The Satanic Temple of Detroit made the news recently with their unveiling of a Baphomet statue, a goat-headed idol the Knights of the Templar were accused of worshiping. Though they refer to themselves as a Satanic Temple, the members of the temple do not believe in an actual, supernatural Satan. Rather, as their website states, they believe “Satan is symbolic of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds.”
Their promotional materials advertised the unveiling as “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery…, a hedonistic celebration introducing the controversial Baphomet monument accompanied by provocative performances and installations.” The unveiling is part of a larger effort to have the statue displayed at the state capitol in either Arkansas or Oklahoma alongside a monument of the Ten Commandments.
Why do they want to display this statue? As they note, the statue is controversial, and that is the reason they want to unveil it. They know that it is offensive to traditional religious believers, especially Christians. Their desire is to offend Christians and encourage them to keep their religious beliefs out of the public square. If Christians refuse, then the Satanic Temple will work to get their own offensive material on the same level as Christian beliefs, as evidenced by their distribution of Satanic children’s coloring books in the public schools in Florida last year.
So what is it that the Satanic Temple wants to promote? They want to “participate in public affairs where the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights…and encourage critical thinking.” In other words, unlike those dumb people in traditional (i.e., supernatural) religions, the members of the Satanic Temple are intelligent, critical, and rational. As I’ve noted before, atheists like those in the Satanic Temple love to trumpet their supposedly superior intellects. Yet with their incredible critical thinking skills they fail to see the irony of their actions.
They want to display the statue in order to promote chaos—which is the opposite of promoting rational thinking. They also want to display the statue in order to offend other people. It’s the equivalent of a ten year old boy repeatedly poking his sister for the sole purpose of annoying her and getting a rise out of her. And we all know that ten year old boys who poke their sisters are renowned for their “rational…insights” and “critical thinking.”
In reality, the Satanic Temple provides the perfect picture of those who deny God: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” (Rom 1:22-23). These supposedly enlightened individuals believe it is better to celebrate a grotesque figure and work to anger other people than it is to serve a loving, benevolent, all-wise Creator and lay down their lives for the good of others. Why? Not because it matches with rational thinking but because it matches with their sinful desires. They do do not want to recognize the true Sovereign because the are defending “personal sovereignty.” Serving the true God would require repentance. It would mean no longer living for themselves but living for God and others. And they would rather act like fools than release their claim to be their own gods. Repentance is their real issue with Christianity—not reason.