The Belle Plaine issue

There has been an update to the story of The Satanic Temple’s Belle Plaine monument which I would like to cover. Last week, Belle Plaine has seen protests from people who are opposed to the erecting of The Satanic Temple’s “Joe” monument, largely Christian groups who are opposed to the idea of anything Satanic being erected on public property. A free speech zone was established by the city of Belle Plaine in response to previous protests by Christian groups who opposed the removal of the Joe monument. The idea was that the space would be opened all temporary private monuments. The Satanic Temple used this opportunity to try and get their own monument displayed there, but this of course drew protest from Christian groups who opposed the very idea. On Thursday, Belle Plaine eliminated the free speech zone, barring all privately owned monuments and leaving their respective owners with 10 days to remove them. This of course means that the Satanic memorial monument will not be displayed in Belle Plaine.

So basically, because The Satanic Temple decided to try and place their Satanic funeral monument in a public space, and Christian protesters decided to show up in response, Belle Plaine has decided that, rather than just allow both, they’ve decided to make it so that none of them can be displayed at all. Good job Satanic Temple.

The event also attracted the attention of FOX News’ Tucker Carlson, who interviewed Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple to talk to him about the monument, as well as Satanism from the perspective of Greaves at least. Now let me get one thing straight: normally I like Tucker Carlson. Ever since I started hearing of him taking on all kinds of idiots and loons not just on the left but on the neoconservative right, as well as craziness from Washington and the mainstream media, not to mention he’s a living meme as well because so many of the people he interviews bring out that famous face of bewilderment, he became the only reason I bother with FOX News at all. But when introduced to The Satanic Temple and to Satanism, it seems Tucker Carlson had a hard time dealing with it. Tucker accused the group of going out their way to deliberately horrify Christians (which I don’t think is entirely accurate), he basically dismissed Satanism as a “silly made-up religion” because it wasn’t as established as Christianity, Judaism or Islam, and he tried to legitimize Lucien’s belief system on the grounds that Satan was a Christian symbol, never mind that as a Christian (to my knowledge at least) his God was lifted from pre-Jewish Canaanite paganism. It seemed to me like Tucker was being really unfair to him, and he seemed to be arguing from a position of ignorance.

But I don’t think Lucien performed very well either. He started the interview by pretty much dodging Tucker’s questions about what the core beliefs of Satanism are before eventually describing it from the standpoint of The Satanic Temple. To Tucker’s credit, it did seem like Lucien wasn’t always very straightforward. What bothered me in particular though was that towards the end of the interview about how Satanism was not just about resistance to tyranny and religious authority, but also diversity and multiculturalism. So in other words, Lucien on national television proclaims that Satanism, for him at least, is just textbook social liberal philosophy dressed in the devil’s clothes. I view Satanism as, fundamentally, pro-individualism and pro-freedom. And the ideals of diversity and multiculturalism, as they are practiced today, are nothing more than covers for illiberal – if not outright authoritarian – social engineering, rampant soft bigotry and racism, the erosion of Western civilizational values (including individual liberty) in favor of cultural relativism and willful prostration in the face of the threat of Islamic terrorism. I know that Tucker was unfair to Lucien for the most part, but if he’s trying to tell me that *this* is what Satanism means he should frankly throw his pentagrams to the floor. On the whole, the interview was a dumpster fire for me and one of the lesser moments in Tucker Carlson’s otherwise fine show.

And that, in a nutshell, is the most recent development in the Belle Plaine chapter of The Satanic Temple’s activist campaign.

Thoughts on The Satanic Temple (and their Satanic monument)

The Satan statue being built by The Satanic Temple

One of the highlights of this year so far, for me, is the plan by The Satanic Temple to build a statue of Satan (in the form of Baphomet) at Oklahoma State Capitol alongside the Ten Commandments monument, as a reaction against another defiling of the constitutional separation of church and state. Obviously I am in favor of Satan statue being there to oppose the establishment of a Christian presence that does not belong in a place of law.

However, I feel it would be remiss if I didn’t add that if the Ten Commandments monument were to be removed from the site (which might be rather unlikely), then the Satan statue would have to be located somewhere else because it would no longer serve its purpose if the Ten Commandments monument is no longer present.

The 2012 Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma, which sits as an affront to the separation of religion and secular law.

Still, isn’t it baffling that the Christians in America are complaining that there’s a statue of Satan coming to Oklahoma after they built a Ten Commandments monument there? They shouldn’t be complaining, because they brought it upon themselves when they chose to make a mockery of the values that America was founded on; freedom, separation of church and state, the right of the individual to pursue happiness in whatever way he/she chooses to as long as no one is harmed or coerced (all of which, of course, law would serve to protect). By erecting the Ten Commandments in a place of secular law, they should’ve known this and that someone else requesting monuments for other beliefs would follow.

Which brings me to The Satanic Temple.

Easily the most public Satanic organisation ever (at least in terms of their campaigns of outreach), they stand out among every other Satanic organisation. Where most of them have a somewhat elitist (though not fascist) element, and sometimes a misanthropic outlook, The Satanic Temple does not, and the organisations desire to provide outreach to the public and publicly take part in community and public affairs, including political activities. Their public campaigning, I feel, is an excellent and wonderful thing because it challenges people to question their spoon-fed or image-based perceptions of Satanism and look into the philosophy of Satanism and its many different manifestations.

However, I personally would most likely  not join the organisation because I do not like to actively join organisations and like to remain independent and not stick to an outside set of tenets. It’s also because I tend to be wary of any idea of altruistic intentions. The latter is nothing against the organisation, I just like to be careful that Satanic organisations are not partaking in community activities for the sake of any altruistic ideas and pretences. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t support the organisation and its efforts, acting as an independent supporter . After all, why wouldn’t I support an organisation that actively fights on the side of liberty? I might even donate on my own time when it suits me or when I’m comfortable.

If you are interested in donating, then get this: There are apparently some awesome perks for donating. For $500 you can get your name on the “list of souls” on the back of the statue. For $666, your name on the statue. For $1,000, you can get a 1 foot bronze statue of the monument. For $1,200, you get your name on the statue at the top of the list. For $5,000 you can get your own 4×6 block with 4 lines of text. For $10,000 you can get your own 10×8 inch block with 12 lines of text. And for $100,000, your own statue! I’m not sure if I can donate that much, but damn! It’s enough to make me want to consider it.

I’d hate to sound like a giant advertisement, but those interested in donating may feel free to check out the website here: http://www.thesatanictemple.com