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The Satanic Temple: Hail Satan?


Excerpt from Rolling Stone:

Everyone goes through something of a satanist phase. Maybe you drew “666” on your Converses and your youth pastor had to sit down and have a talk with you. Maybe you read a book about Anton LeVay and thought, “Hey, the dude had a few good ideas.” Or maybe you just spent a lot of time scaring other patrons at Hot Topic. But the ladies and gentlemen featured in the trailer for Hail Satan?, a documentary premiering in theaters on April 19th, take their love for all things Beelzebub more than a few steps further.

Directed by filmmaker Penny Lane (Our Nixon), Hail Satan? follows the lives of members of the Satanic Temple, a church/political activist group with multiple chapters across the United States. Founded in 2012, the Satanic Temple was originally launched as something of a PR stunt, though it’s grown into something of a political force to be reckoned with.

In the trailer for the documentary, members of the Satanic Temple fight for the construction of a monument to the goat demon Baphomet outside the Arkansas State Capitol building, much to the chagrin of Arkansas residents. They seem all too eager to combat stereotypes associated with devil worship, portraying themselves as bright-eyed, bushy-tailed activists staunchly committed to principles of religious freedom. “I believe that confronting injustice is an expression of my satanic faith,” one member of the temple says.

That said, members of the Satanic Temple are not at all averse to trolling: when a heckler shouts, “You’re gonna go to hell!,” a man in Baphomet garb flashes a smug grin. “I believe it,” he says, “and I’m excited about it.”

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  1. Avatar
    Daniel Wilcox

    I don’t find this funny. When I was living in Haight-Ashbury in the spring of 1967 before I began conscientious objector service in a mental hospital, I read LeVay’s book, The Satanic Bible.

    Its pronouncements, especially the ones that glorified the will to power, etc. were some of the most evil beliefs I ever read (only topped by Nazi propaganda and Calvinist theology).

    At about the same time, one of the leaders in Haight-Asbury told me that (like some other human leaders) that it DIDN’T MATTER WHAT ONE DOES–JUST DO IT. That leader’s hero was an anarchist bomber.

    Forget about the innocent, the weak, the poor:-(

    Yes, I know that some Satanists now have totally changed their beliefs, but for some reason continue to glory in Satan.

    It strikes me as not only fake (like people who keep the name of Christ but practice the opposite of him) but weird.

    I vote for the inherent worth of all humans, for human rights, for kindness and justice.

    To hell with satanism;-)

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      The Satanic Temple does not follow Anton LaVey. They are atheists and humanists, promoters of a strict separation of church and state. Perhaps you should check out one of their services. Beware, though, they might strip you of your clothes and carnally abuse you or offer you barbecued baby for dinner. But then again, maybe not. 🙂 Unlike Evangelicals, the Satanic Temple is harmless, and more focused on making the world a better place to live.

  2. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    We had a Satanic Temple chapter (or whatever they’re called) here in the South San Francisco Bay Area, but now I can’t find the website, so they may have gone inactive. We are largely not activists in this area, since everyone has to work hard and long to endure the cost of living.

    However, I’ve met some members and a friend attended a get-together at a local park. We both found the members to be friendly, thoughtful, progressive, and attracted to aggressive activism for the separation of church and state. Unlike members of some religions, the Satanic Temple folks don’t sell any sort of deity, because they don’t believe in supernatural beings.

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Bruce Gerencser