“No Satanist ever called me a faggot.”
John Horvat II writes: “A Call to Protest the Growing Threat from Satanism.” It is an exposition of hypocrisy. Horvat is V.P. of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). I generally describe TFP as a cult formed with the hypothetical marriage of Opus Dei to the John Birch Society. It has its origins in Central and South American dictatorships fighting agrarian reform; some quite brutally. Threat? TFP is un-American and neofascist and it has some ties to Nazis who emigrated to the Americas after World War II (on forged Red Cross passports facilitated by the Vatican).
According to Horvat:
A Satanic offensive is taking place in America. It can be seen not only in large cities and liberal strongholds, but in small communities like Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
This city served as the stage for a highly symbolic sequence of event. <sic> In April, officials there approved plans for a Satanic monument to be erected in a free speech area of the town’s Veterans Memorial Park. The effort was a project of the Satanic Temple, based in Salem, Massachusetts, and a local religious freedom group. The sponsors designed, fundraised and built a symbol-laden monument which was to have been the first Satanic monument on public property in United States history.
Most of these fights across America are being presented as simple cases of religious freedom. In Belle Plaine, the Satanists claimed that since the park had a much-beloved monument of a soldier praying over a grave with a cross, the alien Satanic monument should enjoy an equal right to be present in the free speech zone.
Looking for Acceptance of the Unacceptable
The real issue is acceptance of the devil.
The real issue is all about the mainstreaming of Satanism in America. Much as the same-sex “marriage” debate was about acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, so also Satanic groups seek social acceptance.
How is this not a case of religious freedom? Just because Horvat disagrees with the tenets of Satanism doesn’t mean that it is unacceptable. Judaism is also unacceptable to Horvat. I am not suggesting that he is anti-Semitic (I do not know). However, our not accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah makes us equally unacceptable. Religions that Horvat disapproves of are still entitled to the same protections as those afforded Catholicism.
Which brings me to same-sex marriage. The highlighted text is idiotic. Opponents of marriage equality have said all along that we should not be allowed to marry because we do not want to marry. Take God out of the equation and there are no valid arguments to marriage equality. They had to be manufactured.
In point of fact, they attempted to shift the debate from the constitutional issue of Equal Protection to approval or disapproval of homosexuality which, they claimed, was all about sex acts that they collectively refer to as sodomy. They failed to engender that kind of cultural shift. However, the intellectually dishonest and nonsensical claim about a hidden agenda persists. I will not deny that a by-product of marriage equality is more societal acceptance following legal acceptance. However, the marriage equality movement was based on the needs of gay couples and their children to have the legal protections and responsibilities of legal marriage.
The “homosexual lifestyle” is a chimerical construction like “Homosexual Agenda.” Both have origins, not with gay people, but with groups that disapprove of gay people. If we had an agenda wouldn’t we be the authors? If we had a lifestyle wouldn’t we be the people who define it? Neither is the case.
As for Satanists, I doubt that they are overly concerned with social acceptance. Presumably they are interested in their right afforded by the First Amendment.
Indeed, the devil is the last great victim of discrimination in America. He represents all that is evil, hideous and macabre. As long as the devil is rejected in the minds of people anywhere, there remains some objective distinction between good and evil.
From time immemorial, Satan has been abhorred. There has always been a barrier of horror that separates him from mankind. Satanic groups now want to tear down this last barrier of moral health to overwhelm the crumbling ramparts of the moral order.
He takes the existence of the Devil quite literally and Satanism quite seriously. Some of the things that they say about Satanists are quite similar to the anti-Semitic sentiments that they were quite proud of until around 1965 and Vatican II. The point is that they don’t get to say what beliefs are constitutionally protected. Mr. Horvat does not have the right to determine what is and what is not a religion.
Horvat might also want to take a look at the website of the Satanic Temple. I will share a couple of quotes:
It is the position of The Satanic Temple that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions.
The Satanic Temple holds to the basic premise that undue suffering is bad, and that which reduces suffering is good. We do not believe in symbolic “evil.” We embrace blasphemy as a legitimate expression of personal independence from counter-productive traditional norms.
It sounds like they have an interest in poking a finger in the eye of organized religion, perhaps the Catholic Church in particular. Horvat’s reaction suggests that, to that end, they have succeeded. That makes Horvat an amusing enabler.
Open adherents of Satan are now demanding space in the public square. Satanic groups have increasingly been holding high-profile staged events, even in Bible-belt areas, that aim to create a sense of normality around the abnormal Satan.
It is truly an offensive. It involves not just one Satanist group but a whole spectrum of groups in which each has its role in the overall battle to secure social acceptance.
There is a satirical aspect to all of this. How does Horvat propose to protest satire? Moreover, opposition to superstition is a legitimate interest — one that Horvat does not share.
This is the case of the Satanic Temple. It has focused on making inroads by taking advantage of religious freedom provisions to score symbolic victories. They arranged, for example, to set up After School Satan Clubs in elementary schools across the nation to counteract the influence of after school Christian clubs. They have also tried to set up hideous Satanic statues next to Ten Commandments monuments on public land.
Once again, religious conservatives just do not get satire. In this case it has a purpose which is to combat Christian privilege and Christian supremacy. It is much deserved push-back. This is the Freedom From Religion Foundation with some intentional irritation.
The True Goal: Numb the Resistance
These Satanists care little if they win or lose the concrete fight over the monument, the statue, the Black Mass, or whatever. Using the false argument of religious freedom, they will seek to remove a cross or religious symbol in the public square, If they win, the hated cross will be gone. If they lose, they will strive to put up their monument with equal exposure.
Wait a minute. I thought that the true goal — the hidden agenda — was societal acceptance, And why is religious freedom a false argument? Because Horvat doesn’t approve of their dogma? Who gets to decide? If it has something to do with traditional values then Mormonism would be illegitimate. So would the Unification Church (The Moonies) which is a frequent ally of the Christian right. Scientology too. Must they all have Horvat’s personal approval?
I have little regard for Scientology but would welcome their efforts to erect statues of Xenu wherever Christian symbols of any kind are found on public property. Take down all of those crosses and nativity displays or have Lord Xenu conspicuous alongside them.
I will close with this:
- No Satanist ever called me a faggot.
- No Satanist claims that I should have fewer rights because I am gay.
- No Satanist dishonestly asserts that Equal Protection for me means “special rights.”
- No Satanist is willing to spill the blood of trans kids by saying that they are part of a “gender ideology movement.”
- No Satanist ever tortured a gay kid with so-called reparative “therapy,”
- No Satanist ever said that gay men are pedophiles.
- No Satanist caused gay, trans and gender nonconforming kids to get bullied at school.
Horvat and his ilk are far more threatening to me than the Satanic Temple.