Beliefs Brian Pellot: On Freedom Culture Ethics Institutions Opinion

All Hail Satan, First Amendment Champ

Satan
Satan

In the free speech battle between “good and evil,” I’m siding with Satan.

Satan

Satan 

On Sunday (Sept. 21), a black mass in Oklahoma drew a few dozen devil worshippers and a few hundred protesters, most of them Catholic.

Some prayerful opponents called the satanic ritual offensive and blasphemous. Fair enough. But was it dangerous?

Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris seemed to think so, calling on local officials to shut down the ceremony.

“They are provoking anger and hatred among the community. The city can step in and say, ‘That’s not worship, that’s not free speech, that’s mockery, and you’re inciting violence,’” Morris said. “I think at some point the government has to step in and say you can’t incite violence in the name of free speech.”

Black mass organizer Adam Daniels shot back against people of Morris’s mindset: “Every Sunday they [Christians] are in their pulpits blaspheming my god. And they have the right to do that, but I don’t have the right to do the same in return?”

Daniels does have that right in America. That’s why the black mass went ahead as scheduled.

The First Amendment protects acts and expressions some people find unpopular or offensive. Think neo-Nazis marching in predominantly Jewish towns, abortion opponents shouting outside reproductive health care facilities, poorly produced Islamophobic YouTube clips and Westboro Baptist Church.

Along with exerting their legitimate First Amendment rights in the U.S., groups of satanists, most notably the Satanic Temple in New York, have been spotlighting increasingly fuzzy church-state lines this year.

First there was the successfully funded Indiegogo campaign in January to erect a satanic statue next to a new Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Then came the Harvard Black Mass in May, with reactions and protests similar to what we just witnessed in Oklahoma.

In July, reacting to the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling that granted religious liberty rights to closely held corporations, the Satanic Temple announced that it would seek religious exemptions for women in states where informed consent laws require doctors to deliver what satanists consider to be “scientifically unfounded” and “medically invalid” information before an abortion can be performed. These laws violate the group’s belief in a “scientific understanding of the world,” leaders claim.

Earlier this month the Satanic Temple announced plans to distribute The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities in Florida public schools.

If evangelical Christians and atheists can leaflet public schools, so can satanists. If Judeo-Christian monuments and public expressions are constitutionally kosher, so is everything else. This all-or-nothing logic explains why Flying Spaghetti Monsters and Festivus poles have been cropping up alongside Nativity scenes at state capitols in recent years.

If Christians are uncomfortable with devout or flippant non-Christian faiths seeping into the public square, they’d be wise to remember that many people are uncomfortable when Jesus, God and the Bible appear in government-sponsored spaces. They’d also be wise to remember the Establishment Clause.

The Satanic Temple leaders know what they’re doing is blasphemous. That’s kind of the point. Their website states, “We embrace blasphemy as a legitimate expression of personal independence from counter-productive traditional norms…The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend.”

You may find some of their rituals offensive, but satanists have the right to perform them and the right to test constitutional limits. These rights must be preserved.

About the author

Brian Pellot

Brian Pellot is based in Cape Town, South Africa.

43 Comments

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  • “If Christians are uncomfortable…They’d also be wise to remember the Establishment Clause.”

    But they don’t.
    And religion will remain a serious threat to our laws
    until its powerful ‘default’ position is diminished in this country.
    That is why religion should be mocked relentlessly.

    I love the point the Satanists are making,
    but you’ll never hear me say “hail, satan”
    because Athiests don’t believe in any gods.
    Including Satan.

    So…Hail the US Constitution.
    Not because it is a god but because it is the best thing about America.

  • I dislike it when I see someone attempt to get over on everyone else by doing things like cutting in a line while everyone else has patiently waited. I guess it makes me feel like they think they are somehow better than me, better than everyone else.

    I feel the same way when any religion uses publicly owned property or institutions to convey their idea of what everyone should believe.

    You are not special, you are not better than everyone else. You deserve nothing more than what everyone else does. To think that you know that your belief is the right belief and everyone else who doesn’t believe the same as you are all wrong is more than just unmitigated arrogance, it is psychotic.

