanics without insurance, the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group. Many of the uninsured are eligible for major new health benefits plus subsidies to help them afford coverage.

On the eve of the first sign-up deadline Monday, church leaders are still working hard to get out the word about how much the Hispanic community will gain. Some draw parallels between the suffering the law is intended to ameliorate and the church’s core mission.



“Jesus was a healer,” noted Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “The health care law can be improved, but I think in its present form it does more good than harm to Latinos around the country.”

Given the robust growth of evangelicalism within the nation’s Hispanic population – 13 percent of adults now identify themselves as evangelical – this slice of support could be potent.

Yet embrace of the health law puts Hispanic evangelicals at odds with other evangelicals as well as religious conservatives across denominations. They have opposed Obamacare primarily because of its provision requiring businesses to cover contraceptives in employee health plans, including the morning-after pill.



Unlike the Catholic Church, evangelicals do not oppose contraception per se. But they contend that the mandate violates the individual religious values of many employers – the constitutional issue that in fact will be argued before the Supreme Court next spring.

Although the contraceptive requirement may cause many evangelical Hispanics discomfort, they seem to have made their peace. “Our commitment has always been to strike a balance between religious liberty and individual liberty,” Salguero said.

In doing so, they’ve aligned with the mainline congregations that have been at the center of most of the Obama administration’s faith outreach. That months-long effort has included online seminars, meetings in churches nationwide, mailings and even special tutorials for missionaries on the specifics of the complex health law.



NLEC, which has about 3,000 member churches, has mounted its own outreach through webinars and pastor trainings and still has events planned in January in Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago and Puerto Rico. Other programs have been organized at more of a grass-roots level.

The law is “a start,” said Abraham Hernandez, northeast vice president for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He believes Obamacare’s expanded benefits will advance a key conference principle. “If Hispanics in the nation can have access to health care, it indeed preserves life. We believe that access to health care is very critical,” he said.

Hernandez, who also serves as associate pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Connecticut, has long worked for greater health access and other reforms in his state. This fall, a group of religious leaders he helped to mobilize organized dozens of Obamacare question-and-answer sessions in churches. They targeted the major population centers of Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, where most Hispanics in Connecticut live.

Rhona Cohen, a local health care advocate, led trainings in about 15 churches around the state on behalf of the group. Churches are a great place to do outreach, she said, because people tend to talk more freely about the law.

“I’ve found that people are willing to be a little more open about their concerns, because these are communities of folks who come together regularly and work together regularly and also have a focus on their own community within the church…so they already are sort of creating a culture of care,” she said.

She’s found that evangelicals express the same principal concern about Obamacare as other Hispanics — namely, whether they’ll be able to afford the coverage offered to them. Rarely does she hear the contraception mandate raised.

“Yes, there are broader theological questions the pastors bring to the conversation, but the laity on the whole are worried about economics,” she said.

Hernandez and other Hispanic evangelical leaders say they have been careful to acknowledge the issue of religious beliefs. But they’ve also stressed the law’s overall benefits. “To know that people who are below the 400 percent poverty level will get help…it’s a significant number,” Hernandez said. “Folks will have a subsidy that can at least help them go see a doctor.”

Salguero said his goal is always to give people a full, accurate picture.

“If we’re doing our job right as pastors in churches, we’re presenting the Affordable Care Act as it is with its strengths and weaknesses and people can make a decision,” he said. “As evangelicals, we need to explain it to the best of our ability.”

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Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 05:50:23 PM »
They support it because Hispanics support socialism.  Nothing more, nothing less.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 05:51:17 PM »
This isn't a surprise they came here for the freebies this society gives them, most will qualify for medicaid so they are getting free healthcare.  The polls taken of the community states the majority prefer and support big government...  they even have a Spanish soap opera that encourages them to sign up for food stamps, I imagine this will be added to the soap opera.
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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 09:57:29 PM »
This isn't a surprise they came here for the freebies this society gives them, most will qualify for medicaid so they are getting free healthcare.  The polls taken of the community states the majority prefer and support big government...  they even have a Spanish soap opera that encourages them to sign up for food stamps, I imagine this will be added to the soap opera.
If we are going to have any chance of keeping this country from entering a death spiral, we are going to have to find a way to reach these people.

Todos los palabras que escribimos aqui no hace nada, porque estos personas no hablan ingles muy mucho.

(All the words that we write here do nothing, because those people don't speak English very much.)
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 12:02:15 AM »
If we are going to have any chance of keeping this country from entering a death spiral, we are going to have to find a way to reach these people.

Todos los palabras que escribimos aqui no hace nada, porque estos personas no hablan ingles muy mucho.

(All the words that we write here do nothing, because those people don't speak English very much.)

Por supuesto, y es por eso que tenemos apprender a hablar y escribir español.

Offline aligncare

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 12:15:45 AM »
They support it because Hispanics support socialism.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Plus, the pastor's church – his "business" – pays no taxes. So what's it to him if big government taxes crush the productive sector of society.

