Since its inception, the Satanic Temple has appeared to challenge the status quo of religious freedom and its boundaries. From showing up to a political rally to support then Florida Gov. Rick Scott – “New York is a pretty good place for Satanism. Florida is too,” said Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves. – to campaigning for a “Satanic Abortion Ritual” in effort to skirt reproductive rights restrictions – “All we are asking for is the ability to exercise our right to religious liberty by participating in a ritual as part of our religion, free from government overreach,” Satanic Temple Director of Campaign Operations Erin Helian said at the time. These arguments may sound intriguing to the average reader, but they create more disturbing questions: Is The Satanic Temple a church? Is it a religious rights activist group? Are they sincere? The answer to all of these questions can be found through relatively cursory searches on the internet.
“Is The Satanic Temple a Church?” Yes, the United States Internal Revenue Service confirms that the The Satanic Temple, Inc. is in fact, a tax-exempt religious organization. However, the reader must also keep in mind that Joel Osteen Ministries is also a tax-exempt religious organization via the United States IRS. So legally TST may very well be a church, but it is clear from it’s media focus that their primary focus is religion based legal-challenges.
Is it a religious rights activist group? This is the most likely truth behind The Satanic Temple’s swelling “membership” numbers. The Satanic Temple has gone to court numerous times throughout the past nine years of its existence. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, The Satanic Temple doubled down on its attempts to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to ensure satanists access to abortion healthcare. So far however, The Satanic Temple has no real tangible victories in any reproductive rights or religious rights cases.
Are they sincere? This question is a tough one to answer objectively, for anyone that has been a part of, or has more than cursory knowledge of The Satanic Temple. While they have been consistent in their attempts to tackle issues that are weighted in favor of christianity and Christian Nationalism, it is blatantly obvious that they are no closer to victories than they were nine years ago. The temple also has a set of seven values [Tenets] that it is hard-pressed to prove its leadership lives by. Observing that tends to leave a taste of hypocrisy in ones mouth.
The Satanic Temple has on numerous occasions said that it wants nothing more than for the wall between church and state to be rebuilt stronger and taller than ever, but their actions as both a religious organization and a legal activist group seem to pose a problem.
Lucien Greaves: “The need for an active openly Satanic religious organization seemed obvious to me at the time of our inception. Evangelical theocrats have for years been chiseling away at the wall separating Church and State by way of opening more and more public forums to private religious displays, pious public officials have been calling for more and more exemptions and privileges in the name of religious liberty, and the judiciary has been less and less discerning regarding what qualifies a religious claim.”
In an effort to”even the playing field”, The Satanic Temple has engaged in the exact thing that evangelical organizations have been doing for years, in effort to prove… secularism? Programs have popped up in effort to mirror evangelical groups such as TST’s Sober Faction, a satanic mirror of AA, and After School Satan club, to mirror christian after-school programs. Most recently, The Satanic Temple in Virginia has planned an event at Jefferson FOrest High School in which they will be first showing “Fern Gully” and then after the show kids and parents will discuss which of the 7 Fundamental Tenets of The Satanic Temple relate to the movie – a clear mixture of church and state [public school].
So I ask the reader to pay close attention to the words vs the actions of so-called religious organizations and make a decision for yourself. Read the articles below and form your own opinion!
Ask yourself: Is The Satanic Temple rebuilding the wall between church and state? Or are they helping Christian Nationalists tear it down from the other side?
The Satanic Temple Official website: