From The Satanic Temple@21:1/5 to All on Mon Feb 24 11:49:10 2020
February 22, 2020 newsletter
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL
Academic Book about The Satanic Temple Released
Joseph P. Laycock’s highly anticipated Speak of the Devil: How The
Satanic Temple is Changing the Way We Talk about Religion (Oxford
University Press) was released on January 20, 2020. This is the first
time a full-length study on The Satanic Temple has been conducted and
released as an academic work. Its data was drawn from interviews with
over fifty TST members, as well as other cohorts and critics.
From the description:
“Speak of the Devil is the first book-length study of The Satanic
Temple. Joseph Laycock, a scholar of new religious movements,
contends that the emergence of "political Satanism" marks a
significant moment in American religious history that will have a
lasting impact on how Americans frame debates about religious
freedom. Though the group gained attention for its strategic
deployment of outrage, it claims to have developed beyond politics
into a genuine religious movement. Equal parts history and
ethnography, Speak of the Devil is Laycock's attempt to take
seriously The Satanic Temple's work to redefine religion, the nature
of pluralism and religious tolerance, and what "religious freedom"
means in America.”
Read more about Speak of the Devil in an interview Joseph Laycock
recently did with Sacred Matters Magazine.
Revolver Magazine premiered the video for "999", which is the first
song released from Lucien Greaves’s music project, Satanic Planet. In addition to Greaves, the band features Justin Pearson (of Dead Cross
and The Locust) and producer Luke Henshaw. Greaves notes that the
track is the first in “an array of sci-fi sermons that range from
doom and industrial to evil exotica." He describes "999" as the
ominous rolling thunder on the blackened horizon harkening the coming apocalyptic storm of anti-theocratic revolution and a new Satanic era soundtracked by Satanic Planet."
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA RULING
The Battle will Continue
A Victory and an Appeal
TST has been fighting for the right to deliver an invocation at a
Scottsdale, Arizona city council meeting. This opportunity has been
afforded to other religious organizations. While rejecting Scottsdale
city officials’ claim that The Satanic Temple is not a “real”
religion, a US District Judge ruled that religious discrimination was
not the reason for their invocation being denied, in spite of blatant
evidence showing otherwise.
In the latest development of a four-year-long legal battle that has
cost taxpayers from the city of Scottsdale an excess of $170k, a US
District judge ruled that despite a slew of discriminatory commentary
publicly documented against The Satanic Temple by Scottsdale city
officials, there was no means to prove that their refusal to allow a
Satanic invocation was based in religious discrimination.
While disappointing, and divorced from reality, the court did reject Scottsdale’s argument that The Satanic Temple is not a “real
religion”. While the ruling on discrimination is problematic, this
component is a significant victory for TST. With this fact
established, TST will be filing an appeal to address the evident discrimination.
TST attorney, Stu de Haan, had this to say about the outcome:
“Though disappointing, this ruling hinged on a factual issue rather
than a legal failure on the part of The Satanic Temple. The Court
rejected the City’s claims that we are an illegitimate religion and
that we failed to show that we had legal standing to sue. Instead,
the Court accepted the City’s claim that this decision was purely administrative and not made at the request or by the influence of the
City Council and Mayor.
Despite evidence showing the brazen and outward disdain and
assertions that this minority religion would not be given a rightful
place at the table because of their religion, the Court found that
there was not sufficient evidence to tie this to the ultimate
decision. Of course, we very much disagree. We will discuss whether
or not to bring this dispute to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
moving forward. This ruling will in no way impact other ongoing
litigation as these situations tend to be very fact-specific.”
ARKANSAS TRIAL SET
For Lawsuit over Ten Commandments
The Satanic Temple has sued the state of Arkansas over the
installation of a Ten Commandments statue on capitol grounds. TST
argues that the state is violating the First Amendment by
privileging one religion over others and has requested that TST be
allowed to install its Baphomet statue alongside the Ten
A trial has been set for July 13th in Little Rock, AK for The
Satanic Temple to argue for the installation of the Baphomet statue.
Two other Plaintiffs also contend that the Ten Commandments monument
is Unconstitutional, but they argue that it should be removed. This
ongoing battle was addressed in the movie Hail Satan? that was
released last year.
In related Arkansas news, a Twitter poll posted by a Christian
Lawmaker group (headed by none other than Arkansas Senator, Jason
Rapert) has become a rather hot topic. The unscientific poll asks,
"Do you believe America would be better off if more Christians
served in elected office?" Of the 101K respondents, 90% responded,
"no", much to the dismay of those hosting the poll. Additional
coverage can be found on Huffington Post or Daily Dot.