Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

The religious objection to the “fetal remains” rule

It may not be your religion, but who are we to tell people of sincere religious faith what to do?

“The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental beliefs,” reads a statement posted on the Satanic Temple’s website.

Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said that health officials’ transparent attempt to give fetal tissue the same rights as a human being (called “personhood” by anti-abortion advocates) directly conflicts with the temple’s beliefs.

“It’s clear these officials deem harassment an acceptable form of pushing their misguided religious agendas,” he said in a [recent] press release.

Citing the Religious Freedom Reform Act, Greaves said members are immune from the new regulation unless the state can present a “compelling reason” for why they should be allowed to violate the Temple’s religious beliefs. So far, church members don’t see one.

“Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies,” the Temple’s website states, adding that the church will use the legal system to protect their members’ rights.

It’s not an empty threat. “We’ll file an injunction as soon as the state tried to impose this on a member who claims exemption,” the Temple spokesman Greaves told Jezebel.

All righty then. This was from a little while ago, I just hadn’t gotten around to posting it yet. As the story notes, the Satanic Temple has previously sued the state of Missouri over religious objections to that state’s 72-hour waiting period for an abortion. As we know, the “fetal remains” rule is now on hold thanks to the Center for Reproductive Rights, but that doesn’t mean the Temple can’t file its own lawsuit. If nothing else, you have to admire their willingness to throw the language of “religious freedom” back in the state’s face. If you’re going to insist that laws should not apply to religious organizations if those laws conflict with their faith, then you have to accept that this also applies to faiths you don’t care for. The Austin Chronicle and the Press have more.

Related Posts:

One Comment

  1. Flypusher says:

    I’ve met a few of these Satanist types. Speaking to what I know of them, the people I’ve met pretty much want to mind their own business and be left alone. They don’t literally worship Satan, but are atheists who use Satan as a metaphor. But they are willing to butt heads with fundie Christian types who think that the Bill of Rights is only for Christians, and I consider that to be a public service.