Satanists Appeal Abortion Case From Missouri

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 16, 2019

In the biblical battle between good and evil, Satan doesn't have an advocate. The devil speaks for himself.

In The Satanic Temple v. Parson, however, the Satanists needed counsel. They lost their challenge to Missouri's abortion laws last year, and lost again this year.

This time, they are appealing to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals with a new argument. They are not asking for mercy; they just don't want religion to play a part in the law.

Devil's Advocate

They say the state's "Informed Consent" booklet proposes that life begins at conception. That is a "belief that overlaps with certain religious beliefs," according to one of their advocates.

"Technically, a non-Christian could believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He shall resurrect at the End of Times, but it is not the place of the government to proselytize such beliefs even if they are to claim an attachment to those beliefs based solely on some inexplicable non-religious preference," said Lucien Greaves in a statement. Greaves is co-founder of The Satanic Temple. He is not a lawyer, but he is a defacto devil's advocate. As spokesman for the group, he says they are dedicated to humanistic values, scientific inquiry, and the separation of church and state.

However, the temple started to fracture last year when Greaves decided to work with a lawyer known for representing neo-Nazis and white supremacists. At the same time, the Satanists lost their case before the Eighth Circuit in the battle over abortion.

Religious Beliefs

In that appeal, a member of the group said Missouri's laws violated her religious beliefs. A trial court dismissed on standing grounds -- because she wasn't pregnant -- and the appeals court affirmed.

This time, the temple is focused on the state's claim that life begins at conception. The Satanists don't believe that. But it will be a tough argument because the appeals court previously ruled on the issue. As Greaves said, the Eight Circuit will have to overrule itself.

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