Satan worshippers plan to challenge a Supreme Court decision on the remains of aborted babies.
The high court's decision involved an Indiana law that required the remains of aborted babies be buried or cremated. Justices upheld that law Tuesday – and soon after, the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple said it would fight the law in the name of religious liberty.
Andrew Beckwith, president of Massachusetts Family Institute, thinks this may be a publicity stunt.
"They're located here in Salem for historic purposes, to play off the tragic history of that city," he explains. "[But] set the legal question aside [and ask]: 'What exactly is it that these self-avowed Satan worshippers want to do with the remains of aborted children?' Pretty disturbing once you start asking that question."
The Satanic Temple's website – which Beckwith doesn't recommend people visit – says one of their tenants is that beliefs "should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world."
"Yet," notes Beckwith, "in their complaint they are alleging that they believe a non-viable fetus – post-abortion – is part of a woman's body, which I think we all know is just not scientifically true."
He continues: "Unborn children are genetically unique from their mother; and so they are inside the womb of the mother, obviously, but they are not part of the mother's body. So it's ironic that they are taking a very unscientific belief despite their tenants that they're supposedly based on science."
The organization goes on to say in its statement of beliefs that "we should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs."
To which Beckwith responds: "And yet that's exactly what they're doing in their complaint against the Supreme Court decision."