Abortion

Satanists Take a Stand for Religious Liberty

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The Satanic Temple/Facebook

The Satanic Temple is taking a fun, if slightly flawed, stand for both religious and reproductive freedom. The organization—which claims to represent "politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty"—is calling on women to opt out of "informed consent" laws that require those seeking abortions to listen to a litany of inaccurate or irrelevant information.

In five states, such laws require telling women that the state favors childbirth to abortion. Others inform about the disreputed link between abortion and breast cancer or the possibility of a nonexistent condition known as "post abortion syndrome." 

"We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information," The Satanic Temple (TST) website states. It urges like-minded women seeking abortions to print out a TST template letter asserting "a religious exemption from the burden of state ­mandated 'informational' abortion materials." An excerpt from the letter: 

As an adherent to the principles of the Satanic Temple, my sincerely held religious beliefs are:

  • My body is inviolable and subject to my will alone.
  • I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.
  • My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry so long as that tissue is unable to survive outside my body as an independent human being.

(…) My informed consent is based solely on information you provide which, in the exercise of your independent medical judgment, is materially relevant to my health (excluding the present or future condition of any fetal or embryonic tissue inside my body) and is scientifically true and accurate. My informed consent is not based on Political Information.

This letter constitutes my acknowledgment that you have offered Political Information to me. I reject that Political Information because it offends my sincerely held religious beliefs. Please attach this letter to any forms you are required to keep regarding my informed consent.

Groups have been challenging politically-motivated abortion consent laws for years, but TST says it is the first to suggest a religious exemption possibility. Stunt or serious move, I think the idea is pretty great.

The "flawed" part is TST linking its initiative to the recent Supreme Court ruling on religious exemptions to the Obamacare contraception mandate. "While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact," said TST spokesman Lucien Greaves in a press release. "This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, when in fact they are not." 

Though Hobby Lobby's opposition was based on a belief that certain forms of contraception are abortion—an opinion contra the wisdom of medical and scientific communities—the abortifaciant-or-not status of these drugs wasn't up for the court's consideration. And company owners against birth control because it prevents pregnancy, even without thinking it terminates a pregnancy, could still prevail under the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby logic. The point isn't that religious beliefs "trump" scientific facts but that they don't have to depend on them—it doesn't matter if intrauterine devices actually cause abortions or Allah actually requires a certain amount of prayer per day, only that religious individuals sincerely believe these things are true. So TST's Hobby Lobby parallels fail here, but the larger religious freedom claim might just have merit. 

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  1. My body is inviolable and subject to my will alone

    Well, looks like those Satanists just joined us libertarians on the domestic terrorist watch list.

    1. My body is inviolable and subject to my will alone

      Excellent start.

      I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.

      Unnecessary given the first. It matters not one wit why I chose to do with my body what I choose, because my body is inviolable and subject to my will alone.

      My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry so long as that tissue is unable to survive outside my body as an independent human being.

      And then departs the traveled portion of the roadway and into the weeds.

      1. It sounds like they are okay with anti-abortion laws at 19 weeks.

        Better than the proggies.

        1. And many on here.

      2. Wait, if those dependent on others for their very survival are, by nature of this fact, unpersons, why do we let them vote?

      1. That was poignant.

      2. The Mountain Goats rule.

      3. I want to start a cab company called Satan. “Hail Satan! For all your transportation needs.”

        1. “Which cab responded to your call?”

          “Cab #666”

        2. “-Only one place we won’t go!”

  2. I have a soft place in my heart for Satanists and it irks me that they have to take a good thing and ruin it by ignorantly commenting on the Supreme Court ruling.

    1. Inorite? But ENB gets it right!

    2. I imagine that the biggest beneficiary from this whole Hobby Lobby ruling thing will be Planned Parenthood, because they can make quite a bit of hay from the ginned up frenzy of outrage surrounding it. I can walk up Broadway any time of day and pass by half a dozen fundraising canvassers with their clipboards chatting away with passerby, “Did you hear about that Hobby Lobby case where the Supreme Court took away a women’s right to contraception?” and the like.

  3. In five states, such laws require telling women that the state favors childbirth to abortion.

    ENB, can you give more info on this please? Really wondering what they have to say.

