The Satanists again rise to the occasion


Whenever religious people in the US claim some privilege for themselves, unbelievers like us warn them that they would not like it if the tables were turned and minority religions take advantage of those same privileges. It turns out that our friends at the Satanic Temple (the ones who proposed putting up a Satanic statue on the Oklahoma state capital grounds) are the ones taking the lead on this, taking steps to advance their religion using the same legal arguments that Christians have used in achieving their recent victories.

For example, take the recent US Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision that said that religious owners of companies could exempt themselves from the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) that required employer-based health insurance plans to provide contraception coverage. Because of course we know that every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great, and if a sperm is wasted, god gets quite irate.

The Satanists have issued a press release that their members should be exempt from state-mandated laws that require certain types of counseling before receiving an abortion because their religion requires them to work only with the best available scientific medical facts and not those based on politics. They have provided a letter that women can present. The letter states in part:

I regard any information required by state statute to be communicated or offered to me as a precondition for an abortion (separate and apart from any other medical procedure) to be based on politics and not science (“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.

The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust. I trust that you will honor my religious beliefs and keep me fully and accurately informed of my health based on science, not politics. I further trust that you will not deny me medical care because of any inconvenience my religious beliefs may cause to your ability to provide me with your best independent medical judgment.

The Satanists are not stopping there. They are also taking advantage of a recent school board decision in Orange County, Florida that allowed for the dissemination of religious material in public schools by saying that they too will provide “pamphlets related to the Temple’s tenets, philosophy and practice of Satanism, as well as information about the legal right to practice Satanism in school” to the school district and expects them to follow their own policies and distribute the material to all pupils.

The Satanists want to make it quite clear that a secular public sphere is what they prefer and that they would not demand the right to proselytize their religion in these ways if not for the fact that supporters of other religions have compromised that secularity.

Comments

  1. Holms says

    How is it trolling? They are employing the law as it is meant to be used, and discomfiting the christians to boot. If this demonstrates to the largely christian leadership that religious laws mean all religions can use it, they may even relent and simply decide to end / reduce religious breaks from law in general.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    The dissent in Hobby Lobby warned that it might lead to a “Parade of Horribles.” (I love that image!) Rather than simply waiting for the floats to go by, each one worse than the one before, the Satanists seem to be suggesting that we should just skip to the end of the line for our test case. I applaud them for that.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    their religion requires them to work only with the best available scientific medical facts and not those based on politics.

    A HA! proof that it is not really a religion!

  4. lsamaknight says

    I’ve got to agree with Holms @2. I don’t really see how this is trolling. At worst its pointing out the flaw in these decisions with extreme sarcasm.

  5. Thersites says

    The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust. I trust that you will honor my religious beliefs and keep me fully and accurately informed of my health based on science, not politics. I further trust that you will not deny me medical care because of any inconvenience my religious beliefs may cause to your ability to provide me with your best independent medical judgment.

    Surely that is a simple statement of a physician’s moral and legal obligations to their patients.

  6. says

    How is it trolling? They are employing the law as it is meant to be used

    That’s one of the things trolls like to do. They take advantage of things like “freedom of speech” and/or blogs that allow dissent, to make pains in the ass of themselves, and amuse themselves by causing discomfort to others.

  7. Holms says

    The satanists have a set of religious beliefs. The law permits them to gain certain exemptions based on their beliefs. They are therefore applying for those exemptions. Christians are getting outraged at the thought of their precious advantages being used by another group, but especially the dreaded satanists because OMG SATAN. Calling it trolling just because christians are getting outraged at other groups finally getting some of the same privelages they have enjoyed all along does not mean those groups are trolling, it means the christian right wingers are a bunch of selfish arseholes who want it all the own way.

    If we were to use christian outrage as an indicator for trolling behavior, the mere existence of non-christians could be considered trolling.

  8. doublereed says

    Well it’s obviously trolling if the Satanists are arguing in bad faith. Which I don’t think is as obvious as Marcus presumes. I mean, if you look at their Tenets, right there is the belief in bodily autonomy. And other sections of the website make this perfectly clear that pro-choice is something that Satanists strongly believe in, as a fundamental part of being a Satanist.

    I don’t think they believe in supernatural stuff, but as far as I can see, they’re more-or-less legit. It’s just more of a philosophy than religion.

    Of course, it might be in bad faith. I would argue that’s the only real way to get through to Christian Fundamentalists.

  9. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Trolling is like humor in that (IMO) it’s a perfectly legitimate form of protest/argument when the ones doing so are punching up, and that is clearly so in this case.

  10. raven says

    That’s one of the things trolls like to do.

    It is not trolling. Trolls cause problems for their own personal reasons, satisfaction, and gratification. It’s using other people to feed their warped personalities.

    The Satanists have a serious point to make and one that is perfectly moral and perfectly legal. Not everything you don’t like or agree with is trolling.

    You could say the same thing about the Moslems when they want to put up a mosque. I don’t think much of the religion but they have every right under our laws to put up their own buildings.

  11. raven says

    They fundie xians will whine.

    OTOH, they whine about everything. They whine about the fact that people like me and other FTBers even exist. They stole Xmas from the Pagans and then complained when they stole it back.

    So what. That is their problem. Besides it seems to be a core value of their religion.

    No Whining = No fundie-ism

  12. smrnda says

    Trolling, to me, is when it’s just done to get a rise out of people .

    The Satanists are making a point about the law, religious liberty and religious exceptions and privilege. One is that it’s clear that religious ‘exceptions’ were never intended to apply equally – they’re pushing the courts to either grant true legal equality, or to demand that these exceptions or rights to display religious symbols on government ground should just be done away with in a way that will require courts to make a call or laws to be modified.

    Either way, it’s a push either for secularism, or for demoting Christianity from its privileged status.

  13. forestdragon says

    I want a copy of that form. Just in case the PTB in my state fall to the fundy braineater.

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