By Sofia Rojas, 9th Grade
The Satanic Temple, a self-proclaimed national atheist group in Massachusetts, freshly sued the state of Texas with the excuse that the abortion ban infringes their religious rights.
The Satanic Temple–also known as TST–is a nontheistic religious group with additional congregations in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. TST members use satanic imagery to promote social equality, social justice, and the religious separation of the state. On December 20th, 2021, the U.S district court for the Southern District of Texas issued a ruling regarding a lawsuit against the TST against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The reason for the lawsuit had to do with the impediment of its member’s rights to perform abortion rituals under the 1st and 14th Amendments. Lucien Grieves, the co-founder of The Satanic Temple, explained that the state regulations “interrupt” the group’s ritual for women who receive and demand abortions. He continued to state that the state’s ban clashes with one of the 7 tenets of the temple which communicates that “one body is inviolable, subject to one’s own alone”.
However, the TST has also filed lawsuits against the state of Missouri for its restrictiveness against abortion. Recently, the TST filed a lawsuit against an elementary school after they rejected a proposed “After School Satan Club”. The Northern Elementary School received a lawsuit on the grounds of a constitutional violation. The TST expects to prove that the school board discriminated against the group due to the rejection of the club. John Ritchie, a representative with the American Society for Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property demonstrated his opposition by stating the following: “They promote things that are opposed to the values that America stands for, and at any level, Satan has no rights in America.” However, members of the TST explained that they are not looking to convert children into the temple but give them a space of free-thinking.
According to a message on their site, “proselytization” is not the goal and their no interest in converting children into Satanism. Nonetheless, the school board rejected the proposition in late April with an 8-1 vote. In that case, the United States supreme court ruled that a religious group in the state of New York could not be denied the use of local public school facilities because the facilities are available to other groups promoting similar ideas.
Religion is not something to pick and choose. If liberty is given to one specific religious group, the other group should be given the same liberties. No matter the “symbolism” of the group they should be given the right to freedom of speech.
- Etten, A. (2022, May 3). Satanic Temple preparing a lawsuit against the York school district that denied after-school programs. ABC 27. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from https://www.abc27.com/news/local/york/satanic-temple-preparing-lawsuit-against-york-school-district-that-denied-after-school-program/
- Temple, T. S. (2022, January 24). The Satanic Temple’s Lawsuit Against Texas Abortion Restrictions Stayed Pending Supreme Court Ruling on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. PR News Wire. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-satanic-temples-lawsuit-against-texas-abortion-restrictions-stayed-pending-supreme-court-ruling-on-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization-301466544.html
- Couto, S. D. (2022, April 26). The Satanic Temple sues elementary school as an after-school club rejected. Global News. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from https://globalnews.ca/news/8784117/satanic-temple-sues-school-after-club-rejected/
- Laycock, J. P. (2020, March 5). What The Satanic Temple is and why it’s opening a debate about religion. The Conversation. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from https://theconversation.com/what-the-satanic-temple-is-and-why-its-opening-a-debate-about-religion-131283