    1. Info came from here: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs…..90406.html

      And here’s an example, from Utah: http://www.deseretnews.com/art…..tml?pg=all

    2. I’ve been looking for more on exact wording because I’m curious, too, but haven’t turned up anything yet…

      1. From Utah.

        HB362, sponsored by Rep. Robert Killpack, R-Murray, does three things: says the state prefers childbirth over abortion, says the material must say how an abortion affects a fetus and details the stages of fetal development.Rep. Bryan Holladay, R-West Jordan, tried to amend the bill so that pictures of fetuses being sucked out of the uterus did not have to be in a video provided to women seeking the procedure.

        How is that saying the state favors not having one? Looks like the state ensuring informed consent.

        1. Well, I think the part that says “the state prefers childbirth over abortion” is pretty explicit that “the state prefers childbirth over abortion,” no? I’m not sure if this Utah bill actually passed though. Was looking through existing informed consent law just now and didn’t see this bit.

          1. Which part says “state prefers child birth”? I didn’t see it in your linked article.

              1. BTW, thanks for responding, Elizabeth. I have to run in a few but I continue to be curious about this.

            1. It’s in the part you quote, John. Right after the colon.

          2. IN what I quoted. Nevermind. It has been a long week, already.

          3. Beyond that, why can’t the state prefer one or the other?

            1. It’s just haranguing people who probably already done quite a bit of thinking about abortion already. I would be pretty irritated if I were required to read something about how the state of Ohio prefers people not to own guns before I could buy a gun.

              1. Are you going to shoot an embryo with that gun?

            2. Not to play bullshit semantics, but what does that even mean? Is it like the state motto, incumbent on nothing and enjoining or requiring nothing? Society on net may oppose abortion, yet it’s one of the most hotly championed “rights”. Does the US prefer life over choice, then, or reveal a secret preference for choice through our collective inaction?

              Or could it be just another rubbish gesture, like pols proclaiming small businesses the lifeblood of the American economy while doing everything in their power to hobble commerce?

      2. Here’s one state law that says it explicitly:

        Indiana State Law on Abortion

  4. Though Hobby Lobby’s opposition was based on a belief that certain forms of contraception are abortion?an opinion contra the wisdom of medical and scientific communities

    That is not true at all. No one disagrees about the science. They just disagree about what it means to be an aborficant. The Hobby Lobby people define such as anything that creates the possibility of an abortion. If you don’t agree, good for you. But neither side has “science” on their side. It is literally a debate about definitions and semantics.

    1. Anything that creates the possibility of an abortion? Wouldn’t that include jogging or taking the stairs?

      1. Or riding roller coasters.

        OMG Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court took away women’s right to ride roller coasters!

      2. That would be a relevant question if HL was being forced into subsidizing taking the stairs or trips to Cedar Point.

        1. Derp

      3. Hobby Lobby defines preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg as an abortion.

        This all depends on what you consider the start of a pregnancy, the moment the eggs is fertilized, or the moment it implants into the uterine wall. Medically, a woman is not consider pregnant until after implantation.

        1. If that definition of pregnancy is true, it’s because it’s already a separate human being.

          Already conceived. And living. DNA complete, and about half the time even a different sex.

  5. “…an opinion contra the wisdom of medical and scientific communities….”

    Wisdom? I thought the medical and scientific communities had some real powerful stuff, like peer review and consensus. And now you tell me that they deal in the same stuff as tribal elders and new age gurus. I am disappoint.

    1. This makes me think – is there a difference between medical and scientific communities? Or should I stop going to my local witchdoctor?

      1. I traded links with some guy one day when we were arguing about conception. I provide a dozen biology texts that said conception was fertilization. He provided a dozen medical texts that said conception was implantation. The difference is significant regarding whether or not an IUD that prevents implantation is an abortion or not.

        1. He provided a dozen medical texts that said conception was implantation.

          It is the old bait and switch. The scientific terms fertilization and implantation are quite specific. “Conception” isn’t a scientific term anymore than “person” is. WTF is supposed to be implanting?

          Every single person who posts on this site knows for a fact that sexual reproduction produces a new individual which begins as a single cell.(OK, maybe the trolls are too stupid to grasp it) They teach this shit in the 9th grade. The unique nature of an individuals DNA occurs at fertilization. No longer one of father’s or mother’s cells. Alive. Human. Individual.

