Satanic Temple Gathering
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Satanic Temple Gathering
The theme of the gathering in celebration of The Satanic Temple's 10-year anniversary is "Hexennacht in Boston," German for "Witches' Night," which marks the ancient pagan holiday of May Eve. The night was later changed to Walpurgisnacht to commemorate Walpurga, a Christian saint who evangelized Germany and was said to have exorcised demons from the sick.
Multiple parents involved with the controversy expressed their belief to Fox News Digital that since the temple started its club campaign in 2016, it has been targeting schools that sponsor Good News Clubs, a Christian after-school group, until school boards feel compelled to shut down after-school clubs altogether.
"This is no neutral, 'intellectual,' quirky advocacy group. It is an adversary to the Christian faith and its free exercise in public spaces, to the protection of life, and to the advancement of Bible teaching in the public schools," the IFA said. "These rituals, practices, declarations, and beliefs are the gateway to allowing satanic footholds in people's lives. Tarot cards, voodoo dolls, hexes, and spells seem harmless to many, but we know that there is real satanic power behind those activities, and this power will ensnare anyone who participates in such things."
On January 14, 2017, a week before the Trump presidential inauguration, the Temple hosted what it billed as the largest Satanic gathering in history, hoping to double the attendance of the 2015 gathering in Detroit for the Baphomet unveiling. Film crews from VICE and NatGeo were on hand to document the event. The mass included three parts: Invocation Ritual, Destruction Ritual and a Bloodletting Ritual. Local Los Angeles media was also on hand to cover the event, calling the event "a bloody good time".
The Satanic Temple has received some criticism for their actions, most notably from religious organizations and figures. Many critics state that they believe that the Temple is not a serious organization and is instead meant to be a prank, form of satire, or elaborate trolling attempt. Greaves and Blackmore have both dismissed these claims, as Greaves stated in a 2013 interview with Vice that the Temple could be both satanic and satirical. Blackmore has also stated that people believe that they are only "trying to cause trouble for no reason except to just be shocking", but the Temple says they are "adding to the dialogue that's already there and asking for rights -- just like anyone else."
The Satanic Temple has held conferences in the past in Scottsdale, Arizona, dedicating the event to former Republican Mayor Jim Lane and former Republican Councilor Suzanne Klapp, who had previously denied a request for a satanic invocation at a City Council meeting.
As our nation watches God and Christianity constantly being assaulted, I find this particular event very disturbing. This is a microcosm of what our nation has became. I was once told that what was once was good, will become bad and what was bad will be looked upon as good. With gatherings such as this and 20 feet tall satanic statues popping up as the 10 commandment monuments are taken down, I believe it.
In early December 2015 the the Detroit Free Press published an article about the then-upcoming ceremony, noting that the Satanic Temple isn't a real satanic group but rather a secular organization that protests religious displays on public grounds:
Where the documentary really hits its stride is the focus upon The Satanic Temple battling the presence of then ten commandment monuments being erected on capital grounds. Protesting that the monuments represent the undermining of religious plurality in the US, they demand either: have this removed, or, to have their own satanic movement placed alongside. Believing what the Ten Commandments Monument symbolises is unconstitutional, they use the laws of the system against itself, The Satanic Temple presents a captivating attempt to deliver a form of justice