Wait for it . . . . just as we are emerging from a global pandemic, the Peace Center has scheduled a showing of a 2019 documentary about an organization known as the Satanic Temple entitled Hail, Satan? No word yet from the Peace Center regarding how they will handle social distancing. (Would you like your mask with or without goat horns? Remember to maintain appropriate social distancing during the after-film bacchanal).
Do not be deceived, you won’t find any allegations of 1980’s Dungeons & Dragons tom-foolery or back-masking rock albums among these folks. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, they use Satan as a flashpoint to draw attention to themselves. They count on the Old Scratch to elicit an overreaction from Christians.
Once you get past the image of satanists running around in red jumpsuits with bifurcated tails, they have a platform that closely resembles that of the American Humanist Association (AHA) – the organization that sued Greenville County School District over student led prayers during graduation in public schools – and won (though the school board is appealing the ruling in federal court).
The Satanic Temple was formed as a grass-roots political movement in 2013 to protest Christian influence in government. They gained notoriety protesting the installation of Ten Commandment monuments at the state capitols in Oklahoma and Arkansas. They won by using the tactic of outrage. They insisted that they have the right to put up a statue of Baphomet, an occult goat deity, if the Ten Commandments stayed. No mention was made of how a goat had any influence over how our laws developed over the past three thousand years.
The AHA was formed over 75 years ago “to bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted and respected way to live life. We are accomplishing this through our defense of civil liberties and secular governance . . .”
Both the Satanic Temple and the AHA are progressive political pressure groups that are openly anti-Christian. The AHA found an Obama-era federal district court judge who recently issued an Order directed at the Greenville County School District that overtly restricts the rights of individual public education employees and students to voluntarily exercise their religion during graduation ceremonies.
According to their website, the Peace Center receives funds from a variety of prominent Greenville corporations, individuals, as well as tax-funding from the SC Arts Commission. During this long economic recovery, maybe those donors should reconsider the community value of Hail, Satan? and ask if such films add or subtract to making Greenville a great place to live. I know that I will when voting on our revised state budget this September.