Satanists are attacking Missouri.
They are doing so in many ways and we are foolish to think they are not doing it in the halls of our government. Government is one of only three institutions ordained by God (the others being the family and the Church). It should come as no surprise when they attack God’s ordained institutions. Scripture warns us about this conflict and the impact such evil may have on God’s creation.
The Apostle Paul warned us of this reality in Eph. 6:10-12: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
The Lord is our strength. He enables us to stand against “the schemes of the devil” no matter where they arise. When it comes to the halls of our government, we must be faithful and stand against “the powers of this dark world.” We can do so by voting for candidates who will pass God-honoring laws, appoint God-honoring judges, run for office and pray for those in authority over us (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We do not do such things for our own benefit, but for our fellow citizens so that we may all “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Elections have consequences and one of the consequences springing from the 2016 elections is a pro-life attorney general’s office. Which brings me to the Satanists suing Missouri.
On Sept. 11, attorneys with the Satanic Temple presented oral arguments before the Western Division of the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City in behalf of a woman suing the state over its abortion restrictions. Identified in court documents as Mary Doe, attorneys representing the woman say she should have been able to opt out of two of the state’s restrictions on abortion.
Doe traveled from Greene County to St. Louis in 2015 to have an abortion. She presented a letter to a doctor at Planned Parenthood claiming a religious exemption to Missouri laws that requires women to wait 72 hours before having an abortion. The letter also said she would not review a booklet about the development of the baby, which says that life begins at conception and the abortion ends “the life of a separate, unique living human being.” The doctor rejected the letter. Doe sued, maintaining the law infringed on her right to practice her religion freely.
“She was being prevented from obtaining an abortion in a manner that was conforming with the best scientific understanding and medical information to her,” Satanic Temple spokeswoman Jex Blackmore said. “And that’s fundamental to her religious beliefs.”
In December, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetum correctly threw out the case, saying she did not make a strong enough argument. The Court of Appeals will decide whether her case is strong enough to go to trial.
Headquartered in Salem, Mass., The Satanic Temple is a self-described political activist group with chapters in 13 states. Missouri is not among those listed on the organization’s website. They are active in the halls of government, advocating for abortion and Satanist organizations in public schools. The Satanic Temple has also filed a lawsuit challenging Missouri’s two restrictions in federal court. A hearing before the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Kansas City is set for Sept. 20.
Attorney General Joshua Hawley cannot comment on pending litigation, but attorneys from his office are defending the state’s restrictions. The attorney general’s office rightly argued in court documents that Beetum ruled correctly in throwing out the case because the law did not require Doe to do anything other than hear information she did not agree with.
“Under the plain language of the statute, the interest in avoiding exposure to information with which one disagrees is not an ‘exercise of religion’ because it does not involve any ‘act or refusal to act’ that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief,” attorneys for the state wrote in their brief.
Praise God that we have an attorney general who will fight for the sanctity of life in Missouri. Indeed, elections have consequences. Let us pray that the consequences for the Satanists in this case – as well as others – is a total defeat.