    If you want to believe in any religion or none at all, that should be something personal to you. Keep it from the publicly owned, and don’t try to impose it on anyone else, and we can all live in peace.

  • “SOME prayerful opponents”??? Typical media downplay.
    Most news accounts around here put the numbers in the thousands. The huge church where the prayer protest was centered holds about 1500 people or more and photos show every seat filled and crowds outside lining the procession route countering the” Black Mass.”
    And Father Morris is onto something–the way-today-some of Satanic stuff has devolved into murder sprees. Charles Manson was deep into Satanic stuff.
    As far as the right to freely assemble is concerned that involves a limitation on government power –not the power of a private institution to decide who shall be allowed to gather on their property.

  • I like these guys. They are really bringing out the hypocrite in a lot of people who think Freedom of religion only applies to their own faith.

    I just love the inscription for the planned Satanic monument in Oklahoma,
    ““The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.”

    “And Father Morris is onto something–the way-today-some of Satanic stuff has devolved into murder spree”

    That was never true. It is up there with Jews poisoning wells and atheists burning down churches. Plus, Charles Manson was into the authority and power which comes with exerting religious authority. Ascribing any given belief to him beyond self-aggrandizement is a fools errand.

  • this lack of logic about inciting violence is always so baffling to me. so if person A says something person B doesn’t like and B punches A, it’s A’s fault?

    the same arguement was made in skokie. however the jews, some of who were holocaust survivors managed not to react violently when the nazis marched. and the supreme court rightly ruled that the mere sight of the swastika did not equate to ‘fighting words’. this priest would make a good muslim. i wonder if he is on board with the OICs call for an international blasphemy law.

  • “Charles Manson was deep into Satanic stuff.”

    Religion is evil. Even Satanism.
    But this group appears to be more of a joke.

    If you don’t like it, be sure to vote for people who support the separation of church and state. Your Christian religious liberty is safe – as long as all other faiths are safe too!

  • The spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice is only endorsed by the only true God, Yahweh or Jehovah, and not the ENEMY of God’s right of sovereignty and righteousness of it, who is SATAN, the god of this wicked world (2 Corinthians 4:4;1 John 5:19).

    Satan knows he has a short period of time left before he and his demons are abyssed during the upcoming 1,000-yr. rule of God’s kingdom through its King, Jesus, over mankind on earth (Revelation 20:1-3).

    Satan and his organization, including his worshipers on earth, are evidently working overtime these days, trying to deceive as many humans as they can so that they lose their lives..which is NOT compassionate, wise or just!!!

    I will continue to hail Jehovah as the only true God and universal Sovereign; and honor Jesus as the King of God’s kingdom.

    At the end of the 1,000-yr. rule, Satan will be let out one final time to test all mankind as to their faith and love to God; and then Satan and his organization, and all those who follow them, will meet their eternal destruction, never to trouble mankind or anyone else, again! (Revelation 20:7-10) 😀 😀 😀

  • Fran-Well said but you need to read the Bible where it says that in
    the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the
    Word was God! Who is the Word? Jesus is and the Word became
    flesh then dwealt among us so that shows Jesus is part of the Trinity
    and there from the start plus you are wrong about hell,the 144,000
    and many other thing as well. Read the whole Bible not just part
    and don’t take out parts because you don’t agree with them. The
    whole Bible is the Word of God so the whole Bible needs preached!

  • Um, Deacon, are you sure of what you are doing with that canopener & that can of worms?

    You wrote: “….some of Satanic stuff has devolved into murder sprees.”

    Do you really want us to compare how many Christians have murdered in the name of Christ to how many Satanists have murdered in the name of Satan? I’d guess that at least a million murders have been done in the name of Christ for each done in the name of Satan.

    Did you miss the news of David Koresh, many other cases, the whole Crusades, the Christian Wars of 1500 to 1700, and much of Western history? How many murders in the name of Christ do you estimate happened for each murder in the name of Satan? Are you counting those done by God himself according to the Old Testament?

