Blessed be the Satanic Temple.
The Satanists announced this week that they’re demanding exemptions to anti-abortion regulations — like Missouri’s 72-hour state-mandated waiting period — claiming such measures violate their religious beliefs.
It’s an obvious, and brilliant, ploy to test how serious conservatives are about their supposed belief that a person’s “religious liberty” rights mean they can opt out of laws they simply don’t like. The Satanists are trying to prove that conservatives are hypocrites whose interest in religious exemptions only applies to situations where they can take away someone’s birth control, or ruin a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Savvy conservatives would see this tactic for what it is and not take the bait. But luckily for us, many are not smart enough to do the math. Here are a few examples.
1. David French of The National Review loves “religious liberty” — when it can be used as a cudgel against women.
Defending Hobby Lobby‘s claim that a boss’ “religious liberty” rights should allow him to dictate how sexually active women use their own insurance plans, French wrote that the Hobby Lobby case was a victory for business owners’ “most basic liberties, including free speech, free exercise of religion, and virtually the entire panoply of property rights.” (Interesting that French sees a woman’s medical care as the “property rights” of her boss.) Giving these rights to bosses will bring “a dramatic halt to the latest leap forward of the allegedly unstoppable sexual revolution,” he writes.
But French rejects “religious liberty” when it interferes with his desire to force unwilling women to give birth. In a piece this week headlined “Of Course the Satanic Temple Embraces Abortion, and Of Course the Left Applauds,” French writes that it’s “incredibly appropriate” that “the pro-abortion Left” is “wrapping its arms around Satan.”
Actually, David, we did that long ago when we started tricking kids into smoking doobies by putting Satanic messages in Queen records.
2. Katie Yoder of Newsbusters has characterized opposition to broad “religious liberty” exemptions as “hysterical.” Shortly after Hobby Lobby was decided, Yoder went full-blown sarcastic on critics of the decision, painting them as a bunch of sex-crazed nuts who were over-reacting to a minor obstacle. Rounding up media reactions to the decision, she sneered at women who think they have a right to have sex and argued that allowing Hobby Lobby to exert so much control over their employees’ private lives is no big deal because workers are “free to go work somewhere else.”
But Yoder becomes hysterical over the Satanic Temple trying to invoke broad “religious liberty” exemptions to help women get abortions. Under the headline “Feminist Media Hail Satanists for Deeming Abortion a ‘Religious Belief'” (actually, they deem bodily integrity a religious belief), Yoder breathlessly writes, “The pro-abortion media crowd is embracing new ally in their fight: Satanists.”