After the 60’s, Christianity found itself a new scapegoat – the newly created religion known as Satanism, whose followers believe in Satan, not as a literal devil or deity, but a personification of mankind’s carnal self. I don’t normally take on this subject matter, due to lack of interest, but I came across a recently released video from The Satanic Temple, a relatively new organization who wants to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people”.
The video mentioned that they want to “clean up the streets”, “work to protect women’s health choices”, and “defend children from corporal punishment”. They also apparently want to advocate for better health care and benefits for America’s military veterans. What the hell is going on? Isn’t this what the Christian church ought to be doing?
The Christian church claims to tout charity as a virtue, but let’s not forget that the church tends to exploit its tax-exempt status. Also, many Christian politicians pretend to defend Christian values, while also defending a system that contradicts Christian values and disadvantages the poor.
In America, The Satanic Temple has met opposition from conservative Christians who don’t want them to be around. Isn’t it odd that conservative Christians in America are opposed to a group who wants to protect children from corporal punishment? Perhaps the religious right want to have the freedom to vent their frustration on their kids, which makes sense because the church seems to view children as pawns that they can scare into believing.
I think the real reason that the church opposes The Satanic Temple is because they actively try to do what the Christian church acts like it’s doing. They don’t like that they’ve been made out to be the hypocrites that they are, so they want to oppose an organization that genuinely wants to do the right thing (but then again, the fact that they held gay weddings on top of Fred Phelps’ grave didn’t exactly help).
But, in the interest of fairness, let’s take a look at some of the central tenets of The Satanic Temple, which are listed on their website if you’re interested.
One of their fundamental tenets is that the pursuit of justice is ongoing, and should take precedent over laws and institutions. The Christian church, on the other hand, won’t pursue justice if doing so becomes harmful to their religion, or if it threatens Christianity’s stranglehold on society. The Satanic Temple also believes that the freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. The Christian church, meanwhile, would happily silence that right if it meant appeasing their god.
The Satanic Temple also believes that the body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone. I’m assuming this tenet refers to sexuality, because this sounds like the exact opposite of the church’s view on women. If the church had their way, women would still be treated like slaves, as they were before the Enlightenment era. The Satanic Temple also acknowledges that people are fallible, while the Christian church, and many fundamentalist Christians, continue to believe that the word of God, or maybe just the Bible, is infallible.
In this sense, The Satanic Temple basically acts as the opposite of the Christian church, which had clearly been seduced by power since the twilight years of the Roman Empire. Of course, the status and/or purpose of being an adversary to the church is shared by all Satanist organizations, but The Satanic Temple seems to oppose the church in a unique way, by genuinely advocating compassion and empathy.
This, of course, means that Satanists can no longer be the bad guys that they’ve been made out to be since the 80’s. If that’s true, then the real bad guys are the Christian church, who oppose an organization who would advocate better health care and benefits for American veterans.
Of course, all this is going on in America, but what would happen if its influence were to spread worldwide? If that happened, then the church would have a very big problem on its hands, especially if there’s a religious organization that wants to do what the politicians and the government should have been doing in the first place.
I’m not expecting religious upheaval, but I think that in the future, the hypocrisy and abritrarity of the church will become obvious to all. All it would take is sound kind of catalyst.