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.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

    Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • Penguin_Factory

    I’ve said in the past that these things are a bit ham-fisted and over the top, but actually this one is pretty spot on. There are already Christian denominations pulling crap like this, and you better believe they’d jump at the chance to impose their dogma on everyone else.

  • Erin W

    Republic of Gilead calling, line 1.

  • Brock

    I’m not sure this is funny… or scary.

  • Andrew T.

    I know it’s a humor piece, but stuff like this cuts so close to the possibilities of reality that it only leaves me depressed.

  • Scotlyn

    “Shivers up my backboooone…”

  • http://daylightatheism.org J. James

    @Penguin_Factory
    Pretty sure they’re as ham-fisted as ever. Funny though. Everyone know that serious attempts to predict the future are always destined to be completely off-base.

    For instance, in the 50s & 60s the future was radioactive and communist, in the 70s it was rendered invisible by the haze of pot-smoke from all the damn hippies!, in the 80s it was a crime-ridden worldwide inner cityscape, in the 90s it was a world free from communism(but unfortunately ruled by AIs, white terrorists, hard drugs and OMFG SATANIC CULTS!!1!), in the… Well, you get the point.

    Whenever people try to predict what the future will be like, they just take the current trends and run away with them. But, then again, no one expects the spanish inquisition, as it were.

  • Charles Black

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing a priest to cure my illnesses through prayer even though it has no effect whatsoever curing disease.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    This was a bit bleaker than usual, wasn’t it? Well, never fear – in the past, when I’ve gotten a letter from one possible future, a competing one has tended to get in touch soon thereafter. I suspect that pattern is about to repeat.


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