Does ID Really Believe The Satanic Temple Doesn’t Worship…Satan?
Catholics follow Christ. Mormons follow Joseph Smith. Buddhists follow Buddha. Muslims follow Allah. But The Satanic Temple doesn’t follow…Satan.
At least that’s what its leaders claim. In a 2018 interview on Satanic Feminism & Body Autonomy, Jex Blackmore, the former reproductive rights spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, said the following about the organization’s relationship to the Dark Prince:
Satanism is a set of religious, ideological, and philosophical beliefs rooted in the cultural concept of Satan. [...] For non-theistic Satanists, like myself, the figure of Satan represents the emancipator and the rebel, which metaphorically enlightened humanity and offered us free will," the 37-year-old says. Instead of allowing the term ‘Satanist,’ to be a pejorative that seeks to shame and degrade us, we celebrate this designation.
Blackmore’s convictions seem genuine, but are they? Three years later, Blackmore reneged her support for TST not once, but twice, in no uncertain terms.
The Satanic Temple Idaho Chapter
The Satanic Temple Idaho chapter was "born" on Aug. 8, 2020. According to the Associated Press, the Salem, Massachusetts-based organization was listed in the IRS database for tax-exempt organizations in 2015. Today, Idaho’s chapter is one of TST’s 55 "non-theistic" congregations in the United States.
So, Why Satan?
If, as Blackmore said, TST lacks transparency and aims to exploit women’s bodies, how are we to believe they’re not religious Satanists? And if they don’t follow the teachings of Satan, why invoke the controversial, centuries-old imagery and sentiment associated with the Father of Lies? According to TST, this is why:
Satan was the force of design that urged humanity toward refined pleasures of the Arts and Sciences. It was He who first brought the fruit of knowledge to Humankind that thereafter we might live not as naked brutes in the wild, but develop our cultural splendor into ever more aesthetically and technologically advanced heights. Satan sacrificed His own Heavenly residence so that His children — you and I — might live under His benevolent guiding care.
How can members of TST “live under His benevolent guiding care” and simultaneously deny their adoration for the Ruler of Demons?
Founded by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1960, The Church of Satan writes “TST was originally conceived as a backlash to U.S. President Bush-era ‘religious protections.’"
In 2013, Spectacle Films issued a casting call for actors for a “mockumentary” about a fake religion called “The Satanic Temple.” “Doug Mesner,” an alias for one of the “mockumentary’s” directors, described TST as “satire” and compared the film to a darker version of “Yes Men.”
The Satanic Temple: Political Lobby? Or Satanists in Disguise?
Since its 2021 founding, TST Idaho chapter has made a distinct name for itself in statewide abortion debates. In Oct. 2022, The Hill reported TST “sued Idaho in federal court […] contending that the state’s abortion bans infringe on the rights of members who may want to practice the temple’s ‘abortion ritual.’"
Their Boise charity initiatives are also seasoned with an element of politics.
Menstruatin’ with Satan, a national TST initiative that provides disadvantaged women and girls with feminine care products, unnecessarily incorporates imagery of a menstruating uterus inside the Satanic Pentagram. The logo for Diapering Little Devils, another of their charitable causes, features a baby on its back dressed in a Satan onesie.
So, what say you, Idaho? Do you really believe The Satanic Temple doesn’t follow the teachings of Satan? Or are they a political organization with transparency issues and a habit for exploiting Beelzebul, Lord of the Flies?
Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind’s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning. Hail, Satan!
—The Satanic Temple