Satanists Thank Christian Legal Group for Paving the Way for Their Own Success

If you think about what the Satanic Temple has accomplished recently, it’s impressive for any group, much less one you didn’t even know existed before 2013.

They pressured Oklahoma to reconsider a Ten Commandments monument at its State Capitol building because they wanted a statue of Baphomet in the same space. (The Christian monument was eventually deemed illegal, anyway.) They got a Florida school district to ban Bible distributions because they wanted to give away Satanic-themed coloring books. They got a Satanic display in the Florida State Capitol building to join the Nativity scene last winter. And, perhaps most significantly, they sued the Governor of Missouri on behalf of a member who didn’t want to wait for the 72-hour mandatory waiting period to pass before she could obtain an abortion. She used the argument that waiting so long violated her “religious freedom.”

It’s easy to forget that the Satanic Temple doesn’t actually believe in anything supernatural, including Satan. Yet they’ve forced government officials to recognize that if they want to grant privileges to the Christian majority by saying the door is open to all religions, they may have to treat Satanists the same way. It’s an argument that doesn’t always work with atheist groups who explicitly reject God.

Valerie Tarico, writing at Salon, spoke with the group’s leader Lucien Greaves about their activism, and he makes some excellent points:

[Read more...]

Your Guide to the Supreme Court Abortion Case That Could Change Everything

It happened quietly, flying under the radar in the face of crisis-driven federal governance and partisan squabbling. Over the course of a decade, conservatives have, for the most part, expanded their hold on state government in traditionally red states while making substantial gains in traditionally blue and purple states. The results have been dismal on a number of issues (see: misguided welfare policies, the utter gutting of school resources, etc.), but things have been especially terrifying in the realm of women’s reproductive healthcare.

Recent announcements from the Supreme Court, however, may offer some hope to those appalled by state legislatures hell bent on setting us back a century. In the coming session, they’ll be hearing two specific cases relevant to reproductive rights. One, as we previously covered, is utterly asinine. Another, however, could have repercussions that impact generations to come. Welcome to Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.

You have questions. That’s understandable — this case and all of its variables and possible outcomes and potential implications is incredibly complex. Luckily, we have answers. Let’s break it down.

[Read more...]

Anti-Choice Laws Spurring Spike in Dangerous Self-Induced Abortions

People opposed to abortion have long made their objective apparent: they want to set us back by more than 40 years by making the medical procedure illegal. Many activists have seen that as an unlikely scenario in the courts, so they have resorted to getting legislators to regulate the practice out of existence. For some reason, they have this weird idea that making access to legal abortions impossible will mean no more abortions in America.

But new studies show just how wrong these ideologues are. Groundbreaking research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) took an in-depth look at the rate of self-induced abortions in Texas in the wake of the implementation of some of the most restrictive abortion regulations in the nation, and the results were stunning.

[Read more...]

Supreme Court to Hear Pointless Contraception Case

There are a lot of issues relevant to contraception that could and should be evaluated by the Supreme Court. Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell is not one of them.

The crux of the case is a follow-up question to the Court’s cringe-inducing decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the case that decided whether or not secular organizations could seek religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that companies provide healthcare coverage for birth control. In an extension of the Citizens United case, the Court came to the catastrophic conclusion that Hobby Lobby could indeed claim a religious exemption because corporations are people, my friend. Because logic.

So religious organizations are exempt from the law. For-profit companies are exempt from the law. What about non-profits? They want a shot at exemption, too.

[Read more...]

Ohio High School Teaches Kids That Adoption is Only Option for Babies Resulting from Rape or Incest

If you’re a student at Wooster High School in Ohio (which educates kids from grades 8-12), this is what you learned a few weeks ago when a representative from the Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County spoke to your Family and Consumer Science class:

[Read more...]