Citing religious liberty, The Satanic Temple declares that its members are exempt from a recent Supreme Court ruling upholding an Indiana law requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains.
The Hill reports:
The Satanic Temple said it would challenge a Supreme Court ruling from Tuesday that upheld part of an Indiana law requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains.
The group is citing religious freedom in declaring immunity from the law…
The Arkansas Times reports:
The Satanic Temple, the group seeking to put a statute of Baphomet at the Arkansas Capitol, has announced its intention to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday that upheld an Indiana law requiring burial or cremation of fetal remains.
The Satanic Temple announced their declaration of immunity and plans to challenge the recent Supreme Court decision via Twitter:
The Satanic Temple declares its members exempt from Indiana law regarding fetal remains pic.twitter.com/nPDvl1W6xv
— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) May 29, 2019
The Satanic Temple (TST), an international religious organization headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, has declared immunity for its members from the Indiana Law (HEA 1337) requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains that was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court. One of The Satanic Temple’s fundamental tenets is the inviolability of one’s body. Members of The Satanic Temple believe that non-viable fetal tissue is part of the woman who carries it, and as such, state impositions of ceremonial requirements dictating its disposal, barring any plausible medical or sanitary concerns, is a violation of TST’s Free Exercise allowing Satanists to contextualize the termination of a pregnancy on their own terms, with deference to their own religious beliefs. As such, TST affirms that this rule violates their religious beliefs and asserts that their members may refuse to adhere.
TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, explains: “Although the Supreme Court affirmed the right of states to have an interest in the disposal of fetal remains, their ruling allows for objections to the Indiana Law based on undue burden. This law clearly places an undue burden on the religious practices of The Satanic Temple by interfering with burial rites. These traditions have existed since the birth of organized religion. Rejecting our claim would profoundly undermine a basic cornerstone of religious organizations. It would be profoundly hypocritical for any Church that advocates for religious rights not to support our claim.”
The Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1337 forbids hospitals, abortion clinics, and other healthcare facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills and instead allowing only cremation or burial. Because this mandate impacts burial rites, which are a well-established component of religious practice, TST insists that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the law cannot apply to their members, as the law violates TST’s tenet of bodily autonomy. RFRA, a federal law enacted in 1993 designed to protect religious freedom, requires that when a religious practice conflicts with laws of the State, the State must provide a compelling reason for why religious rights should not be honored.“To be clear, members of The Satanic Temple will not be made to pay for these punitive, superfluous, and insulting burials. We claim exemption on religious liberty grounds, and we will almost certainly prevail in the courts if we are forced to fight. It’s time that petty sanctimonious panderers like Vice President Pence, who signed this law as governor, come to realize that religious liberty means freedom from unreasonable government imposition upon religious opinion and practice — not his own ‘freedom’ to impose a particular religiously-dictated practice upon the electorate whom he serves,” said Greaves.
The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic religious and political activist group based in Salem, Massachusetts. The Temple is recognized as a church for the purposes of tax exemption, with chapters in 13 states and Canada.
For the record, the Satanic Temple does not promote the worship of Satan, or any other imaginary deity. Instead, the group utilizes satanic imagery to promote egalitarianism, social justice, and the separation of church and state.
The Satanic Temple is a faith community that describes itself as facilitating “the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty.”
Previously the Satanic Temple made headlines after offering to escort Muslims who were afraid to leave their homes out of fear of a growing anti-Muslim backlash resulting from the Paris terrorist attacks.
In addition, the Satanic Temple has been on the front lines in defending a woman’s right to an abortion and promoting the separation of church and state guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Also, it is worthwhile to note that when it comes to morality, the Satanic Temple’s Seven Tenets are morally superior to the Bible’s Ten Commandments.
Bottom line: Citing religious liberty, The Satanic Temple declares that its members are exempt from a recent Supreme Court ruling upholding an Indiana law requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains.