Last August, when the now-debunked anti-Planned Parenthood videos were circulating and there were protests at clinics across the country, The Satanic Temple held one of the more effective counter-demonstrations, sucking all the attention away from the people who want to force women to have babies by pouring gallons of milk over two women.
It worked then and it worked this weekend, too. On Saturday, as nationwide Planned Parenthood protests were taking place once again, members of the Satanic Temple of Detroit showed up outside clinics in Ferndale and Detroit.
In a display of what they called “fetal idolatry” that involved bondage fetish wear, baby masks, diapers, and group flagellation, the protesters were eventually painted gold by “adoring fetal idolizers.”
Now you know what freedom sounds like.
Look, I don’t know what I just saw… but it makes no less sense than “pro-life” rhetoric that equates month-old fetuses with adult humans, and the arguments that say abortion is murder but women who have abortions shouldn’t be penalized in any way.
Jex Blackmore, director of the Detroit chapter, explained the demonstration this way:
The action was intended to expose fetal idolatry and the perpetuation of fictional, coercive propaganda against the reproductive health organization. The Satanic Temple (TST) believes that the anti-choice movement’s obsession with, and mischaracterization of, the fetus obscures medical reality and a woman’s constitutional right to choice. Enlarged images of fetuses which are no larger than an inch and the personalization of mindless, senseless human embryos elevates the fetus to the status of a demigod.
The philosophical and religious opinions of some should not be used legislate morality. The attempt to do so violates American foundational values of freedom and liberty. The Detroit chapter employs grotesque, fetishized visuals to draw parallels to the approach of the anti-choice movement with a focus on bodies, eroticism and powerful imagery as a tool to communicate complex ideas.
And you thought modern art didn’t make sense…
If nothing else, I appreciate that the Satanists are willing to stand up to anti-abortion activists. It’s a powerful, albeit unusual, show of support for the women who use these clinics regularly — both for abortions and their general health needs.
(Image via Bruno Vanzieleghem)