Back in May of this year, I wrote a blog entitled: “The Lie of Ceremonial Deism,” wherein I demonstrated that this apparently accepted phenomenon was entirely Christian in its origins. All the while, the average citizen takes “In God We Trust” on our currency and “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance as everyday things and without any untoward connotation, accepting both these and other current issues (the Bladensburg cross, for instance) as benign and without any serious religious content. How little they know.
Would that they saw what our court system is doing. On multiple occasions, The Satanic Temple has attempted to force the recognition of the de facto acceptance of Christianity as a standard for judgment regarding certain issues, choice and the availability of abortion among them. Citing the third principle of Satanism – “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone” – they have attempted to use a religious principle to counter the evangelical’s baseless assertion that life begins at conception and therewith counter the continuing move of the courts in general and the Supreme Court in particular away from the rights of women and toward the supposed “rights” of blastocysts, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. These efforts have been dismissed more than once, despite the official recognition by the US that Satanism is a valid religion. On top of that, there is a court case currently pending by Jewish litigants, who make the claim that, because their religion states that life begins with the first breath taken, that restrictions on abortion are opposed to their closely held religious beliefs and therefore should be struck down. No decision has been yet rendered, but my fear is that this case will face the same disappointment that the Satanists have.
While I am not a lawyer, my own opinion on this matter is simple. Both these cases operate from a distinct disadvantage: The Plaintiffs Are Not Christian. Christian presence, Christian bias, and Christian privilege has become the invisible elephant in the room, omnipresent and pervasive, and accepted to the point where it is taken as the norm, and any alterative may be treated as at least unusual if not aberrant and not worthy of consideration. Like ceremonial deism, it has become the standard, accepted with precious little examination or understanding of its origins or purpose, in much the same way that the usages of ceremonial deism have become accepted by the general populace.
But not us, not The Satanic Temple, and not the above-mentioned Jewish plaintiffs arguing against the new restrictions caused by the Dobbs decision. Our heightened awareness of the importance of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment forces us to recognize the reality on the ground that Christianity has so inveigled itself into the warp and woof of our legal system that it has in many cases utterly obviated State / Church separation, to the point where even the Supreme Court either fails to notice or chooses not to. This continuing attitude may have the ultimate effect of utterly vitiating the secular structure of our government and lead us down the road toward the kind of government Margaret Atwood foresaw in The Handmaid’s Tale. This must not be allowed. Christianity cannot be permitted to subvert our court system to the point where its dogma and doctrine become encoded into American law, despite the fact that it has already done so in too many instances.
This should be One Nation Under Law … and NOT under Yahweh.