The State of Massachusetts is considering passing a law that would force businesses to contribute a set amount of money to every employee for health care. Perhaps you’re a conservative who would prefer health care to be covered by the free market. Maybe you’re a liberal who thinks the government should just cover the cost. Maybe you’re a foreigner who has better things to think about. Let’s set all of that aside just for a second to talk about how the Christian Scientists feel.
You’re already chuckling, aren’t you? You know where this is going. Buckle up.
As you may know, the First Church of Christ, Scientist is based here in Boston. I visited the world headquarters just a few months ago, at which time I snuck around, learned some disturbing things, got freaked out, and scurried away, thankfully without contracting measles. The Church operates like a business, particularly in the case of its award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. Because of this, the Church has paid employees, to whom the organization offers “health care” benefits. Currently, non-Christian Scientists who work for the Church are offered a plan that covers about 70% of the premium through Tufts Health Plan, while Church members are offered a plan directly through the Church, which covers 90% of the total amount of Monopoly money spent on charlatans who use their deranged fantasies to pretend patients get better. AKA, faith healers.
Just to recap: the Church offers employees a formal “heath plan” so they can afford to pay to see the Church’s own faith healers.
This is why they’re up in arms about the current legistlation — the law states that the money must go toward medical care, as opposed to fantasy unicorn summoning or whatever. The fantasy unicorn summoners are crying unfair. Poor things.
In a recent Boston Globe article, one Mark Unger was interviewed. Mark’s self-chosen title is “metaphysician,” meaning, I suppose, “somewhere around a physician, but not actually in possesion of talent or knowledge or sense of ethics.” Mark describes his job as
to lift up the patient above the physical level to the spiritual, to get them to look beyond the symptoms to the spiritual truth about what’s going on.
“What’s going on,” meaning that you’re trying to chant away disease and it’s not working and you’re probably going to die in a nasty way. The article says:
Unger charges $32 for a treatment, during which he prays for a patient to promote healing. The Ashland resident said he can pray anywhere, but prefers a quiet place, usually not with the patient.
Like maybe on a bike ride? At the beach? Reading a novel? While getting a midnight snack from the fridge? It’s great that he found a profession that allows him plenty of free time to explore his other interests, and no need to bother with pesky patients.
The article continues:
While he doesn’t make medical diagnoses, Unger says he has cured a patient’s skin cancer with prayer. “It dried up and dropped off,” he said.
Oh, the cancer just dried up and dropped off, did it? Well that’s fantastic! Can we see it? Surely there’s a lump of cancer in your desk drawer somewhere, or maybe in a jar over your fireplace that we could borrow just for a second. We’ll run a few of our heathen tests on it, but don’t worry — despite what quantum physics says the observation won’t affect the sample, and the payoff will be totally worth it. Imagine the people we could a.) convert to your crazy religion and b.) help not die and c.) get to pay you or the charity of your choice billions and billions of dollars! That means a net gain of happiness on an unimaginable scale, worldwide! Who wouldn’t want that?
Besides a scam artist, I mean.