Laugh or Cry: Satanic Temple asks for religious exemption following Hobby Lobby decision

Cites SCOTUS case to skirt informed consent laws

Should I laugh or should I cry? It’s not just the title of a 1981 song by Abba – it’s how you sometimes feel when something is either so absurd or so maddening or so something that you’re just not sure how to react. We here at DecodeDC think politics and the actions of those who play in the political arena are filled with laugh or cry moments. We hope you do to. 

You knew it was coming, I mean you just knew it.

The Satanic Temple, a group that “facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty” is using the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision to ask for its own religious exemption.

It has launched a new campaign seeking a religious exemption to certain laws that attempt to dissuade women from ending a pregnancy.

To recap, last month’s Hobby Lobby decision allowed some for-profit companies to claim a religious exemption to Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

Now the Satanic Temple has launched the “Right to Accurate Medical Information” campaign and makes the case on its website that state level “informed consent laws” – laws aimed at dissuading a woman from ending a pregnancy -  “are often false or misleading.”

And the group argues, “We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information.”

“Informed consent” laws, which typically require women to receive some kind of counseling before being allowed to proceed with an abortion procedure, are now in place in 35 states. On its website, the Satanic Temple has a sample letter to help women talk to their doctors about the issue, as well as “Right to Accurate Medical Information” T-shirts for sale.

The letter reads in part: ”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 Satanic Temple has jumped into church state issues in the past. According to Think Progress:

“Members of the Satanic Temple first made national headlines when they rallied in support of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for approving a bill that allows prayer in public schools, saying they’re glad the new policy will allow children to pray to Satan. Since then, they’ve also held “a formal ceremony celebrating same-sex unions” on the grave of the mother of the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, declaring that she has posthumously become a lesbian, and commissioned a seven-foot-tall Satanic statue near a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capitol.”

There’s been a lot of hand wringing over the Hobby Lobby decision – a lot of fear or joy that it would launch a thousand requests for religious exemptions.  But we’re not quite sure anyone ever anticipated  the Satanists joining the fray – and we’re not sure if we should laugh or cry…what do you think? 

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