In any case, one of the topics that came up at the last committee meeting was that the part-timers would really like some access to health care. This particular teaching job works for the state/county government. And most of us work numerous part-time jobs at other schools. Some of us are grad students (not me) who get insurance through the university. Some of us get insurance through our spouses. But probably a third of us are on our own. I actually don't expect the school to pay for our insurance...that would be expecting a lot...but I would like access to group rates. Right now, I have some pre-existing conditions that I've been dealing with off insurance for 10 of the last 14 years, (and been without insurance 4 years longer than that) and paying for doctors and medication on my own. For me to get insurance on my own right now, I'm looking at $500-600 a month. Getting in on a group plan would reduce that, as the risk would be spread over more people. (My dad sold health insurance, so I know a little bit about how they price these things... less people means the price goes up, more people means the price goes down... now if they priced things over the whole population instead of over individual policies, this wouldn't happen...but that's because they want to make money.)
So anyway, what does this have to do with atheism?
The committee was discussing the problem and how we might be able to resolve it. Someone suggested they knew an agent that might be able to get us rates, but we'd have to find out how many people were interested, etc. And so we took an informal poll of the committee members to see who was interested. And the topic came up about price. If we could bring the cost down to $200-300 a month, I would probably find a way to buy it, but at $500-600 a month, that's out of my price range. I'm left to "pray". (And yes, I used air quotes when I said it.)
My boss is a Baptist, so I should have expected that he'd do the usual Christian thing and say, "But that works, doesn't it?"
He was totally serious.
I wasn't really in the mood to go into the chronic medical problem I've been treating since I was in my 20's, and the appendectomy I had 8 years ago, or my high blood pressure, or high cholesterol that I can't treat, or my bouts of depression that gets worse with stress (and working three jobs is certainly stressful) and which I end up managing with food instead of with psychological treatment, or the tendon I pulled in my left foot that I can't do anything with, and that I haven't been to the dentist in 21 years... Yeah. Prayer works so well.
I totally wanted to smack him.
This belief that god will solve all their problems makes people complacent. And this guy is working for the government. Even to mention it jokingly is out of line. He was lucky I didn't put that comment in the official minutes. These people give me a headache. It's hard work trying to get people to deal with reality who are so used to ignoring it.