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Clergy send letter of support to Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Legislature

A group of clergymen recently sent a letter stating their support of the decision by Gov. Mary Fallin and the state Legislature to reject federal Affordable Care Act funds to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma.
by Carla Hinton Modified: May 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013

A group of clergy leaders recently sent a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin and the state Legislature in which they shared their support for Fallin's rejection of federal funding to expand Medicaid.

The Rev. Paul Blair, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, said he drafted the letter and sent it to Fallin's office April 26 after reading an April 26 news story in The Oklahoman about religious leaders who sent the governor a letter asking her to reconsider refusing the federal funding.

“Stand strong on this issue Gov. Fallin. Just say no,” the letter from Blair's group stated.

Representatives with the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, an ecumenical Christian faith organization made up of 16 religious faith groups, held a news conference at the state Capitol to say they sent a pastoral letter of concern to Fallin in response to her 2012 decision to reject Medicaid expansion funding through the federal Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.

The Oklahoma Conference of Churches group urged elected leaders to look beyond politics to consider the moral consequences of the decision.

Recently, Blair said he wanted the governor and legislators to know that numerous clergy leaders support the choice to reject the federal funding.

“We are overspending by a trillion dollars while there are some that believe that it's the government's responsibility to provide for a welfare state,” Blair said. “We are saddling our children and grandchildren with a debt they won't ever be able to repay.”

Others agree

State Rep. Dan Fisher, R-Yukon, said he signed the letter as the longtime senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon.

“I believe that it is a biblical principal to live within your means,” Fisher said. “In my opinion, America has simply overreached its ability to pay.”

Fisher said he wants to help the indigent as well as any other religious leader.

“It's not that I don't care about people in plight and in need, but just because government can do something doesn't mean it should,” he said.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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