Over the past few weeks I’ve run into a couple of interesting stories about satanists challenging secularism in the US. It got me thinking, what’s with the socially conscious Satanists all of a sudden? I’m no Satanist, but I do find these stories interesting. When I think of a Satanist I think of a bald dude with a goatee, blaring some Gorgorath while carving pentagrams in his skin, not some touchy religious freedom hippy.
It turns out this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a religious pain in the ass is part of the doctrine of Satanism, or rather to challenge and mock the religious status quo. It’s the same tactic that many civil liberty activists have used for decades; freak people out so they listen and think. Luckily for those in the US and other more progressive countries, stunts like these wont get you prison time or kicked out of the country. It goes without saying that trying anything like this in say Zimbabwe, is a bad idea.
So what could Satanism tell us about the state of a country? Well, I’m thinking it could go a few ways. The first option is that Satanic-activism is a sign that things are going progressively well in a place. At heart Satanism is the practice of activism and protest, so in that sense it can mean people are questioning their situation and challenging others to think about it. The same way a black person sitting in the front of a bus offended people in the 50s and gays making out in public offends others today, you do something that’s so contrary to people’s beliefs and they just have to stare and think for a minute. Is Satanism just a shock tactic? Probably, but I’m sure there are Satanists out there who disagree.
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There’s also a chance that a bunch of protesting Satanists is the exact opposite of a good thing, and instead a sign that civil liberties are actually threatened in some important respects. After all, if everything was just peachy and covered in the blood of tyrants there wouldn’t be anything to protest, right? Fair enough, so maybe all these Satanist stories are a sign that at least the US is heading down some troubling roads. Who knows.
At the end of the day though, it probably comes down to old farts and shriveled up prunes who don’t have a sense of humour. Which is probably 99% of the reason we have problems in this world anyways; some goon thinks his shit is the shit and takes any jokes at his expense as a threat. Grow up skipper and let people do what they like as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. I think the most important thing a Satanist can bring to the table is that no matter how outlandish a person’s views are they should be worth hearing, before rejecting them and continuing business as usual. So without further ado I present to you, three awesome stories of Satanists pissing people off:
The first of these has been an ongoing story for a while now: Activists in Oklahoma want to erect a statue of the dark lord himself next to the 10 commandments statue in front of Oklahoma’s capital. Thanks to crowd funding they’ve managed to raise enough to get the sculpture commissioned and it was recently finished. They released pictures of it and I have to say it looks pretty bad ass, it will also definitely freak out your grandma.
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The whole thing started because a state legislator donated a statue of the 10 commandments to the city and it was placed on the front lawn of their capital building. Upset with what this could mean for separation of church and state, a group of inquisitive trouble makers decided the best way to challenge it was to summon Lucifer to annoy the piss out of a couple conservatives.
The group itself, the Satanic Temple, has been active in the church/state debate for a while and in addition to supporting the division of religion and state, they also fight for religious equality and hope to one day even have a lobbyist in DC. Now that the statue is basically done the Satan-activists are claiming they have just as much right to put up a religious statue on the capital’s lawn as Christians do, which makes sense to most reasonable people. It’s pretty serious too, they’ve applied to be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Although the claim was rejected it shows how serious they are about putting this sculpture up and are trying to find other ways around it.
Next we have the Re-enactment of a black mass on the campus at Harvard Massachusetts, which was supposed to take place Monday but was officially canceled because it was deemed too religiously offensive. The mass was organized by the anthropology club and was meant to be “part of a larger effort to explore the religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture. “. Now I’m thinking if they chose to explore the religious facets of Judaism or Muslims it would probably be OK, the problem was mostly that from the looks of it a black mass involves parodying a Catholic mass by mocking God and profaning a host by means of various sexual acts. Four words: Nuns in compromising positions.
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I can definitely see Harvard’s hesitation here. Luckily our ol friend from the Satanic Temple wouldn’t stand for this and decided to crash the canceled black mass and hold a black mass gathering instead. I can’t tell if there was any profaning going on here, but if there was im sure the pictures got flagged by Facebook.
Finally we have a civil rights vigilante from Florida: Chaz Stevens. And with a name like Chaz you can expect the guy to just love attention and probably rollerskating. If fact he’s been the spotlight of attention before, when just this year he petitioned to have a festivus pole made of empty beer cans put in the state capitol, so they let him.
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This time he’s challenging a recent court decision that says it’s constitutional to open a town hall, senate or other government meetings with a prayer. High off his recent festivus pole victory, Chaz recently asked if he could recite a Satanic prayer at the opening of a town hall meeting, something along the lines of: “O mighty Lord Satan, / teach us to become strong and wise! / Teach us to vanquish the enemies / of our freedom and well-being! “.
Unsurprisingly the city council said he can stick that prayer right back up that black hole he pulled it out from. Of course he won’t settle with that response and has instead decided to take the matter to court, but the outcome is still to be decided.