Sorry, Pope Francis, but there’s a new cool religion in town.
Satanism’s always had a bad rap in religious circles. As longtime Satanists ourselves (two weeks is a long time, right?) readme knows how unfair the discrimination can be. Our deity tries to destroy all that is good and holy and plunge the world into eternal darkness one time, and nobody ever lets us forget it. Then there was the whole ‘D&D will steal your soul’ thing, but give us some credit—at least we weren’t the ones responsible for 4th edition.
See, there’s a lot of misconceptions about how the modern Satanist practices. There’s this idea we engage in infant sacrifices even though, in this economy, a baby’s-worth of blood will only buy you, like a minor imp at best, or moonlight sex orgies (also not a thing, sadly). No, today’s Satanist prefers a more elegant method of striking back against God’s domain—like finding hilariously legal ways to stick it to religious conservatives.
For instance, over the summer the Supreme Court ruled that it was legal for corporations to opt out of providing certain mandatory healthcare benefits to its employees if doing so would violate the corporation’s religious beliefs. And also apparently that said corporations could even have religious beliefs in the first place. Yeah. It was a controversial decision, to say the least.
The ruling was kicked off by the efforts of nationwide crafts chain Hobby Lobby, which is primarily owned by a Pentacostal Christian family, who asserted that many of the contraceptives required by Obamacare were in fact abortion agents, and thus their religion required they refuse to provide them. (Fun fact: Steve Green, Hobby Lobby’s current president, owns forty thousand different copies of the Bible, which for reference means that his Bible library is bigger than most geeks’ comic book collections. He is—we shit you not—building a museum to house them all. Not really relevant to the point, but hella hilarious.)
The decision was met with significant criticism. Though religious conservatives and pro-life lobbyists supported the ruling, many worried about the potential for abuse the ruling invited. After all, if the only thing one needs to be above the law is to believe hard enough, where will it end?
According to the Satanic Temple, the answer is: ‘awesomeness’.
Following the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Satanic Temple (readme’s official religion, and totally different from the Church of Satan, guys, like seriously) announced that certain state-mandated pre-abortion procedures like abortion counseling and transvaginal ultrasounds were a violation of its religious beliefs. It asserted that Satanic women could not, legally, be required to partake in such procedures. As precedent, the Temple cited none other than the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling that had just gone out.
The best part is, the whole thing’s completely on the level. The Satanic Temple has long held the belief that “one’s decisions about one’s own body are paramount”, including the decisions of women seeking abortion. In short, they took a ruling that only exists because Hobby Lobby wanted to reduce the number of abortions, and used it to make things easier for women seeking that exact procedure. It turns out that not only is the Devil real, he’s also a satiric genius.
Only time will tell if Satanic women will be able to successfully practice their religious right to voluntary abortion, or whether conservatives will find some way to justify denying it. We’re not too worried, though. If we’ve learned anything from this, it’s that if you mess with the Devil, you get the horns.