Washington, DC, April 19, 1847: The U.S. administration, after considering a conscientious objection exemption for religious institutions, decided that Catholics institutions must pay a “forced servanthood fee” for employees who wish to own slaves, up to $1,000 a slave per year.
“It is the law of many states that slavery is legal, and white men are free to own slaves. Indeed, most white men want to own slaves, seeing how abolitionists are treated like village idiots. So it seems natural and fully American that we should force Catholic institutions in slave states to facilitate owning others, and potentially killing them if they do not fit their needs. We won’t make parishes comply because we don’t think they own slaves anyway, but every other Church affiliated institution, you have a year to change your entire moral system to suit,” argued the Secretary of Health and Human Slavery, Mr. Charles Moore.
Catholic Bishops responded with outrage, arguing the mandate trespasses the freedom of religion clause in the constitution, by forcing them to act in opposition to their doctrine. However, many people on Twitter said “They just hate slave owners and the Southern way of life, grow up #freaks”, so that must be true.
At a press conference last week, a reporter asked why the Amish and Mennonite organizations were excluded from this mandate, and the press secretary, Henry White, said, “Candidly, because their numbers are so small they don’t matter.” The reporter asked what that had to do with the constitution, and White continued, “Plus, it’s not considered politically sporting in this day and age to crush pacifists fleeing religious persecution. We thought about it, and thought, not yet. Next question?”
Many Catholics were very happy about the government giving white men money to own slaves and determine their own destiny as landowners. On the other hand, administrators at Catholic institutions were deeply concerned that they could be indirectly facilitating an evil, and perhaps more so, losing their religious identity to that of the nation state. “Where would this stop?," argued a hospital president who wished to remain nameless. "A requirement to hand out slave coupons on the campus plaza? Every Catholic hospital required to construct a slave block, in case an employed person not of the Catholic faith wanted to use it?”
The Ku Klux Klan asked people to write letters of appreciation to the administration. The Bishops asked people to resist and pray. The newspapers continued going to Twitter for their research.
Tomorrow's edition: Unnamed administration officials consider requiring Catholic elementary school to allow non-Catholic teachers to use waterboarding as corporal punishment.
p.p.s. I know there are quite a few historical oddities in this article (like Twitter in the 1840s). It's satire, people, not a history textbook.