  • Lets add to the fact that “Satanic panic” is a load of hysterical fiction usually keyed in to various pop culture phenomena. It shares a lot in common with UFO sighting/abduction stories in how films, books and TV contribute to the imagery and stories alleged by its alleged witnesses.

  • Hey Max, let me piggyback on something you said.

    You won’t hear me saying “Hail Satan” either. And you won’t see me use that phrase in a headline unless it’s enclosed in quotation marks.

    I don’t know who writes the headlines for these RNS articles, but whoever it is (was it Brian Pellot this time?) they do need to stay sensitive to their readership.

    If somebody says “Hail Satan” and you use that quote in a headline, then simply enclose that phrase in quotation marks within the headline, same as you would do for somebody saying “Praise Jesus”.

    Otherwise, without the quote marks, you make it sound like either you (or worse yet, RNS) is somehow endorsing and pushing the offensive “Hail Satan” phrase.

    Now granted, a little exorcism probably wouldn’t hurt the ole RNS franchise. A little blessed oil can go a long way, baby!!!

    But in general, I’m reasonably sure that RNS is not trying to do Old Scratch’s work. Quotation marks can help.

  • @Fran & Karla

    I always get amused when Christians find new and interesting ways to snipe at each other and accuse one another of not getting the scripture “correct”. It really highlights the pettiness of sectarianism in a way I could never do.

    That being said, if one fails to exercise their conscience: to consider wisdom, compassion and justice, in order to outsource it to some arbitrary authority, little good can come from it. Such things only come from having a connection to humanity, not rejecting it.

  • @Doc,

    “A little blessed oil can go a long way, baby!!!”

    Yes. If used for sex.

    ‘Hail Satan’ should offend nobody. If you believe in God you MUST believe that God wants Satan to be exactly as powerful as he is. Satan’s degree of power is therefore already blessed by god.

    Being offended isn’t an argument. It is a chance to hear another option.

  • Blasphemy is supposedly a crime because it ‘offends god’.
    That is why it is victimless – there is no god to offend.

    But yes, there are countless victims of blasphemy ‘laws’.

    It is an international disgrace and an emergency that freedom of speech
    is endangered over this garbage.

  • Peace is impossible as long as Satan and his organization (his demons and those that follow them) exist. Satan is the father of the lie, a confirmed manslayer (John 8:44), the god of this wicked world (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19), and he will continue to be such, not bringing peace to mankind or anyone else at all. I consider him to be a “spiritual terrorist” and will continue to fight him by staying spiritually strong.

    Thankfully, Satan and his entire organization will be eternally destroyed and TRUE peace will finally be realized by God and his kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 20:10; 21:3-4).

    One cannot serve two masters; you will either love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24). All mankind will need to make a choice for one god or the other when the end of this wicked era comes.

  • Carla,

    Yes, Jesus was with God in the beginning before anything else was created. As a matter of fact, Colossians 1:15-16 confirms this as follows:

    “He (Jesus) is the IMAGE of the invisible God, the FIRST-BORN OF ALL CREATION, because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him.”

    In addition, Proverbs 8:22-30 confirms this as follows:

    “God himself produced me at the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago. From time indefinite I was installed from the start, from times earlier than the earth.

    When there were no watery deeps, I was brought forth as with labor pains, when there were no springs heavily charged with water. Before the mountain themselves had been settled down, ahead of the hills, I was brought forth as with labor pains, when he had not as yet made the earth and the open spaces and the first part of the dust masses of the productive land.

    When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he decreed a circle upon the face of the watery deep to be strong, when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order, when he decreed the foundations of the earth;

    Then I came to be beside him as a MASTER WORKER, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time, being glad at the productive land of the earth, and the things I was fond of were with the sons of men.”

    It is apparent from these scriptures that Jesus was the FIRST DIRECT CREATION by God, and through Jesus, the master worker, all other things were created. This means that Jesus had a start, unlike his Heavenly Father, God, who has no start and no end, as confirmed at Psalm 90:2:

    “Before the mountains themselves were born, or you proceeded to bring forth as with labor pains the earth and the productive land, even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God.”

