People handle death in different ways. But an OpEd in the Huffington Post raised eyebrows when the writer revealed the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had “pushed” her to join the Satanic Temple as she approaches middle age.
“I am a 40-something attorney and mother who lives in a quiet neighborhood with a yard and a garage full of scooters and soccer balls. I often walk with my children to get ice cream and spend weekends hiking through a national park. I am not the type of person who would normally consider becoming a Satanist, but these are not normal times,” she writes.
The guest writer, Jamie Smith, goes on to lament the passing of Ginsburg and says that the country is headed beyond the point of no return of becoming “a theocracy or dictatorship.”
Some may feel worshipping the Antichrist to honor a jurist’s passing is an extreme reaction, but Smith lays her case out further.
“When Justice Ginsburg died, I knew immediately that action was needed on a scale we have not seen before. Our democracy has become so fragile that the loss of one of the last guardians of common sense and decency in government less than two months before a pivotal election has put our civil and reproductive rights in danger like never before. And, so, I have turned to Satanism,” Smith explained.
Followers of the Satanic Temple, she writes, do not believe in the supernatural or superstition. Smith compares her newfound religion to Unitarians and some Jews, who mshe claims do not believe in God. In fact, Satanic Temple followers do not worship Satan and mostly are atheists who perform theatrics in their ceremonies that mock Christians. She makes clear that there are differences between the Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan. Smith says she was drawn to the Satanic Temple for their use of the devil as “a symbol of rebellion.”
“Just like other faiths, the Satanic Temple has a code that their members believe in deeply and use to guide their lives,” she says. “These Seven Fundamental Tenets include that ‘one should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason,’ that ‘the struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions,’ and that ‘one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.’”
The HuffPo writer found comfort in the Temple’s tenets and said that the death of the 87-year-old Ginsburg marked a new era for the Supreme Court in which abortion and the separation of church and state were under threat.
She wrote that “without her voice of reason on the court ― let alone her vote ― Roe v. Wade is in imminent danger of being overturned not based on legal arguments or scientific reasoning, but because of religious objections to what is a safe and necessary procedure for the women who seek it out after discussion with their physician.”
Smith went on to dread that the country would turn into something resembling the Hulu TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale” without Ginsburg on the bench.
“Almost immediately I sought strength in the Satanic Temple’s efforts to turn religious arguments on their head by pushing for religious liberty for their members on an equal basis with believers in the dominant Christian faiths,” Smith explained.
“And this is not just a theoretical push. The temple has launched campaigns and filed lawsuits to compel the government to do this in matters ranging from exemptions from legal mandates to cover birth control to the ability to display religious symbols in government buildings or allow religious clubs in public schools. By pointing out instances where the government has favored Christian rhetoric ― and filing legal challenges to stop it ― the Satanic Temple has transformed belief into action and has demonstrated what freedom fighting truly looks like.”
The Satanic Temple hopes to appear before the Supreme Court to challenge an abortion law in Missouri that necessitates women planning to get an abortion to first take in materials advising them that their abortion would end the life of a separate individual. Smith and other members of the Satanic Temple hope to use the loophole of standing behind a “religion” to overturn any laws taking steps to discourage abortion.
Smith writes: “Everyone who cares about women having autonomy over their bodies should care about efforts to use religion to chip away at this right. We need to think outside the box to challenge what is coming and what is already here. The Satanic Temple is already doing that, and by becoming one of its members, I believe I have joined a community of people who will stop at nothing to safeguard my family’s rights ― and all of our rights ― when they are at their most vulnerable.”