Satan & The Supremes

Constitution Guy assures RC2 that there is a Constitutional defense against Satanism if we have the spine to argue it. It would run roughly like this:

The Constitution is founded on -- and therefore limited in purpose by -- "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." This means in other words "reason" and "revealed religion." A so-called religion such as witchcraft or satanism manifestly opposes such laws. Harry Jaffa has argued convincingly that civil freedoms may be accorded only to those who accept the principles on which civil freedom is based. In this case, this means that any religion that respects "the laws of nature and of nature's God" can be accorded First Amendment rights. Since witches and satanists oppose those laws, they cannot claim protections based on them.

Therefore all that public officials need to do is to make some determination about the claims of a religion in this respect. The trouble with today's judges is that they refuse to examine the substance of the claims under the idiotic objection that to do so would "establish a religion." It would do no such thing, only determine whether the claim to BE a religion within the meaning of the First Amendment is valid. Something is not a religion merely because somebody says it is, otherwise I'd belong to the religion that worships Constitution Guy (come to think of it...) At some point the validity of each claim has to be judged.

Incidentally this issue is precisely why many evangelicals disliked Bush's Faith-Based initiative. They feared interference in their own groups, but also feared the Govt. being forced to give money to Satanists, et. al.

RC2 was thinking of other defenses, too. One, as Thomas points out in his concurring opinion, the Constitution bars Congress from making laws respecting establishment of religion. But a state could establish or bar a religion, theoretically. And certain religious practices can also be banned --a la polygamy for the Mormons. The question becomes whether, in the age of relativism, anyone has the stomach to take the position and make the argument.

Here's a thought experiment for you. If Satanism is, by unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, a legitimate religion, what prevents Satanists from legally performing animal sacrifices? Animal cruelty laws? What if they promise to administer anaesthesia first? What if in lieu of human sacrifice (obviously illegal), Satanist women were to begin getting pregnant for the purpose of procuring abortion --and insisted on gathering in the clinic for their sacred rites? Would any judge in America uphold a State ban on such a practice? Just asking.