    Yes, Jesus is the Word or spokesperson for his Father, God, while he was on earth. Jesus is acknowledged as God’s son by God himself after Jesus was baptized and became the Messiah (Matthew 3:17).

    Jesus acknowledged that his Father was greater than he was (John 14:28), that only his Father knew when the end of the wicked era would come (Matthew 24:36), and that we should pray to our Heavenly Father, as Jesus did when he was petitioning God for strength and God sent him an angel to do so Luke 22:42,43); as well as the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:8-13), which is not directed to Jesus.

    Further, 1Timothy 2:5 brings out: “For there is ONE GOD, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul confirmed that “…in turn, the HEAD of the Christ is GOD.” (1 Corinthians 11:3) This confirms that Jesus, as the son of God, is in subjection to his Heavenly Father, and that God is the Most High over all things as confirmed at Psalm 83:18:

    “That men may know that thou, whose name is JEHOVAH, art the MOST HIGH over all the earth.”

  • God has the power to abyss Satan for 1,000 years during Jesus’ millenial rule (Revelation 20:3) so he is definitely more powerful than Satan is or ever will be.

    Satan is also referred to as the god of this wicked world (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19).

    Satan knows his time left to deceive as many humans as possible is short (Revelation 12:12); and he knows he will face eternal destruction from Almighty God himself (Revelation 20:10). AMEN when that takes place!!!!!! 😀

  • A thought experiment from Blaise Pascal; If, and I say if, you are in fact wrong AMax, then God does exist and if offended by blasphemy, which seems reasonable, then He will exact a price for it. Is that a risk any sensible person would take? Forget about rational arguments against the existence of God, humanity by its very nature is irrational at its core, and is usually unable to distinguish between irrationality and rationality. Your atheism is based on hurt feelings because an event took place that you could not wrap your mind around, and in an irrational response rejected the God that heretofore you had putatively worshiped and praised.

  • Pascal’s wager was stupid in his day, it remains so. It posits your god is a vain entity who prefers false praise and forced belief over genuine faith. Something unworthy of genuine faith. There is no moral action in self-preservation.

    It also misses its most important converse. If you spent your entire existence sacrificing and holding back on living in order to get to heaven and there is only the one confirmed and objectively true existence in the here and now, you have wasted it utterly.

    Worse still you were worshiping the wrong god or the wrong way, you would have made the efforts to praise but still wasted your life in doing it. Since there is no sign other than self-interested natterings as to which god/religion/sect is correct, you are gambling you have worshiped the right one/way.

    Objectively it is far better to go with what is known to exist than wager on

    “Your atheism is based on hurt feelings because an event took place that you could not wrap your mind around, and in an irrational response rejected the God that heretofore you had putatively worshiped and praised.”

    That is a presumption/cliche as opposed to being based on anything related to Max or any other atheist. Something you would like to think as true because it allows you to rudely dismiss atheist belief as unhinged ravings. One can only reject a God which exists. Atheists don’t believe one does.

    My own atheism was not a response to hurt feelings nor any form of “anger at God”. It was the natural end to a lifetime of thinking, educating myself and observation. There was never anything there to make belief worthwhile from the start.

  • Larry,

    “It also misses its most important converse. If you spent your entire existence sacrificing and holding back on living in order to get to heaven and there is only the one confirmed and objectively true existence in the here and now, you have wasted it utterly.”

    Not to interrupt the point Diogenes was making, but what you share here is very altruistic. My experience in Spirit has everything to do with the HEAVEN OR HELL of the here and now—these places or planes—and this is not saying there is not LIFE beyond the flesh body; LIFE beyond is not yet determined. There is promise, and there are glimpses of this, but no one has “seen” it, and this is why I stand firm on the ‘sainting’ of individuals, for it is not something any one, regardless of title, can know (if going by Scripture on Christ). Gnostic study teaches in the places, sometimes seen as stations, and how one should engage in this flesh life to assist in nurturing movement and growth in all parts, but it should never be forced through religious mandate. Hell has many faces, and can be very real to someone abused, and as one of gnosis, the understanding is that if even one is abused, we are abused. Christ teaches:
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Since you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.