I wonder if a pastor's income, since it usually comes from church donations, is subject to income taxes?
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 12:19:01 AM »
Plus, the pastor's church – his "business" – pays no taxes. So what's it to him if big government taxes crush the productive sector of society.

I wonder if a pastor's income, since it usually comes from church donations, is subject to income taxes?

Then why don't non-Hispanic pastors also support Obastardcare?

Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 12:22:11 AM »
Plus, the pastor's church – his "business" – pays no taxes. So what's it to him if big government taxes crush the productive sector of society.

I wonder if a pastor's income, since it usually comes from church donations, is subject to income taxes?

Yes, pastors pay income tax on their earnings, although they do get some different treatment, for example, they are generally treated as self-employed even though they would otherwise qualify as "employees" under the general rules and they can opt out of the social security regime if they want to, although that also means they forgo any social security benefits.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 08:33:29 AM »
Yes, pastors pay income tax on their earnings, although they do get some different treatment, for example, they are generally treated as self-employed even though they would otherwise qualify as "employees" under the general rules and they can opt out of the social security regime if they want to, although that also means they forgo any social security benefits.
They also can have the church reclassify what most of us would consider salary as "housing."
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 09:44:46 AM »
They also can have the church reclassify what most of us would consider salary as "housing."

Except that it's still housing.  In fact, if your employer requires you to live in a certain structure as a condition of your continued employment, the rental value of that residence is not included as taxable income either, even if you aren't a pastor.

Furthermore, as far as the topic of conversation is concerned, and with respect to the comment that initially raised that question, the mere fact that a pastor's income may be largely untaxed cannot explain why Hispanic evangelicals are any more likely to support Obastardcare than are non-Hispanic evangelicals, because pastors in both groups benefit equally from the income exemptions granted to pastors.

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 09:57:22 AM »
Might I suggest that pastors of Hispanic congregations see significantly more poverty related illness and disease than pastors of other congregations?

It could be as simple as that.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2013, 09:58:50 AM »
Might I suggest that pastors of Hispanic congregations see significantly more poverty related illness and disease than pastors of other congregations?

It could be as simple as that.

It certainly could be; nonetheless, it's also quite certain that they cannot see the forest for the trees because Obamacare is unlikely to relieve much of that poverty, illness and disease and, in fact, because of its economy-dampening effects, is likely to increase that suffering.

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 10:23:50 AM »
It certainly could be; nonetheless, it's also quite certain that they cannot see the forest for the trees because Obamacare is unlikely to relieve much of that poverty, illness and disease and, in fact, because of its economy-dampening effects, is likely to increase that suffering.

Totally agree with you on the effects of Obamacare. It's a band-aid prescribed for gangrene.

But you can imagine the frustration and rage these pastors (mostly very good men) feel for their parishioners. Obamacare comes along and says it will help the ones they can't help. Not surprising they bought into the lie.
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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 10:37:39 AM »
Totally agree with you on the effects of Obamacare. It's a band-aid prescribed for gangrene.

But you can imagine the frustration and rage these pastors (mostly very good men) feel for their parishioners. Obamacare comes along and says it will help the ones they can't help. Not surprising they bought into the lie.

On that we can agree.  And not only does it spring from an inability to appreciate the overarching economics, it also springs from, what I frankly see, as a misunderstanding of the Bible and of Jesus' teachings.  I've seen it in some liberal R.C. churches where the agitators in the flock have harangued the church into supporting things like Obamacare because Jesus told us to take care of the least of us, forgetting completely that Jesus appealed to each individual's conscience to motivate them to act of their own free will from their love of God; He did not appeal to the Roman Empire to force everyone to act in accordance with God's will.

If Jesus saw fit to not simply impose the desire to help the least by divine fiat, then who are we to do the same through the threat of Caesar's sword?  It's certainly within the realm of acts left to Caesar, but that doesn't make it morally correct and it doesn't make the supporters of those actions virtuous.

Offline GourmetDan

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2013, 10:37:52 AM »
Might I suggest that pastors of Hispanic congregations see significantly more poverty related illness and disease than pastors of other congregations?

It could be as simple as that.


Sadly, Hispanic pastors apparently also let their flocks believe that taking from others through the power of Caesar is biblical.  It isn't.

Here is the Hispanic attitude toward the U.S. that is typically on display...

         


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Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2013, 10:39:34 AM »
Sadly, Hispanic pastors apparently also let their flocks believe that taking from others through the power of Caesar is biblical.  It isn't.

Here is the Hispanic attitude toward the U.S. that is typically on display...

         





Something we can both agree on.

Offline GourmetDan

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2013, 10:57:56 AM »
Something we can both agree on.

Yeah well, let's not make a habit out of it...    :silly:


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Offline Oceander

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Re: Taking a different path, Hispanic evangelicals support Obamacare
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2013, 12:08:55 AM »
Yeah well, let's not make a habit out of it...    :silly:




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