An attorney and 40-something mother by the name of Jamie Smith penned a Thursday op-ed for the Huffington Post saying that last week's death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired her to join the Satanic Temple.
The hail you say?
Smith — who notes she lives in a "quiet neighborhood with a yard and a garage full of scooters and soccer balls" and often walks with her kids to get ice cream — acknowledged she's "not the type of person who would normally consider becoming a Satanist, but these are not normal times."
She noted that Ginsburg's passing elicited fear within her 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."
More from Smith's op-ed:
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.
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."
Reading through the Seven Tenets, I was struck by how closely they aligned with the unwritten code I had used to try to guide my own life for several years. I realized, happily, that these were my people and that I had been a Satanist for several years without even knowing it. When Justice Ginsburg's death suddenly made combating the threats to reproductive rights and a government free from religious interference more urgent, I knew it was time to join them and support their conceptual and legal battles.
Roe v. Wade in 'imminent danger'
Smith added that without Ginsburg's "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."
She also said that RBG's successor "is all but certain to be vehemently anti-choice, with one of the top contenders belonging to a sect that actually used the term 'handmaid' to refer to some women until the popularity of the TV series 'The Handmaid's Tale' gave the term negative connotations."
She also noted that she quickly "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."
More from Smith's op-ed:
There is a real chance that the Supreme Court will be lost for a generation or more to justices appointed for their religious beliefs rather than a deep understanding of the Constitution or a desire for justice to be carried out on an impartial basis. Because of this, 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. 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.
If you'd like an inside peek at what Smith might be getting into, here's a clip from the Satanic Temple NYC that shows its "destruction ritual":
TST NYC: Destruction Ritual youtu.be