The Satanic Temple symbol features Satan and children following him.

The Satanic Temple seeks to undo what Samuel Alito et al just did.

Photo from The Satanic Temple

Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic Welcomes You

Exquisitely merging their sacrosanct tenets - reproductive rights, church/state separation, the freedom to offend and artful devil's advocacy - The Satanic Temple is opening a "religious abortion clinic" to offer free, virtual, medication abortion to "involuntarily pregnant women" who need it. The "non-theistic" group, with "Satanic good works" from food drives to After-School Satan Clubs, named the clinic for Alito's mother, because, "In 1950, (she) did not have options, and look what happened."

Based in Salem, Mass., the Satanic Temple is somewhat of a baroque misnomer. Co-founded a decade ago by social activists Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry, TST is a non-theistic group that seeks to "encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits" while remaining faith-based enough to qualify for federal protections and benefits afforded religious organizations - just without the deity part. While they "don't have any supernatural beliefs," they argue the Satanic label is more than just a political ploy; it "provides a metaphorical narrative construct by which we contextualize our values," and renders them "every bit of a religion in that religion and the privileges and exemptions that come with it shouldn’t be the exclusive rights of superstition." To date, they've been most visible righteously advocating to enforce the sometimes-waning separation of church and state: In one campaign, they erected a bronze statue of the god Baphomet outside the Arkansas State Capitol after lawmakers put up a Ten Commandments statue there, prompting horrified Christian groups to protest with hymns and signs reading, "Let Them Offend Our Lord No More."

Along with “Satanic Good Works” - diaper drives, clothes pantries, beach clean-ups - they offer several school-based programs focused on science, free inquiry and critical thinking. Their After-School Satan Clubs ("Educatin' With Satan") for elementary kids seek to counter "Good News Clubs" set up by Evangelical Christians at schools that "use threats of eternal damnation to convert children to their belief system." "Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism," says Greaves. "We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors." Citing a 2001 SCOTUS ruling on school club inclusiveness, they've applied to set up Satanic shop in nine schools; despite their dearth of lamb's blood ceremonies, they've only been approved for one in Portland, Ore, but are now suing a Pennsylvania school board that turned them down. They also advocate to protect young mental health patients; they offer Devil's Advocate scholarships - $666 - to kids who show "how compulsory schooling has dampened their creativity"; they have t-shirts, posters, an annual SatanCom; and they're featured in a well-received documentary, Hail Satan?: "In the battle for justice and equality, The Satanic Temple is putting up a hell of a fight."

Now, after years of supporting bodily autonomy and suing to block anti-abortion laws in Idaho, Indiana, Texas' Heartbeat Act, they're launching the first TST Health online abortion clinic Feb. 14 in New Mexico, where abortion remains largely legal, amidst a surge of anti-abortion laws and rabid rhetoric about "pre-born babies" and a "pro-life war" against "pro-death forces." Battling "reproductive laws that violate our religious conscience (and) necessary health and safety standards," they claim abortion as an “essential part of a religious practice” protected by the First Amendment and state religious freedom laws. Their clinic will provide free telehealth consultation with licensed medical staff, followed by a scrip for pills "discreetly" sent by mail, to women medically eligible for but lacking access to abortion; in return, the women must perform a "religious abortion ritual" of reciting a modest Satanic affirmation like, “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone." TST hopes to launch clinics in several more states; you can donate here. Their first facility really will be named “The Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic," to remind us what's at stake. "Prior to 1973, doctors who performed abortions could lose their licenses and go to jail," says Jarry. "In 1950, Samuel Alito’s mother did not have options, and look what happened." Holy hell, we wish them well.

Billy Joe Shaver - "Get Thee Behind Me, Satan" - Music World

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