By Steve Benen
First up from the God Machine this week is a story about one faith group that appears eager to take the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling in a new direction – one the ruling’s defenders probably aren’t going to like.
The Satanic Temple has launched a campaign seeking religious exemption from laws that restrict access to abortions, citing the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.
The group, which “facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty,” argues that states’ “informed consent” laws violate its religious freedom.
In a press statement, the Satanic Temple’s spokesperson, Lucien Graves, said the recent ruling from the high court’s conservative justices, based on a specific approach to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, offers a unique opportunity.
“While we feel we have a strong case for exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact,” Graves said. “Because of the respect the Court has given to religious beliefs, and the fact that our beliefs are based on best available knowledge, we expect that our belief in the illegitimacy of state-mandated ‘informational’ material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them.”
In effect, the Satanic Temple is saying it can follow the trail blazed by Hobby Lobby to object to anti-abortion provisions in several states.