Saturday, September 06, 2014

Detroit Satanic Temple Opens Today

The Detroit Satanic Temple is opening today. See "Detroit Satanists say they won't sacrifice animals, people." The Satanic Temple today marks the launch of its first chapter outside New York. 

Note these things:

  • It's not what you think it is. Understand it before you evaluate it.
  • It is anti-Christ in some of its teachings. For example, by their website, this is atheism.
  • Some of its teachings are mundane humanistic teachings (like the supremacy of "science").
From their website, here is their stated mission:

"The mission of The Satanic Temple is to celebrate our individualism and humanity, embrace practical common sense and justice, as well as encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.
As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate in public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights. As Satanists, we all should be guided by our consciences to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity."

I would suggest:
  • The name "Satanic Temple" connotes hatred, not benevolence. The name works against benevolent activity.
  • By their admission (see the video) the term "Satanic" is, for them, a metaphor. I think they need some work on the power of metaphor (like this, e.g.). It's difficult to see any coherent metaphorical meaning in the words "rational, Satanic insights." This will be overwhelmingly interpreted as an irrational mixing of metaphors, even by most intellectual atheists I know.
  • The confusing "Baphomet" statue/symbol will be confusing and disunifying at multiple levels. For example, I cannot imagine the philosophy professors I had who were atheists and humanists wearing upside-down crosses, "Hail Satan" t-shirts (yes, they are selling them), and erecting Baphomet statues on their front lawns. Sociologically the Satanic temple looks like an atheistic cult existing on the far margins of atheism.
Jesus-followers will pray for them, right?