          With the exception of damaged cells, every single cell in my body contains the same DNA created at the moment of fertilization. How in the fuck is this not the beginning? Science tells us that it is. The denial of this scientific fact is a rationalization of evil.

          1. Uniqueness of DNA within human cells is not a necessary quality for personhood. Human cancer cells have unique DNA and tumors are not persons. A cloned human walking around will not have unique human DNA but both clone and donor would be persons.

  6. I feel called upon to stand up for the Satanic-American community

    The headline insinuates that the *entire* Satanic movement is down with religiously-based abortion. But the post provides evidence only from a single Satanic organization.

    There are a wide variety of Satanic groups, of which The Satanic Temple is only one. The LaVeyan Satanists, for instance, the best-known Satanists, are not connected with The Satanic Temple.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanism

    1. “My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry so long as that tissue is unable to survive outside my body as an independent human being.”

      OK, let us grant the absolute sincerity of women who justify their abortion in terms of their specific interpretation of Satanism. And let us grant that banning such people from having abortion would violate the practice of their religion.

      Now we have to consider the other elements of the RFRA test – is there a compelling government interest in preventing a woman from killing the unborn human being inside her without having any counseling whatever about the effects of that decision or the stance of the state regarding her decision? Is there any means, short of the necessary statutory notifications, to satisfy the government’s interest protecting these living human beings?

      Consider a person with a religious conviction that his sister is a whore whom God wants him to kill. Should the government accomodate that belief? If the government shouldn’t be expected to accomodate a brother’s sincere belief that he must kill his sister, why should it accomodate a woman’s sincere belief that she must kill her son or daughter?

      And in any event, I presume ENB can see that there’s a slight difference between a businssman or businesswoman’s right not to subsidize abortion, and the right of a brother to kill his sister or the right of a mother to kill her child?

      1. Likewise the right of a businessman or businesswoman not to subsidize even birth control.

      2. Do as thou will.

        1. Aww, is that an Alistair Crowley reference?

          1. And the whole of the law shall be: You Do NOT TALK about Crowley Quote Club.

          2. What went on in your head?

            1. I love that song. It just sounds like Ozzy got really confused after reading something about Crowley. And confused Ozzy is just funny.

      3. “Is there any means, short of the necessary statutory notifications, to satisfy the government’s interest protecting these living human beings?”

        Letting adults seek out their own information?

        1. Sorry, that’s three strikes. One for being pro-abortion, one for siding with The Satanic Temple, and one for being a jackass.

          You’re out!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUKIMU4MwlE

          1. Any hot felons in that video?

      4. Well if she’s a Satanist, doesn’t the government have a compelling argument to allow the abortion in order to prevent the reign of the anti-Christ?

        1. If they had aborted Damien all those pro life priests and monks he killed would still be alive. That’s irony for you

  7. Was it Satanists who 404’d the “France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians” article? Clearly, Reason is in the pocket of Big Satan.

  8. Can I use a religious exemption when getting and or giving a loan?

    Dodd-Frank is a trigger for me.

  9. Their case is meritless or if it has merit is not analogous to Hobby Lobby. Saying, you must read this, is not the same as saying “you must do this”. The former does not require you to act against your conscience.

    1. Would requiring a person to undergo some type of diversity training do so?

    2. Then let’s bring this down to the absurd: could the government, through some potential legislation, force me to read Mein Kampf before they issuing me a driver’s license?

    3. agreed, this seems to be regulatory in nature and the provider is regulated as a function of its license/permission slip. It’s more similar to being asked about organ donation at DMV, than Hob-Lob-Law.

    4. Reading is doing something.

    5. They (the lifers, not the Satanists) would be on firmer ground if it was a requirement on the service provided to make the information readily available, as with, I dunno, calorie counts or whatever. Consumer protection, you know.

  10. They do not represent me as a secularist or an atheist. Just sayin’

    1. Then TST must be really out there!

  11. “I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.”

    The fact that they don’t have the inverse here shows their true biases.

    “I make any decision regarding my health based on religious or political beliefs (or ANY reason) even if [it] does not comport with the best scientific understanding of the world, ”

    Glad to be of help, satanists.

