Satanic Reverses: Religious Exceptions Are a Real Win for Devil Worshippers

Behold the demonic spawn of the crumbling church-state divide!


Illustration by Andrew Rae

Last May, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Christians asserting their right to open town meetings with prayers. An unintended consequence of this and other recent court rulings knocking holes in the wall between church and state is that Satanists, pagans, and pranksters have eagerly embraced their newfound right to express their spiritual beliefs on public time and property:

  • Two days after the Supreme Court’s decision, a newly converted Satanist started asking towns in Florida if he could open town meetings with a prayer to his “Dude in Charge.” (So far, without luck.)
     
  • In September, an “agnostic pagan pantheist” opened a county commission meeting in Escambia County, Florida, with a two-and-a-half-minute chant invoking the elements and four directions. (“Powers of Air! We invoke and call you/Golden Eagle of the Dawn, Star-seeker, Whirlwind.”)
     
  • After a judge ruled in September that religious pamphlets could be handed out in public schools in Orange County, Florida, the Satanic Temple published The Satan­ic Children’s Big Book of Activities, a coloring book that includes a connect-the-dots pentagram.
     
  • In December, a chapter of the Satanic Temple was allowed to display a fallen angel in the Capitol of (where else?) Florida, alongside a holiday display by Flying Spaghetti Monster-worshipping Pastafarians and a Festivus pole made of beer cans.
     
  • Also at Christmastime, Satanists in Detroit set up a “Snaketivity Scene” on the lawn of the Michigan Capitol. A Republican lawmaker who set up a competing nativity scene insisted, “I’m not afraid of the snake people. I’m sure that Jesus Christ is not afraid.”
     
  • The Satanic Temple has commissioned a nearly nine-foot-tall bronzed statue of a Baphomet, a goat-headed idol seated on a throne before two children, which it plans to erect in the Oklahoma Capitol. The building already has an enormous copy of the Ten Commandments that’s being challenged by the ACLU.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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