Monday, September 20, 2021

Offsite Post: ‘Religious Liberty or a Christian Culture?’

You can’t have both.  What is happening in Texas over her new pro-life heartbeat law is proof.  The Satanic Temple’s arguments against it, given just below, though gruesome and abhorrent, cannot be refuted by appeals to the exercise of an agnostic religious freedom.  It is, in fact, the very tool they are using to try to overturn the heartbeat law:


‘The controversial Texas heartbeat bill, which bans most abortions in the state after six weeks' gestation, is now under attack from the Massachusetts-based group The Satanic Temple, which argues that the law infringes on the group’s religious freedom by imposing an “undue burden” on its "satanic abortion ritual."


‘“The Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (TRFRA) provides a mechanism to seek an exemption from any law that restricts the free exercise of religion. Because S.B. 8 imposes an undue burden on the ability of TST members to undergo the Satanic Abortion Ritual, the first step in defending the rights of its members is to seek an exemption under TRFRA. If the state declines to provide such an exemption, TST can then seek judicial relief from the law,” the organization said in a statement shared on its website.

‘ . . .


‘In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration last Tuesday, Matthew A. Kezhaya, an attorney for The Satanic Temple, asked that the organization be given a religious exemption to access the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol without a prescription as part of its “sacramental” abortion ritual.


‘“TST’s membership uses these products in a sacramental setting. The Satanic Abortion Ritual is a sacrament which surrounds and includes the abortive act. It is designed to combat feelings of guilt, doubt, and shame and to empower the member to assert or reassert power and control over their own mind and body. The REMS prescription requirement substantially interferes with the Satanic Abortion Ritual because the Government impedes the members’ access to the medication involved in the ritual,” the letter noted.


‘Kezhaya suggested that the exemption for the group to use the abortion drugs would be similar to the use of peyote in certain Native American rituals under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

‘“I am sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who famously spends a good deal of his time composing press releases about Religious Liberty issues in other states — will be proud to see that Texas’ robust Religious Liberty laws, which he so vociferously champions, will prevent future Abortion Rituals from being interrupted by superfluous government restrictions meant only to shame and harass those seeking an abortion," Lucien Greaves, a spokesman and co-founder of The Satanic Temple, noted in a statement to The Christian Post.

‘“The battle for abortion rights is largely a battle of competing religious viewpoints, and our viewpoint that the nonviable fetus is part of the impregnated host is fortunately protected under Religious Liberty,” Greaves added.

‘ . . .

‘“S.B. 8 does not allow for lawsuits or enforcement of penalties against a woman seeking an abortion. Instead, S.B. 8 is cynically designed to avoid judicial review of the law and creates enforcement mechanisms against TST and its lawyers who dare challenge the law. We will not be cowed into silence by an unjust law or a tyrannical state government,” they said.’

--Leonardo Blair

The Texas Constitution doesn’t offer much help for Christians who rightly oppose the Satanists.  Here is what it offers:

‘Sec. 6.  FREEDOM OF WORSHIP.  All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.  No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent.  No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship.  But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.’

--Texas Constitution, Article 1

By the standard enshrined in this section, the deeply held beliefs of a devil-worshipper are to be honored just as much as those of a Christian.  Indeed, it is ‘the duty of the Legislature . . . to protect equally every religious denomination’ – it matters not whether it is Satanic or Christian or Buddhist or etc.

Christians in the States, if they want their faith to continue in existence and to grow stronger in future generations, must admit that this ideology of ‘religious freedom’ is a liability.  Not only does it promote moral relativism, but it makes it impossible to defend laws rooted in Christianity against the kinds of lawsuits now being initiated by the Satanic Temple.

Its weakness lies partly in its acceptance of the lie that society arises from a social contract drawn up and agreed upon by completely autonomous individuals to protect the rights of each.  But this is not the origin of a sane society, of a common culture shared and practiced by all.  Dr Russell Kirk writes,

‘From what source did humankind’s many cultures arise? Why, from cults. A cult is a joining together for worship—that is, the attempt of people to commune with a transcendent power. It is from association in the cult, the body of worshippers, that human community grows. This basic truth has been expounded in recent decades by such eminent historians as Christopher Dawson, Eric Voegelin, and Arnold Toynbee.

‘Once people are joined in a cult, cooperation in many other things becomes possible. Common defense, irrigation, systematic agriculture, architecture, the visual arts, music, the more intricate crafts, economic production and distribution, courts and government—all these aspects of a culture arise gradually from the cult, the religious tie.’

--‘Civilization without Religion?’

And elsewhere he says,

 . . .

The rest is at .


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!


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