God Vs Satan In Washington State Showdown
While the world’s media was reporting on the impeachment trial of US president Donald Trump being thrown out of court, members of the Washington state chapter of The Satanic Temple were petitioning state legislators for an invite to deliver a ‘devilish invocation’ at the Capitol Building, and they got it!
Komo News recently reported that while Washington legislators rejected the Satanists request to perform their ritual ‘inside' the State Capitol Building the Department of Enterprise Services granted the group official permission to stage their Satanic Rite on the steps of the legislative building on March 6, from noon to 1 pm.
Satanic Panic Goes Awry
One shouldn’t really be shocked that this congregation of Satanists from Washington have been granted permission to perform a ritual on the north steps of the Capitol Building next month as they are a bonafide religion in the eyes of the United States IRS who granted the group tax-free religious status in America over a decade ago. Satanic Temple representative, Tarkus Claypool, said the group contacted state legislators in hopes of getting an invitation to give the opening invocation on any of the 40 legislative calendar sessions, but their pitch was predictably unsuccessful.
The Washington State Capitol , the location of the spiritual fight. (Senapa / CC BY-SA 3.0)
According to Claypool, nearly all the invocations given at the State Capitol are Christian and while the Satanists were refused a place inside, the group “will be heard nonetheless”. Claypool says legislators hand-pick largely Judeo-Christian clergy because this decision is uncontroversial and politically safe, but the Satanic Temple is a “non-theistic religion”, meaning its congregation does not worship supernatural gods or the devil and they have Seven Fundamental Tenets instead of a holy book.
Mythical Origins Of Satanism
Just like the Bible from which it was born, Satanism is a group of philosophical concepts based on a mythological entity, but unlike God, Satanism did not begin with worship, rather, with paranoid accusations made by fearful Christians during the Middle Ages. The Catholic Inquisition created then used Satanism as a violent device of political and social control with which they demonized Christian sects as heretics, such as the Knights Templar and the Cathars.
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The Catholic Inquisition was a spiritual fight between the Catholic Church and the Knights Templar and the Cathars. Cathars being burnt at the stake. (Cropbot / Public Domain)
This sparked a widespread Satanic conspiracy leading to the torture of people, mainly women, as witches in Europe and the North American colonies, a dire situation which wasn’t helped by the rise of Protestantism, which claimed the pope was the anti-Christ, cementing Satan into modern culture. Fears of a widespread Satanic conspiracy reached new heights with the 1890s after the Taxil Hoax of France claimed members of Freemasonry worshiped Satan, Lucifer, and Baphomet within their private rituals.
1896 spiritual fight -poster for anti-freemasonry book, promoting the Taxil Hoax. (Ancalagon / Public Domain)
Over the next century uncorroborated Satanic fears led to the idea of the Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) of children, and associated hysteria grew in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s. But after 20 years of virtually nothing sticking in courts, according to the New York Times, in the latter half of the 1990s interest in SRA declined and skepticism became the default position, “with very few researchers giving any credence to the existence of SRA”.
Ironing Out The Satanic Organizations
The Satanic Temple is often confused with an earlier organization, the Church of Satan, which was founded by Anton Szandor LaVey in the 1960s. The Satanic Temple was founded in 2013 by Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry and today they dismiss the original Church of Satan as “irrelevant and inactive” and in the last 10 years the Satanic Temple has become the primary religious Satanic organization in the world.
The Church of Satan views Satan as an archetype of pride, individualism, and enlightenment. The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple were in a spiritual fight with the founders of The Satanic Temple saying The Church of Satan was irrelevant. (Hohum / Public Domain)
LaVey’s 1960s Church of Satan promoted narcissistic philosophies based on self-gain, but the Satanic Temple state in the first of their seven tenets,
“One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.”
And further winning the hearts of atheists across the world the Satanic Temple “does not endorse supernatural explanations,” with another the tenet stating,
“Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.“
What Might March 6th Bring?
The Satanic Temple claim their rituals are “creative and expressive” and event-specific rather than “rote and magical,” like Christian rituals. But forgiving these philosophical differences, just like their Christian rivals, leaders of the Satanic Temple also scrub around school playgrounds sourcing the fertile and venerable minds of new recruits. Where evangelical Christians enter public schools proselytizing children with Bible-based after school clubs, the Satanic Temple offer an alternative “science-based, critical thinking-developing” environment at their After School Satan Clubs.
With international chapters launching high-profile public campaigns, the Satanic Temple website claims the group is designed to “preserve and advance secularism and individual liberties,” and Claypool reminds that “the First Amendment provides full protection of our religious message, regardless of our beliefs”.
In this hyper-polarized world, billions of paranoid adults, it appears, have little concern for the future mental health of their children and while white-robed God fearing evangelists and Satanists fight for young minds, the words of Pink Floyd sound ever louder in the air: “Hey teachers, leave those kids alone”.
Top image: Satanists are involved in a spiritual fight to perform the invocation at the Washington state Capital Building. Source: sfpater / Adobe Stock.
By Ashley Cowie