With Donald Trump’s reign of terror still going strong, and right-wingers waging war on everyone from would-be gay adoptive parents, to Muslims, to transgender people who just gotta take a leak, the American people are starting to stick a collective middle finger in the eye of the status quo. But some play Human Rights Hardball a little more ferociously than others, don’t they?
Enter TST, or The Satanic Temple. A religion forged by individuals with common, deeply held beliefs and concerns which are a direct, and VERY serious, answer to the Puritanically-minded agenda of the American Conservative population – many of whom wish to not only make abortion illegal for pregnant people for ANY reason, but who seek to criminalize MISCARRIAGE, which is often unavoidable and unintentional as well. Naturally, this has sparked a powerful wave of outrage, and LOUD opposition. TST is standing at the front lines. Especially now that a few States, like Ohio and Alabama, have laws forcing even rape and incest victims to carry the fetus to term – no matter the age of the pregnant person.
How can a tiny clump of cells have more right to “life” than the person whose body its very existence depends on? Why should that be?
Without making this article about myself, I just quickly want to explain who I am, how I became involved in TST, and why I so desperately wanted to write about this event. My name is Artemis. I am a fairly new admission to TST’s NYC Chapter. I am a bisexual, non-binary person who grew up under the Catholic theocracy, spending several of my earliest childhood years in Montana (a very Red, VERY Christian state), listening to our preacher telling us women were made to be subservient, and other lovely things I’m sure you can imagine just fine.
As those of us who’ve been paying attention to national politics can see, this is a very terrifying time to be an American with a uterus. Why am I not simply saying “women”?
Because not only women get pregnant. “…What?” you ask? Let me explain.
Like I mentioned, I’m actually not a woman. Not in the strictest sense of the term. But I DO happen to possess a uterus, and I present as a “femme”, or otherwise “girly”-looking person. It just so happens that many transgender men and intersex people possess wombs as well. Which means LOTS of us have the opportunity to be forced into birthing and parenthood.
Even the youth aren’t safe: tragically, there have recently been two nationally publicized cases of preteen girls being raped and impregnated, and refused the ability to abort because of the Heartbeat Bill, or a similarly archaic and cruel diction, has declared that an incoherent clump of cells is more important than a living, breathing girl. It’s a fate many more are surely soon to face. The unthinkable is becoming common place. Some of these people will die as a result of being forced to carry a pregnancy to term.
Have the theocrats lost their goddamned minds once and for all?
Luckily, TST is pushing back against these atrocities – HARD – and that’s what impressed me enough to decide to join their ranks. I have been following their forum and group discussions on Facebook for nearly three years.
So my first event with the Chapter was a BADASS fundraiser which was, EXTREMELY aptly, dubbed NON SERVIAM – which is Latin for “I will not serve,” and was supposedly what Lucifer said before God told him, “K, Bye Felicia!” The night featured an incredible cast of performance artists who really put their everything into helping us make this event count.
Non Serviam took place at the Brooklyn-based heavy metal-themed bar Lucky 13 Saloon, and the venue was tightly packed with enthusiastic spectators.
I also got the pleasure of creating a “piggy bank” for cash donations. I decided it would be rather funny to sculpt an effigy of Trump’s Veep Mike Pence spreading his buns apart to receive donations in his gaping… you know. Those less inclined to touch the butt also had the option of giving Mike the money shot in the mouth instead.
TST Co-Chapter Head Seraphina and Council Member Nyx opened the show with a brief intro to TST and to the fundraiser, which was to raise money for the Temple’s Reproductive Rights campaign, which seeks to fight on behalf of pregnant people who are being denied access to abortion and other means of contraception because of theocratic meddling by lawmakers – who are almost exclusively white, older men who of course cannot even relate to being pregnant. Those who cannot relate to a situation of this nature have absolutely no right to police wombs, much less the persons hey belong to. To weaponize parenthood is ghastly and it will cost many people their lives. Also, is miscarriage and abortions are felonies… guess what?
Felons cannot vote. Therefore, because most folk in possession of wombs happen to be cisgender women, one can also see how this is clearly an attempt to crumble everything the Sufragettes and waves of other feminists after have risked everything for. I guess we’re all baby factories now. Suuuuuuuper. But the Satanic community is not having it.
TST believes that abortion is not only a very real and normal part of reproductive healthcare, it is a RIGHT – a decision which belongs only in the hands of the patient in need of the procedure. Abortion IS ethical, and in many cases it can be medically necessary to save the pregnant person’s life. No one should be shamed or punished for, or prevented from, having an abortion. Abortion should be safe, legal, easy, and socially acceptable, just like any other medical procedure. No religious imposition should ever come in between a human being and their own free will and choice.
A sequence of four delightfully dark, sumptuous dancers entranced the entire room, to raucous cheers and applause. If Lucifer were actually a real entity, I feel pretty certain he would have stopped by to give the whole thing a flaming thumbs up and a “YAAAS, KINGS AND KWEENS, SLAY IT!” Among those who sashayed, stomped, and stole hearts for the cause were: Star, Melissa Saurus Wrecks, and Dick Witch. There were two insanely hot girl-on-girl lapdances.
Adding somewhat of an abstract touch to the evening, a troupe of thespians who call themselves the Wulfstan Group took the stage, one-by-one, to deliver provocative, funny, and poignant monologues.
TST NYC was delighted with the turnout and support, and we are happy to declare that the event was a success! If you participated – thank you for your amazing energy, and for throwing 100% into your performances. If you came to watch, we appreciate your presence and hope you will attend our future events!
Sadly, my Mike Pence sculpture did not survive the mortal wounds he acquired at the fundraiser. His poor anus was caving in by the time I went to retrieve him and take him home, and his hands and part of his face had broken in from being handled so roughly. I bet Actual Mike Pence felt and savored every touch in his soul. And then got yelled at by Mother, who does not approve. She doesn’t look mad, but trust me: she gave him a helluva lickin’ when they got home. And not the kind he secretly dreams of, either.
To learn more about TST’s mission, please visit https://religiousreproductiverights.com/ and spread the word!