State of the Culture: Satanists and religious liberty

By Jonathon Van Maren

As I mentioned in a previous culture update, the transgender ideologues have destroyed professional sports. This time, it’s cycling. From the National Post:

A Canadian cyclist who transitioned from man to woman — then had to prove to sporting officials she was sufficiently female — has won a key battle in her unique human-rights complaint over the policing of athlete gender.

Kristen Worley alleges world sports bodies have set up a discriminatory system that starts with humiliating sex-verification tests, and continues with anti-doping rules that prevent transitioned competitors from getting enough synthetic hormones.

Testosterone supplements are banned as performance enhancing, but Toronto-based Worley — unable to produce any sex hormones naturally — says she needs them just to stay healthy and not fall behind other cyclists.

Right. So Kristen, who was recently a dude and possessed all the physical advantages of being a dude, now wants to compete as a female because he “successfully” mutilated his genitals. Poor Lance Armstrong is probably just now realizing that if he’d had his remaining testicle removed, identified as a woman, and called doping “hormone treatment,” he might not have had to give all his Tours de France back.


Verily Magazine has published a fascinating article detailing the risks of the birth control pill, a subject most Christians are also in the dark about:

It was at a medical conference in Orlando, Florida, some years back when I decided I must write a book about, and for, women who have been victimized by the health care system. As a family physician practicing for more than twenty-five years, I’ve had countless women come through my doors with a myriad of gynecologic concerns. At this particular conference, I asked the lecturer—a prominent women’s health physician—to explain why he did not mention the connection between cervical cancer and the use of oral contraceptives in his talk on cervical cancer. He replied (before three hundred other physicians), “Let’s keep that to ourselves.”

The birth control pill is problematic for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it has abortifacient qualities.


It’s a sign of how thorough the secularization of America has been that groups like the Satanic Temple don’t raise more eyebrows. After all, if one doesn’t believe in the existence of Satan, then an organization adopting him as the figurehead isn’t much different than a Harry Potter fan club. From Fox News:

The Satanic Temple on Monday contacted several school districts nationwide to announce plans to open “After School Satan” clubs at elementary schools in an effort to counter religious groups, The Washington Post reported.

Jay Howard-Brock, the former PTA president of Bradbury Heights Elementary School in Washington, D.C., said the Temple’s plan may mean having to eliminate all religious extracurricular clubs.

“It’s going to become a distraction,” she told The Post. “We should just abolish groups like that from being on school premises, because it just may offend someone. The kids really need to focus on the education piece.”

The Satanic Temple, despite its name, does not worship Beelzebub. The group claims it does not believe in any religion and uses Lucifer more as a mythical symbol.

The Temple said several dozen people from around the country have already volunteered to help with the clubs if they launch.

Part of this, of course, is simply an attempt by master-level atheist trolls to eliminate religious freedom by forcing officials to accord the same treatment to those who follow Lucifer—or at least claim to be inspired by him—as they do to Christianity. That has proven quite effective—Satanists have also claimed that abortion is sacred to them, so exercising their right to an abortion falls under the umbrella of religious liberty. Still, it’s worth noting the dangerousness and brazenness of appealing to Satan. Perhaps Christians should mail these folks copies of The Screwtape Letters.


Just in case any Christians were thinking that Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was an option in the Trump vs Hillary conundrum, consider this from the National Review:

The Libertarian candidate knows he is “sideways” with his own party on this issue, but that’s ok with him. “I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything.” Republicans aren’t the only party that chose a nominee who needs some help with the sheet music. 

Yeah, so the Libertarian guy doesn’t believe in religious freedom. I’ve always found libertarians pretty awful on social conservative issues, but the guy who is running on a liberty platform refusing to recognize religious liberty? Yikes.


On Facebook, literature professor Anthony Esolen posed a fascinating question:

Sour Political Challenge of the Day:

To people who call themselves “liberal”:

Name one liberty you believe in without all kinds of reservations (e.g., “safe spaces,” “hate speech”) that does not (1) involve sex, and (2) something that ordinary people within living memory considered immoral or disgusting or both.

To people who call themselves “moderate””:

Name one human good for which you would be willing to fight, suffer, and die.

To people who call themselves “conservative”:

Name what you want to conserve, why you believe it is worth conserving, and what legal restrictions upon your own behavior you would be willing to admit to conserve it.

Food for thought.


The process of weeding Christians out of the public square continues, this time with loyalty oaths at universities. From The Blaze:

Today people of conscience are again being put to the test, this time by cultural radicals, especially those ruthlessly pushing the LGBTQ agenda. Their latest weapon is to require that the modern day equivalent of loyalty oaths be forced on those seeking to get or keep employment.

A recent example comes to us from the University of Cincinnati which now requires prospective hires to all faculty and staff positions make a statement promising to support “Diversity and Inclusion.” If that simply meant supporting efforts to bring women and ethnic minorities into the mainstream of university life, then what reasonable person would object? Unfortunately, we have all too often seen these terms hijacked by those who would force acceptance of oxymoronic same-sex “marriage” and the deconstruction of gender.

A case in point would be what happened at the University of San Diego, an ostensibly Catholic institution of higher learning. It also introduced a multicultural and diversity program under the guise of ushering in a new age of inclusiveness and equality for women and minorities.

Yet, in no time the new regime on campus, headed by the “Rainbow Coalition,” became a front for homosexual activists. They instead ushered in a new era of gay activism, including “gay dances,” gay religious study professors (who were decidedly anti-Catholic), and they even sponsored an annual drag queen contest. The later debasing event has continued despite protests and a letter from the Vatican denouncing it as a “scandal.”

Now it is the devoutly religious and conservatives on campus that are marginalized and made to feel like second-class citizens. The anti-Catholic religious studies professors have refused to take an oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, as called for by Pope, now saint, John Paul II. However, they would no doubt be all to eager to see loyalty oaths in favor of the gay agenda be forced on everyone else.

Sound far fetched? You decide.

President Barack Obama’s appointment of lesbian activist Chai Feldblum to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, makes the point rather nicely. Although the EEOC is supposed to protect religious rights as well as gay rights, Feldblum has publicly stated that she can not even imagine a case in which religious liberty should not be made to bow to gay rights.

More to the point, she has also publicly stated that “we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity … Protecting one group’s identity liberty may, at times, require that we burden others’ belief liberty. This is an inherent and irreconcilable reality of our complex society. But in dealing with this conflict, I believe it is essential that we not privilege moral beliefs that are religiously based over other sincerely held core, moral beliefs.”

So there you have it. The new religion of the West is the Sexual Revolution, and the LGBTQ-alphabet-soup warriors will not be happy until every Christian bends the knee.

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