Don’t fall for Satan’s con

  • May 5, 2023

No doubt you’ve heard about the sold-out, international “SatanCon” that took place in Boston over the weekend of April 28-30. Of course, the “Con” stands for “Convention.” It was put on by The Satanic Temple (not to be confused with The Church of Satan — I guess even Satan’s followers have denominations).

Many Satanists claim to not believe in God or Satan, and The Satanic Temple is no exception. According to its website, The Satanic Temple is “a church for non-theistic Satanists.” In fact, it’s “the only Satanic religious organization recognized as a church by the IRS and the Federal Court System.”

The TST does meet a basic requirement for a true religion (in a theological sense): sacrifice. All true religions offer sacrifice, and thus worship their deity(ies) — whether they realize it or admit it or not. TST’s sacrifice is abortion (aka child sacrifice). Prominently featured on the TST homepage is an “Abortion Clinic Fundraiser.”

Although TST spokesperson Dex Desjardins states that “Satanism is its own unique religious tradition… not a reaction to or a subset of other religions,” that’s rather difficult to substantiate, since Satan is known to us through the Judeo-Christian Bible and tradition.

How can Satanists claim not to believe in Satan? For church members (“church,” by the way, is a Christian term), Satan is “a central metaphor representing the pursuit of knowledge, personal liberation and rebellion against arbitrary authority,” wrote Desjardins in an email to Boston.com journalist Christopher Gavin.

“Our Satan represents a Promethean hero…, bringing the light of knowledge to humanity in defiance of the ultimate tyrant.” Hmm. And who might this ultimate tyrant be?

TST’s activist endeavours include signing up to lead invocations at various city councils around the United States. I suppose my question is, if these Satanists are atheists, whom are they invoking? And why chant “Hail, Satan!” at the end of the invocation if the devil is just a symbol? That would be like praising an imaginary literary character in a very real (political) setting. Imagine: “Hail, Gollum!”

It’s sad that Marriott hosted the convention. Perhaps their decision-makers didn’t care or were afraid of being sued. I remember staying at a Marriott in Montreal during a hotel workers’ strike. The picket line featured signs that read “At Least John Lennon Stayed in a Real Hotel” — but I digress.

Counter-activists and protestors to TST’s public activities directly bypass and surpass human laws by affirming that “Satan has no rights.” “Satanism isn’t a religion, it’s an attack on God.” “’One nation under God excludes Satanism.” They make some good points. Either God exists and this is His world or He doesn’t and it isn’t. Satan exists derivatively. No doubt, some members of TST are sincerely seeking truth, but they ain’t gonna find it in their main inspiration: the ultimate deceiver, the Father of Lies. Satan even deceived himself by thinking he could be happy apart from God.

“The mission of the Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits.” And who gets to decide what is noble? I guess abortion is noble? The truth is that — contrary to what atheists claim — we cannot be good without God. First off, we wouldn’t exist without God. And we can’t know what’s actually good without God. Finally, we don’t have the courage, strength or grace to do good without God, or as my father used to say: “you can’t even lift your little finger without God’s help.”

So what was the Archdiocese of Boston’s response? A massive call for prayer and reparation, Eucharistic Adoration, rosaries, etc., but one prominent prelate actually advised only one strategy, that of praying quietly at home in order not to draw any more attention to SatanCon. Well, we can also do more when demonism shows up under the guise of respectability. For those who must or feel called to stay at home and pray… fine. But tell that to the God Squad types who thankfully showed up in force to protest peacefully and pray publicly.

Let’s pray for those who have fallen into the devil’s traps. Let’s love ‘em and help ‘em if we can. No one is beyond the hope of conversion while we’re still alive and breathing (even Satanic priests have become Christian!).

I’m not afraid of Satan in the least. Satan is ridiculous. I’m only afraid of myself. Only I can send myself to hell, not Satan, not God. SatanCon or Satan’s con? Long live Christ the King.

(Sr. Burns, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA. HellBurns.com  Twitter: @srhelenaburns  #medianuns)

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