Nancy Kaffer, writing for The Daily Beast, makes the outrageous suggestion that Satanic cults are the best hope for preserving religious freedom.
Attending a Satanic ritual, Kaffer points out:
Let’s be very clear about this: Adherents of the modern Satanic Temple don’t engage in religious or animal sacrifice, and they have no truck with magic, even the kind of low-key supernaturality embraced by some Christian denominations. Satan, to these Satanists, is a literary figure, not a deity—he stands for rationality, for skepticism, for speaking truth to power, even at great personal cost.
Yup, those rational Satanists wear cloaks, but they’re naked underneath, Kaffer delightedly reveals. And even better: “Detroit Satanic Temple director Jex Blackmore—for most of the evening, she’s been leading a man dressed as a priest around on a leash.”
Blackmore said the ritual is “intended to empower guests to challenge arbitrary systems of authority, confront archaic traditions and celebrate the Satanic tradition.” Kaffer states that the Satanic movement’s installation of a statue of Baphomet next to a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state Capitol, or the Satanic-themed coloring book being distributed to Florida elementary schools are “simple but persistent reminders that freedom of religion applies across the board, that laws or guidelines intended to protect or promulgate right-wing Christianity or to blur the line between church and state convey the same access to other creeds.”
Kaffer explained that “The Satanic Temple is consciously trying to craft an alternate religious identity, one aligned with progressive beliefs and scientific principles, but with the special protections granted to those with sincerely held religious beliefs.” Blackmore intones, “According to a common misperception, organized religion embodies the highest moral virtues, and the figure of Satan as an adversary must therefore stand in diametric opposition to decency itself.”
Kaffer loftily pontificated:
And as right-wing religious groups use federal law and courts to shape public policy, the Temple’s efforts seem increasingly necessary. No mainstream religious group is mounting the same kind of visible opposition to orthodoxy, to the right-wing religious views becoming enshrined in public policy. Can the Satanic Temple save religious freedom in America? I’m not sure. But at least they’re trying.
If Kaffer is so despondent about right-wing Christianity, which protects the unborn, urges charity, reveres traditional marriage and the nuclear family, perhaps she should try somewhere that’s less repressive—like Syria and Iraq, where ISIS exists; or North Korea, the world’s most notorious gulag; or any communist country that abhors the mention of God.
Kaffer has standards, but they are apparently only measured by the limits of her self-worship.