Dispatches from Future America: Government Increases Budget for Christiancare Program

[Editor's Note: After the two strange messages I received earlier this year, I thought the wormhole, or whatever it was, had closed forever. Evidently not. This past week, as fighting over the debt limit reached a fever pitch, I found a new e-mail from the future in my inbox. Elaborate hoax? Frightening warning of what lies ahead? You be the judge...]

NEW YORK CITY (July 24, 2037) — Mayor Harold Ford Jr., along with a group of civic dignitaries, was on hand for the gala ribbon-cutting of the newest federally-funded Christiancare clinic, the 1000th of its kind to open nationwide. Speeches by respected media figures marked the occasion, looking back on the long political struggle that led to the Christiancare program's creation in the federal budget for fiscal year 2012.

"The 2011 fight over the debt limit nearly destroyed our economy, resulting in skyrocketing interest rates on federal debt, a worldwide stock market crash, a domino chain of collapsing corporations, and near-anarchy as government ran out of money and was forced to shut down all over the country, suspending most basic services," said CNN analyst Stewart Kilgore. "Fortunately, after two months of chaos, President Obama capitulated to the Congressional Republicans' demands by signing a bill that raised the debt limit at the price of completely eliminating Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating all income taxes on corporations and individuals whose net worth was $1 billion or higher."

Liberal groups asserted that the controversial budget deal, while it preserved the structure of the American government, was responsible for the 10-year drop in average life expectancy that was noted over the following year. However, conservative groups hailed the deal as a triumph of post-partisan ideology that laid the groundwork for further reform.

"Since President Obama had shown himself to be a sensible and flexible negotiator, the Republicans were able to work with him to enact some common sense follow-ups," said the Sekulow Institute's chief historian, Dr. Michael Marcavage. "For example, the compassionate conservatives of the Tea Party knew that a few people had been slightly inconvenienced by the elimination of the New Deal programs, wasteful and unconstitutional though they were. Since President Obama himself had spoken highly of the great good that faith-based groups can provide with government support and no unnecessary strings, it proved to be a natural next step to return vital community services like medicine and elder care to the institution that had always provided them - the church."

Soon after the budget compromise came a bill establishing the first Christiancare pilot centers, federally funded clinics which "any officially recognized Christian denomination" could apply to run. Once the Supreme Court upheld this controversial law in a closely watched 2015 decision, the floodgates were opened, with the next Congress spending more than $5 billion to expand the program by building over a hundred new centers nationwide. Subsequent expansions of the program folded all other hospitals and clinics into it, as well as making it mandatory for all citizens to visit the nearest Christiancare clinic at least once per year for basic checkups and spiritual counseling.

"It's true that this program experienced some growing pains at first," said the mayor, referring to liberal groups' charges that life expectancy in Massachusetts dropped to 44.5 years after Christian Scientists were given control of Christiancare clinics throughout the state, as well as the sharply increased rates of infant mortality and deaths in childbirth in historically Catholic areas. "But nowadays, who can doubt its success? The skeptics have been silenced, and America's health-care system is the envy of the world! Our federally funded faith healers prescribe millions of baptisms and anointings per year, and cast out demons at rates that other countries can only dream of."

The opening ceremony was nearly overshadowed by news from Washington that further expansions to the controversial program may soon be coming. H.R. 216, sponsored by 238 members of Congress, would require all women in America to be implanted with a microchip that would detect the onset of pregnancy and wirelessly send this information to the nearest Christiancare center for "pastoral prenatal care".

"It will be so convenient, American women will hardly mind the implantation procedure," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Troy Newman. "And rest assured, our trained Christiancare counselors will be fully respectful of their patients' privacy, disclosing the expectant mother's condition only to licensed ministers of the gospel who will be on hand to provide her with the evangelistic material she'll need."

Liberal groups criticized the proposal, but their objections were not deemed newsworthy by the editors of this paper.

July 25, 2011, 5:40 am • Posted in: The LoftPermalink9 comments
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Dispatches from Future America: Court Upholds National Day of Christianity

[Editor's Note: The day after after publishing my article on the abuse of standing, I found a message with a strange attachment in my inbox, sent through an anonymous remailer. This attachment presented itself as a story clipped from a newspaper published in a future version of America. The author of the message wouldn't explain how they acquired it, other than a cryptic comment about wormholes. I have no way to verify this admittedly fantastic account, but thought it best to reprint the story so you can judge for yourself. —Ebonmuse]

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2035) — In a case closely watched by legal experts, the Supreme Court defeated a challenge to the law passed by Congress last year establishing a National Day of Christianity. Ruling unanimously, the high court found that the controversial law, which requires the President to issue an annual proclamation declaring Christianity the established religion of the United States, does not do any injury to atheists and agnostics that would grant them standing to sue.

"In issuing this ruling, we uphold the glorious traditions of our founding fathers," Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Palin said in a statement outside the courthouse. "Great men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams knew that America would never prosper unless all its citizens were washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. That's why they explicitly implied when they signed the Constitution that our country was always meant to be a Christian nation."

Court watchers weren't surprised by the outcome of the case. "The groundwork for this ruling was laid in the 2007 Hein decision," said CNN analyst Stewart Kilgore. "When the Supreme Court found that it didn't violate the Constitution for the President to use tax dollars to fund religion, they began a decades-long trend of narrowing the criteria under which citizens could sue for church-state violations. This ruling is a logical followup to the 2032 Flask decision which gave churches with more than 10,000 members the power of eminent domain so that they could seize and condemn neighboring houses to expand their parking lot."

Prior to today's ruling, several aspects of the law had drawn fire from the left. Among its most controversial provisions is a measure which requires all Americans to attend worship services once per week at a church which is on the government's official list of approved congregations. This measure, which required the hiring of over one million enforcement agents by the newly created Department of Homeland Orthodoxy, was denounced by liberal activists.

The court also found this aspect of the law to be constitutional.

"The mandatory worship-attendance measure is simply ceremonial deism," said Associate Justice David Barton, "which serves the secular purpose of teaching Americans about the history and culture of our country in a neutral and objective manner. The mandatory minimum sentences for not attending are in no way coercive. After all, no one is being forced to agree with what they hear from the pulpit."

Spokesmen for the Republican Party praised the decision. "The National Day of Christianity law is a much-needed countermeasure to the out-of-control influence of the godless American left," said RNC chairman R.J. Rushdoony Jr. "This lawsuit was utterly without merit, a publicity stunt concocted by angry, Christian-hating radicals who want to scrub any vestige of God from the public square. We're gratified that the high court has seen fit to agree."

But while they're still celebrating their latest Supreme Court victory, American Christians have set their sights on grander goals. Republican members of Congress have voiced grave concern over the fact that, in spite of the controversial creationism and Biblical Science classes added to public school curricula in 2029, the last census still found the percentage of atheists and agnostics in America as high as 1%.

"This overbearing atheist majority won't be able to impose its will on real Americans for much longer," promised President Michele Bachmann, who last week introduced a bill to create "patriotic education camps" within the large open-pit mine formerly known as West Virginia, as well as the still highly-radioactive forbidden zones of the Nevada desert. "We need all Americans to come together in faith if we're going to build a prayer wall around our nation that's strong enough to hold back the seawaters that have already executed God's judgment on the sinful cities of New York and San Francisco, as well as most of Florida. The God-haters and Sodomites whose presence keeps bringing God's wrath on us will soon learn the error of their heathen ways."

Liberal groups were not contacted for comment regarding the President's remarks.

April 20, 2011, 5:57 am • Posted in: The LoftPermalink22 comments
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