Satanic Temple’s Disgusting ‘Sam Alito’ Abortion Center Isn’t a Legitimate ‘Exercise of Religion’
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As if touting religious ceremonies to kill unborn children weren’t enough, The Satanic Temple – a non-theistic organization intentionally calling itself religious – has stepped up its rhetoric by naming a new chemical abortion center in New Mexico after a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. wishes were dead.
A combination of vapid and menacing, the new “Sam Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic” is advertised as providing chemical abortions by mail, with its website featuring a cartoon suggesting Judge Samuel Alito’s mother should have aborted it. (Alito wrote the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concluding that there was no constitutional right to abortion.)
This sinister masquerade is also an attack on religious freedom. The Satanic Temple threatens everyone’s religious freedom protections with its misguided plan to tie its pro-abortion propaganda to purported religious practices.
Despite its name, The Satanic Temple does not “believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural,” as its website explains. Rather than exalting anything divine, he exalts the self by saying, “You yourself are your master.” (King James English makes beliefs more theological.)
PENTAGON WILL PROVIDE TRIP FOR SERVICE MEMBERS GETTING ABORTIONS, PLUS PAID HOLIDAYS
The satanic temple disdains those who believe in God, religion and the supernatural, taunting these believers with its satanic imagery. The organization’s approach to religious freedom mirrors its approach to religion: it does not actually support religious freedom for anyone, but will invoke religious freedom for itself if it can denigrate that same freedom in the process.
The Satanic Temple is also a strong supporter of abortion, hence the reason for its announcement that its affiliate, TST Health, would establish New Mexico’s “telehealth” facility that will “provide medication for safe abortions by mail to members.” and to those who wish to perform TST’s Abortion Ritual”, part of which includes the woman reciting the “Personal Affirmation”: “By my body, my blood, By my will it is done.”
This installation faces many obstacles. Federal law currently prohibits the sending of abortifacients. Abortion drugs have side effects that harm women – especially when the women and girls who take them do so via “telehealth” and without proper medical evaluation. Additionally, there is now a major dispute over whether the Food and Drug Administration properly approved the use of these drugs as abortifacients.
In anticipation of these legal hurdles, The Satanic Temple will likely seek “religious” exemptions in order to distribute abortifacients through the mail. But this effort will face significant obstacles.
First, the Supreme Court has interpreted the free exercise clause to mean that followers of a religion cannot be exempted from laws that are prima facie neutral on religion and generally apply to everyone. It would be difficult to win a lawsuit seeking a religious exemption from federal law that prohibits the mailing of abortifacients.
If the Satanic Temple seeks an exemption under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it is still likely to fail. Under this law, the government can interfere with a person’s religious exercise when it has a compelling public interest implemented in the least restrictive manner. The government undoubtedly has a compelling interest in protecting innocent human life from destruction.
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Religious liberty laws like the RFRA are not automatic “get out of jail free” cards. Aztec or Moloc worshipers do not escape criminal penalties for homicide simply because their religious beliefs require human sacrifice. Similarly, the Satanic Temple’s exemption efforts would not go any better.
The Satanic Temple may further argue that laws protecting unborn life violate the Establishment Clause because they are allegedly based on religious doctrine. But the 1980 Supreme Court correctly held that a law does not violate the Establishment Clause simply because it coincides with the beliefs of a religious group. If this were not the case, then the laws against burglary and shoplifting would be unconstitutional because they correspond to the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not steal”.
A third problem plagues the Satanic Temple: does it have sincere religious beliefs, or did it adopt them just to mock and mock religious traditionalists? It is rare in religious freedom litigation that questions arise about the sincerity of the group’s religious beliefs. But The Satanic Temple’s own account of its tenets, particularly its rejection of anything supernatural, creates a genuine question of whether the group’s beliefs are just secular beliefs dressed up in satanic imagery to scorn and taunt the religious.
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For example, The Satanic Temple is a strange name for a supposed “religious” group that doesn’t believe in Satan or anything supernatural. The group mocks pro-life clerics by calling their proposed facility “Sam Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic.” The group even sells T-shirts with a caricature of Judge Alito’s mother saying, “If only abortion were legal when I was pregnant”, implying that Ms Alito would have aborted her son in 1950 if the abortion had been legal, then he would not have grown to write the decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The United States Constitution protects religious beliefs that are unpopular, bizarre, or offensive, but it does not protect those that are bogus.
The satanic temple should abandon this religious pretension and stick to its pro-abortion views. The group’s masquerade as a religious group conceals its contempt for religion and its efforts to disrupt legal protections for believers. It erodes the First Amendment rights that protect us all.
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