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There's a new player in the fight to save abortion rights in Texas: The Satanic Temple
Laurie Shaull / Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

A new Texas law that went into effect last week criminalizes all abortions performed after the fetus develops a heartbeat, which is at around six weeks. That means that nearly 85% of all abortions that took place in the state are now considered illegal.

Critics of the new law say it's a major violation of a woman's right to bodily autonomy. It also has major religious connotations. The pro-life movement that's been fighting to end abortion rights has been powered by conservative Christian activists for decades.

When signing the law, the Governor of Texas made it clear that the law is a way for Christians to force their beliefs on the population as a whole.


"Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion," Abbott stated while signing the law.

Strangely, The Bible has nothing to say about abortion.

One "religious" group is fighting back against the draconian abortion laws in Texas because it believes that "religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition."

The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, filed a letter with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to request that its members have access to abortion pills using its Religious Freedom Restoration Act rights. Having abortion pills readily available could make it easier to bypass the new Texas law.

The same rights allow Native Americans to access the hallucinogenic drug peyote for their spiritual rituals.

The Temple is a quasi-religious organization that claims it doesn't believe "in the existence of Satan or the supernatural" but that religious freedom law should apply to all religions.

"Religions have special privileges under the First Amendment and RFRA. The Satanic Temple is utilizing these privileges to protect our religious belief in bodily autonomy - we're taking our fight to the next level," Temple cofounder Lucien Greaves said in a statement.

"As the courts affirm the rights of religious organizations to practice their faith, TST is demanding our religious rights to abortion access without unnecessary state interference," he added.

"I am sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who famously spends a good deal of his time composing press releases about Religious Liberty issues in other states — will be proud to see that Texas's robust Religious Liberty laws, which he so vociferously champions, will prevent future Abortion Rituals from being interrupted by superfluous government restrictions meant only to shame and harass those seeking an abortion," the statement continues.



The Temple says its access to abortion pills is made possible by a precedent set by the Supreme Court's 2014 Hobby Lobby decision. The decision prevents the government from putting a "burden on free exercise of religion without a compelling reason."

The Satanic Temple places a very high priority on bodily autonomy. Its third tenet reads: "One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone. One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone."

This isn't the first time that the Temple has fought for the separation of church and state. It caused a huge stir in 2018 when it protested a Ten Commandments monument erected outside of the Arkansas state Capitol.

To make a statement about religious freedom the Temple revealed an eight-and-a-half-foot, half-man, half-goat Baphomet statue in front of the building.

"If you're going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don't agree with that then let's just not have any at all," Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester, said at the rally.

A trial was supposed to begin last year to settle the issue but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hail Satan!

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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