President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army has called public healthcare an “injustice” because it robs churches of the opportunity to covert people to Christianity.
According to the Washington Examiner, Mark Green, who is currently a state Senator in Tennessee, told a church group in 2015 that illness is one of the primary ways that people are brought to religion. However, he noted that people who are sick in the United States increasingly are turning to government-assisted healthcare which limits the Christian church’s participation in healing people.
The comments are the latest in a series of bizarre remarks by the state senator that have caused a firestorm for Green, particularly among Democratic lawmakers in Washington and progressive advocacy groups ahead of his Senate confirmation hearings.
“The person who’s in need … they look to the government for the answer, not God, and I think in that way government has done an injustice that’s even bigger than just the creation of an entitlement welfare state,” Green said. “In this setting, I’ll share the story, I think it interrupts the opportunity for people to come to a saving knowledge of who God is.”
“I see our sort of government-based assistance taking God out of the picture,” Green said. “If you look at the Gospels and you go and study the Gospels, every person who came to Christ came to Christ with a physical need. It was either hunger or a disease.”
Green, who is a physician and former Army flight surgeon, has also spoken out against LGBT rights, and attacked the theories of evolution and relativity, all of which are going to be hurdles to his confirmation in the U.S. Senate.
Democrats have referred to his past comments as “disgusting” and “extreme and deeply disturbing,” with a wide array of advocacy groups pushing the Senate to turn down his nomination because of what they claim is homophobia, and Islamophobia.