The Devil Is in the Details: Satanists, Religion, and the Hobby Lobby Ruling

SatanBaphometBy Elaine Magliaro

In her “blistering” dissent in the Hobby Lobby ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” In addition to venturing into a minefield, Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg - CopySCOTUS may have also cracked open the gates of hell a tad–at least as far as some folks might be concerned.

I’m sure most of you know that the Hobby Lobby ruling allows “closely held” for-profit companies to claim a religious exemption to Obamacare’s contraception mandate. According to Caitlin MacNeal (Talking Points Memo), the ruling has prompted the Satanic Temple to launch a campaign. It is “seeking religious exemption from laws that restrict access to abortions, citing the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.” Tara Culp-Ressler (ThinkProgress) said that Satanists have pointed out that the Hobby Lobby decision “strengthens their own quest to opt out of laws related to women’s health care that go against their religious liberty.”

MacNeal said that the Satanic Temple, which “facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty” is arguing “that states’ ‘informed consent’ laws violate the group’s religious freedom.” In a statement, Lucien Greaves, who is a spokesman for the Satanic Temple group 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.”

The Satanic Temple said that its group bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others—and claims “that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its ‘religious’ beliefs.”

From the Satanic Temple website:

An increasing number of states have passed “informed consent” laws, requiring that women seeking abortions be subjected to state-mandated informational materials that are often false or misleading. We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information. If you are a woman seeking an abortion who shares these deeply held beliefs, please print the letter below to present to your care-provider, informing him/her that you are to be exempted from receiving “informed consent” materials. Right to Accurate Medical Information

In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg also wrote: “Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.”

Evidently, Justice Ginsburg considered what some of the consequences of the Hobby Lobby ruling might be–unlike the five conservative justices who were in the majority. But even she didn’t consider the reaction of Satanists to the Hobby Lobby decision. Do you think Justice Ginsburg was right when she wrote that she feared the court had “ventured into a minefield?”


Satanists Cite Hobby Lobby For Exemption From Anti-Abortion Laws (Talking Points Memo)

Satanists Demand Religious Exemption From Abortion Restrictions, Cite Hobby Lobby Ruling (ThinkProgress)

The 8 Best Lines From Ginsburg’s Dissent on the Hobby Lobby Contraception Decision (Mother Jones)

Satanists want to use Hobby Lobby decision to exempt women from anti-abortion laws (Raw Story)

This entry was posted in Conservatives, Constitutional Law, Courts, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Politics, Religion, Reproductive Rights, SCOTUS, United States and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Devil Is in the Details: Satanists, Religion, and the Hobby Lobby Ruling

  1. Annie says:

    The first volley has been returned! It’s the law of unintended consequences in action. Things are going to get interesting.

  2. bigfatmike says:

    I have been thinking of incorporating myself just to be sure I get all the rights to which I am entitled as an American citizen. Now do I get a vote for each share outstanding or only for each of the board of directors and the CEO?

  3. James Knauer says:

    I’m told Cthulhu is issuing a strongly-worded letter. STRONGLY worded.

  4. Wonder how they are going to rationalize their way out of this one? Ever since the Citizens United case, I figured it was only a matter of time before some really smart people with a Machiavellian sense of gamesmanship would figure out how to game the system. It always happens….eventually.

  5. RTC says:

    I heard Dahlia Lithwick say that Hobby Lobby was a very poorly reasoned decision; it didn’t explain a lot of things, particularly why none of Ginsberg’s concerns were ever going to happen.

    I wish someone would ask Alito what it’s like to be the stupidest person in the room when meets in conference.

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