A recent article in the Los Angeles Times about The Satanic Temple said the organization “describes itself as a political activism group that promotes certain beliefs such as free will and political tolerance.” Satanists believe in free will and political tolerance? That inspired me to check out their website.
What I found was surprising: The Satanic Temple is obsessed with abortion. Its mission statement says it offers “legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women's reproductive autonomy.” So critical is abortion to these Satanists that they have a “Religious Rights Reproductive Rights Campaign”: it advocates on behalf of the so-called religious rights of Satanists to campaign for abortion.
The Satanic Temple has a list of legal restrictions on abortion that it finds objectionable: they range from ultrasound tests that allow the mother to hear the heartbeat of her baby to mandatory waiting periods. They also seek to undermine crisis pregnancy centers. So zealous are the Satanists in their quest for abortion rights that they oppose burial rights for the remains of children who have been aborted. To say they love abortion is hardly a stretch.
I decided to engage The Satanic Temple on this issue. Here is the email exchange:
Q: “I'm curious. Why is abortion such a big issue for Satanists?” [Nov. 13]
A: “It isn't abortion per se, it is personal freedom.” [Nov. 13]
Q: “But if the personal freedom of a woman to have an abortion results in the wholesale denial of personal freedom for her baby, how is that a victory for liberty?” [Nov. 15]
A: “Because it isn't a baby.” [Nov. 15]
So there you have it. A pregnant woman who, unless interrupted naturally or unnaturally, will give birth to a baby is not carrying a baby.
Two years ago, Pope Francis called abortion an “absolute evil.” And he never heard of The Satanic Temple.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.