Culture

Satanists Claim Their Religious Rights Are Being Denied in Texas Because They Can't Kill Babies

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

No, this is not the Babylon Bee. With no intention of branching out into parody, hyper-Leftist Salon magazine on Saturday published an article entitled “Why Satanists may be the last, best hope to save abortion rights in Texas.” Yes, you read that right: Satanists. For decades, pro-lifers have noted the plain evil of the wholesale destruction of millions of children in the name of “reproductive freedom” and “my body, my choice,” to the indignation of Leftists who claimed that they were really the compassionate ones, the only ones who cared for the poor women who had to get abortions. But now, in the face of Texas’ new move to protect life, Salon is laying all the cards on the table.

“As pro-choice and reproductive health groups are scrambling to make sense of Texas’ new, near-total abortion ban that went into effect this week,” writes Salon’s Brett Bachman, “it appears their efforts to skirt the law are getting an unexpected boost from one organization in particular: The Satanic Temple.”

Bachman doesn’t pause to ponder the implications of the fact that his cause has now been taken up by those who openly espouse evil. A more sober advocate might pause to wonder if perhaps this support in itself indicates that one is quite drastically on the wrong side, but if Bachman thought that way, he wouldn’t be a Salon writer.

Oblivious to the larger import of what he is writing, Bachman plows on: “The ‘nontheistic’ organization, which is headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, joined the legal fray this week by sending a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanding access to abortion pills for its members. The group has established an ‘abortion ritual,’ and is attempting to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which was created to allow Native Americans access to peyote for religious rituals) to argue that its members should be allowed access to abortion drugs like Misoprostol and Mifepristone for religious purposes.”

Clever: Claim that abortion is a religious sacrament that must be protected on religious freedom grounds. Satanic Temple spokesdemon Lucien Greaves stated: “I am sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton—who famously spends a good deal of his time composing press releases about Religious Liberty issues in other states—will be proud to see that Texas’s robust Religious Liberty laws, which he so vociferously champions, will prevent future Abortion Rituals from being interrupted by superfluous government restrictions meant only to shame and harass those seeking an abortion. The battle for abortion rights is largely a battle of competing religious viewpoints, and our viewpoint that the nonviable fetus is part of the impregnated host is fortunately protected under Religious Liberty laws.”

The idea of arguing that abortion is essentially a human sacrifice and that it is part of a religion that requires such sacrifice sounds like something that a particularly poison-penned pro-life polemicist might invent. And it creates a test case that has implications for other issues as well. Does the principle of religious freedom constitute a license to commit all manner of atrocities, as long as they’re taught as part of a religion? In November 2018, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman dismissed six charges of female genital mutilation against a Muslim doctor, Jumana Nagarwala, who had been arrested in the summer of 2017 and argued that the practice was part of her understanding of Islam and thus protected under religious freedom statutes. Friedman said that laws against the practice were unconstitutional, and stated that Congress had no authority to outlaw the practice.

The Founding Fathers understood the religious freedom clause in the First Amendment as prohibiting the establishment of a national religion and allowing for the free practice of various religions in the new nation. The question at hand in the Satanic Temple’s case, as in the female genital mutilation case, is whether the freedom of religion is an all-purpose Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card that allows one to do essentially anything that can be claimed as a religious practice.

Meanwhile, abortion proponents in Texas have not shown any reluctance to line up alongside the Satanic Temple. Salon’s description of the Satanic claim as the “last, best hope” to save abortion in Texas is the clearest illustration yet of what abortion has been about all along: human sacrifice, the sacrifice of human beings to convenience and self-centeredness. Pro-lifers owe Salon, and the Satanic Temple, a debt of gratitude: now it’s all out in the open.