Temple members will not be subjected to violations of their religious beliefs
Salem, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/05/2016 --The Satanic Temple (TST), an international religious organization headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, has declared immunity for its members from the Texas rule requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains that is slated to go into effect on December 19th. One of The Satanic Temple's fundamental tenets is the inviolability of one's body. As such, TST affirms that this rule violates their religious beliefs and their members may refuse to adhere.
"Texas health officials are baldly imposing the view that the fetal tissue is elevated to personhood -- a religious opinion that conflicts with our own. If Texas is going to treat the disposal of fetal tissue differently from the disposal of any other biological material, in contradiction to our own religious beliefs, they need to present a compelling state interest for doing so. Of course, there is no such state interest, and it is obvious to everyone that the demand for fetal tissue burial is a punitive measure imposed by sadistic theocrats." said TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves. "These officials deem harassment an acceptable form of pushing their misguided religious agendas."
Per a recent article in the Texas Tribune, the new rule will forbid hospitals, abortion clinics and other healthcare facilities of disposing remains in sanitary landfills, allowing for only cremation or burial. Because this mandate impacts burial rites, which are a well-established component of religious practice, and they infringe on TST's tenet of bodily autonomy, TST insists that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the rule cannot apply to their members. RFRA, a federal law enacted in 1993 designed to protect religious freedom, requires that when a religious practice conflicts with laws of the State, the State must provide a compelling reason for why religious rights should not be honored. "To be clear, members of The Satanic Temple will not be made to pay for these punitive, superfluous, and insulting burials. We claim exemption on Religious Liberty grounds, and we will almost certainly prevail in the courts. It's time that petty sanctimonious panderers like Texas Governor Abbott come to realize that Religious Liberty means freedom from unreasonable government imposition upon religious opinion and practice -- not his own 'freedom' to impose a particular religiously-dictated practice upon those whom he serves."
For more information on this issue and other issues affecting The Satanic Temple's efforts to protect the reproductive rights of its members, visit http://www.religiousreproductiverights.com.
About The Satanic Temple
The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, pursue justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. For more information about The Satanic Temple, please visit http://www.thesatanictemple.com/.