On April 30, Cassy Fiano told you about the Satanic Temple’s move to challenge Missouri’s 72-hour waiting period for abortion on the grounds that it violates their religious liberty. While pro-lifers see obvious significance in the cause of slaughtering innocent children being taken up by self-proclaimed followers of the Ruler of Darkness, the big question was how more mainstream pro-aborts would react to such esteemed company.
The answers don’t disappoint, and NewsBusters’ Katie Yoder has a bunch of ’em:
The Frisky’s Robyn Pennacchia admitted, “As much as I’d really prefer to not have to turn to pageantry and stunts like people being all ‘Oh, we totally worship Satan’ … the shit they pull actually does work and does have an effect.”
“I am in favor, fervently, of whatever actually works,” she confirmed. “I applaud ‘Mary’ for standing up to this bullshit law and really hope she gets her abortion without having to jump through any ridiculous hoops.”
And if journalists’ articles weren’t clear enough, their Twitter feeds were.
“Okay, religious exemption laws are maybe cool when Satanists use them to get abortions without having to wait 3 days,” tweeted [Salon’s Jenny] Kutner.
Kay Steiger, senior editor at Think Progress, expressed, “I really love the Satanists” while sharing [Tara] Culp-Ressler’s piece.
Other highlights include Jezebel’s Anna Merlin opining that the Satanic Temple are “the best, smartest, and most compassionate trolls in America,” while a comment claiming “if I’m going by the actions of their followers, Satan seems like a way cooler guy than Jesus” got a whopping 499 recommendations from readers.
Notably, there is one exception to Pro-Choice Devil Appreciation Week: Robin Marty at Care2, who determines that this “stunt…does little to actually help in this endeavor, and instead only alienates and belittles those of faith who are already supporters of (or who could be moved to embrace) reproductive access as a civil right,” and “promotes the idea that a “religion” could be claimed not based on true faith and beliefs, but out of convenience of avoiding following the letter of the law.”
If the rest of the abortion crowd starts applying that level of rationality and self-awareness to their advocacy, we might have a problem. Fortunately for pro-lifers’ future prospects, that doesn’t look likely anytime soon. Case in point: Amanda Marcotte at Rolling Stone, who is trying to make a scandal out of the fact that some of us noticed the irony of Satanists allying with babykillers:
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.
What follows is a lot of sneering that sort of meanders through the various slurs and talking points, but nowhere substantiates our alleged hypocrisy—further reinforcing my suspicion that Marcotte went into abortion advocacy at least partly because she wanted a field in which rigorous thinking wouldn’t be expected of her.
Marcotte’s first example is a perfect illustration. Ostensibly, she’s “responding” to David French’s take on the story at National Review, but she doesn’t even try to address a single argument he makes. We get innuendo about French loving religious liberty “as a cudgel against women” and “see[ing] a woman’s medical care as the ‘property rights’ of her boss,” and a joke about hearing the devil when you play Queen albums backwards—but nothing on what French actually says. His point, for readers more analytical than Rolling Stone’s:
Religious liberty case law is littered with examples of fringe religions seeking religious exemptions from various state laws and regulations. Sometimes they win. Often they lose. I suspect this effort — if it ever gets to court – would stumble on the state’s acknowledged interest in protecting what the Supreme Court has called the “potential life” of even non-viable unborn children.
Indeed, “my religion says so” has never been the sole standard for how we decide these things—it depends on whether your actions infringe on someone else’s life, well being, liberty, or property. This whole line of attack is about as ignorant as claiming you don’t see why religious liberty protects closing your business on Sundays but not burning witches at the stake.
I would ask Marcotte, Pennacchia, Kutner, Steiger, and Merlin to take a refresher course on negative versus positive rights, but if there’s one truth this episode has reinforced, it’s that pro-aborts just don’t care. They don’t care whose freedoms they take away, they don’t care whether they actually understand the legal concepts they’re toying with, and they don’t care whether they’re enlisting the aid of what is still, increasingly secular though we may be, one of our culture’s starkest symbols of pure evil.