    The “ME” needs clarifying here, as well as in the end passage, “no one comes to the Father except through ME.”

    All of it having to do with the assisting NOW, with GIFT (Talent/Mina) given. To not engage and move toward ID within this is also a type of hell. One gets to a certain place in this where we are not content in sitting. This is not to dismiss Liturgical Part, as I see value in this, but movement into Gift draws one nearer to God, and this has everything to do with loving neighbor as self.

    The “loving” is often where people disagree 🙁

    *************
    “My own atheism was not a response to hurt feelings nor any form of “anger at God”. It was the natural end to a lifetime of thinking, educating myself and observation. There was never anything there to make belief worthwhile from the start.”

    I understand this, but I also understand purpose in why you are Atheist. I won’t get into this for it is complex. Now, to be in a staunch religious setting where exploration is either discouraged, or not awarded its necessary place, can cause rebellion when the teaching (also experience within this) comes up looking dead. You know the saying: Religion teaches what to think instead of how to think. People experiencing this after many years of living a type of life do get angry. Rightfully so! This voice is just as important and purposeful as yours, mine, and others. I see … ONE TRUTH MANY VOICES … all of this to ASSIST in that move. Some pots never get stirred, however, when they need to, and this creates a boiling over. Still, as I said, it is purposeful. Religious should take note and learn, but seldom do for all the rites and so on …

    Peace

  • The Bible is truly the Anti-Christ. When it was codified by a bunch of old white men, they turned the cross upside down and into a sword.

    Since then, more people have been murdered, tortured, terrorized, raped, looted and plundered in the name of Jesus than all other religions combined.

    Here is the evidence of their atrocities:

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

  • The Bible is truly the Anti-Christ.

    When it was codified by a bunch of old white men, they turned the cross upside down and into a sword.

    Since then, more people have been murdered, tortured, terrorized, raped, looted and plundered in the name of Jesus than all other religions combined.

    Here is the evidence of their atrocities:

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

  • The Bible is truly the Anti-Christ. When it was codified by a bunch of old white men, they turned the cross upside down and into a sword.

    Since then, more people have been murdered, tortured, terrorized, raped, looted and plundered in the name of Jesus than all other religions combined.

    Here is the evidence of their atrocities:

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

  • If, “the whole Bible is the Word of God,” then why was it written by men, and then edited and reedited hundreds of times?

    Hypocrisy, thy true name is Christianity.

  • Kevin Schmidt-The Bible is the Word of God and we can trust the
    Bible because of prophecy accuracy that came true. Man is very
    sinful therefore disobedient to God and that’s why the Bible is here
    to show us how to live but many didn’t listen and twisted the Bible
    and now we see the results of man not listening to the Bible/God.
    It started in heaven with lucifer/the devil then Adam and Eve and
    still today we see the results around the world because man did
    not to listen to God/stick to what the Bible says so if you look at
    man you will get let down and of course there are many hypocrites
    because many that claim to be Christians aren’t really Christians!
    Jesus said that you are one of Mine only if you follow Me and many
    will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven so hypocrites will
    not inherit the kingdom of heaven! Only people who Repent and
    put their trust in Christ will inherit the kingdom of heaven…Period!

  • Revelation 22:10-12, “And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.…”
    We do live in a society where more and more is allowed. But it’s in everyone’s best interest to know that there is a day of accounting.
    I still wonder, however, how anyone makes the choice to follow someone who has already lost. Colossians 2:15, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” And, Revelation 12:12, “Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
    Satan has lost, and his time is short. There’s no victory in following him.

    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/2014/06/deceived.html

  • Far too many vocal Christians simply do not grasp the simple fact that freedom of religion is not a freedom to force their views on others, and just because Christianity is the dominant religion in the United States, does not mean they are entitled to a position of legally protected privilege.

  • Such atrocities have been committed through the centuries by false religion, not truth. False religion will meet its destruction at the hands of God (the political systems, her paramour, will destroy her), and the truth about God, his marvelous personality, and his stupendous purposes for man on earth will be known and appreciated by all.

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