    1. +1000 You can make any decision you like as long as it is done for reasons they like.

    2. I suspect this is what they should be after:

      “I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science my decision does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.”

    3. “My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry…”

      “I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world,…”

      Except the first statement is not based on a scientific understanding of human reproduction. Fetal tissue is not part of the body of the person carrying it. It is a separate system.

  12. As a Catholic in support of religious liberty I feel that I am honor bound to post something about giving “The Devil Benefit of Law”….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBiLT3LASk

    1. To be fair, giving the devil benefit of the law for his (More’s) own safety’s sake didn’t work out well for him in purely temporal terms…

  13. Kiss the goat. Actually, kiss my patuckis, Christianity. http://www.zombielogic.org/201…..-none.html

  14. The only way Hobby Lobby isn’t a giant can of worms is if the SCOTUS was treating this particular sincerely held belief about contraception/abortion as somehow special and distinct from many other religious claims.

    Have we found the means by which they finally turn us into a theocracy (which is the open aim of many of the members of the Federalist Society)?

    “Look, fuck it. The Court rules that this is a Christian nation. We have no other option what with all these silly non-Christian claims to sincerely held beliefs. It’s the only way to prevent total chaos. It is so ordered, in the name of our savior Jesus Christ.”

    1. you have it completely backwards . but ok.

    2. Funny how “You don’t have to pay for that” can turn into “OMG, THEOCRACY!!!11!!1!” so quickly…

    3. I sincerely hope we open that can of worms and go down the horrifying, horrifying slippery slope towards a world in which government can’t compelled ANYONE to act against their conscience.

      1. It is a horrifying slippery slope. What if your religious conscience dictates that your daughter is your property and must be compelled to act as you desire well into adulthood? “Oh well that’s different. The principle of self-ownership trumps that deeply held religious belief because… der… Locke trumps Muhammad?”

        1. Well, yeah. Your daughter is an independent person with equal rights to your own. She can’t be compelled to do anything by your command either. You can’t be compelled to do things against your will, she can’t be compelled to do things against your will. Nobody can be compelled to do things against their will.

          MY GOD. THE HORROR.

        2. Analogies are hard. It’s okay. You tried.

        3. You’re making equivocations that no person would ever be stupid enough to make, and have nothing to do with the legal issue in Hobby Lobby.

          Mr. Tony, never in your entire speech did you come close to anything resembling a rational thought. The entire audience is dumber for having listened to you. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    4. The Executive Branch attempts to compel the entire nation to accept it moral viewpoint and a court ruling which tells it “no” is the seed of establishing a theocracy?

      When did we pass through the Looking Glass?

    5. Drink too much idiot juice again, Tony?

  15. Isn’t this bound to fail for a much simpler reason, in that Hobby Lobby was based on the Federal RFRA whereas the laws they want to challenge here are state laws? I think the RFRA was held unconstitutional as to state laws in Flores in the late 90s.

  16. “This is what bad art actually looks like.”

  17. “We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information,” The Satanic Temple (TST) website states.”

    They wrote that, and then they went back to making more silly statues.

  18. “My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry so long as that tissue is unable to survive outside my body as an independent human being.”

    Which implies that there is a moral obligation to preserve the life of a child in the third trimester, which would invalidate most late-term abortions. That makes the Satanists stand moderately pro-life with regards to current federal jurisprudence on the issue.

    Congratulations to SCOTUS, President Obama and Elizabeth Nolan Brown. It takes something to be more evil on an issue than a group of Satanists.

    1. If the Satanists consider you evil, does that mean you’re good?

      1. It is a puzzlement.

  19. Santa!

  20. Figures. I’m an anarcho-capitalist of the Rothbard/Walter Block “tradition”, but Ayn Rand’s John Galt’s rant against the Garden of Eden lines up exactly to Satanist doctrine. So prenatal infanticide, akin to some Satanist factions as infant sacrifice at the altar of self-worship and hedonism, makes an appearance at Reason.

    I’m 100% against government mandates and government schools and government information bureaus, especially when they are right (because it’s bait and switch).

    However, depriving the most helpless and innocent of human beings of the most essential natural right there is, is NOT a “stand for religious freedom”.

    Opposition to prenatal infanticide is MORE than a “religious” thing:

    http://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html

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