A “40-something attorney and mother who lives in a quiet neighborhood with a yard and a garage full of scooters and soccer balls” has dedicated herself to the Satanic Temple in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, believing that they are the best force in America to keep abortion rights alive.
“I am not the type of person who would normally consider becoming a Satanist, but these are not normal times,” Jamie Smith says in the beginning of her bizarre and often strangely ironic op-ed for HuffPo.
According to Jamie Smith, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg left her less with grief and more with fear — fear that the religious Right will rise again for another generation to transform every woman into a handmaid in service of the white male patriarchy.
“I fear that American citizens are inching closer to living in a theocracy or dictatorship and that the checks meant to prevent this from happening are close to eroding beyond repair,” she says. “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.”
Her solution to this crippling fear: Satanism by way of the Satanic Temple. As Smith notes in her op-ed, the Satanic Temple claims not to actually believe in the literal Satan and instead uses Satan as a symbol of rebellion against the Christian hegemony. In other words, they’re just theatrical atheists — a charming, reasonable bunch as far as Smith’s concerned.
Members of the Satanic Temple do not believe in the supernatural or superstition. In the same way that some Unitarians and some Jews do not believe in God, Satanic Temple members do not worship Satan and most are atheists. They are not affiliated in any way with the Church of Satan. Instead, the Satanic Temple uses 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. 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.”
After reading the Seven Tenets of the Satanic Temple, Smith began to realize that they were the real deal and especially appreciated how they have taken their fight to the public square by demanding to have their religious icons on public property, their clubs in schools, and, most especially, their right to abortion under any circumstances.
“The Satanic Temple hopes to appear before the Supreme Court in a case challenging a Missouri abortion law that requires those seeking to terminate their pregnancy to first receive materials asserting that their abortion would end the life of a separate, unique person,” Smith notes. “The temple argues that these materials violate the deeply held religious beliefs of one of its members regarding bodily autonomy and scientifically reasonable personal choice.”
Essentially, after going on for several paragraphs about how she values reason, justice, and compassion, Smith hinges her entire conversion to “Satanism” — which she claims is not actual Satanism — on one thing: the right to kill babies in the womb.
“I believe that the Satanic Temple ― and its members’ dedication to fighting for true freedom ― represents our best, last defense against anti-choice lawmakers who are seeking to assert power over women’s bodies and take away our right to choose,” she concludes. “We need creative, resolute thinkers who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and take concrete action to do so, and the Satanic Temple is full of those kind of people. I am proud to now count myself among their ranks.”