Playing the Hail Satan card is a little extreme folks. IMAGE: Rex Diablo, CC license.
Pro-life and pro-choice protestors squared off in the Texas Capitol building. The pro-lifers sang Amazing Grace. The pro-choice people responded with a chant of “Not the church, not the state, women must decide our fate.” But then some of the pro-choice protestors changed their tune and switched to chants of “Hail Satan!”
The moment provides some bad optics for the budding pro-choice movement in Texas, invigorated by Senator Wendy Davis’ filibuster last week of a very restrictive abortion bill. It’s too bad, because Amazing Grace vs. “Not the church, not the state, women must decide our fate” provides a perfectly encapsulated snapshot of the abortion debate. Do we embrace the spiritual beauty of a developing fetus (do we acknowledge the spiritual beauty of a developing fetus) or do we say that this is not something that the government should be involved with, because this is a matter of faith?
Amazing Grace is a good move in a situation like this: it’s one of those Christian things that everyone can get behind or at least accept. “Hail Satan” is a hilarious response, but they should have chosen something less antagonistic. Pro-choice protestors should find a prominent religion that has no particular feelings about abortion and learn some of its songs and prayers. That would be a better response, because it would highlight that the debate around separation of church and state really is about church—not religion, but Christianity—and the U.S. government. What if a Jewish lawmaker introduced a law stating that no one could drive on Saturday unless it was an emergency. That would be an overly restrictive law that would actually make some people’s lives better, and a better juxtaposition than “Hail Satan.”