A Satanic reproductive rights group is promising to unveil a one-ton bronze statue of a goat-headed Baphomet Saturday in Detroit, in a private ceremony open only to bearers of $25 tickets.
Organizers are billing the event as the “largest public satanic ceremony in history,” despite the fact that its secret location will only be revealed to ticket-holders and attendance is strictly controlled. Tickets go for $25 for ordinary seating and $75 for those wishing VIP treatment, including the chance to be photographed seated on the Baphomet monument.
A spokeswoman said that funds from the event “raise money to support Satanic Temple campaigns such as our reproductive rights legal action fund.”
The ticket website states that the Satanic Temple “invites you to join us for a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery at the Unveiling, a hedonistic celebration introducing the controversial Baphomet monument accompanied by provocative performances and installations.”
Though the organizers of the ceremony call themselves Satanists, their propaganda suggests that the event may be a double ploy to make money and protest against religious Americans. The Satanic Temple works to promote abortion rights and to gain acceptance for same-sex marriage.
The leader of the Satanic Temple of Detroit, Jex Blackmore, said Wednesday that she can’t reveal the location of the unveiling because she wants to protect the safety of her guests.
According to the official invitation, the unveiling show “will serve as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats.”
The group says it advocates separation of church and state and now wants to erect the satanic effigy outside Arkansas’ Statehouse where a Ten Commandments monument is also planned.
The Satanists said that the 8-foot tall statue “is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action.” The statue depicts Satan with horns, hooves, wings and a beard, backed by an inverted pentagram and flanked by statues of two young children gazing up at the creature.
The event originally was to take place at a Detroit restaurant, but the venue’s owner said he canceled it after learning of the statue’s unveiling and of the Satanic Temple’s involvement. The group said they were very transparent, though, signing the contract as the “Satanic Temple.”
Unsurprisingly, the Satanic Temple is an active campaigner for rights to legal abortion on demand, and rails against all legislation restricting abortion, including ultrasounds, and abortion waiting periods. Its website links to an article stating:
The Satanic Temple (TST) supports personal choice in the context of abortion and, as part of a multi-faceted Women’s Rights campaign, TST is offering religious exemptions from arbitrary, insulting, and outright harmful anti-abortion legislation that has been steadily encroaching across the nation.
Among our fundamental tenets, TST holds that “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone,” and, “Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.”
The Satanic group also crusades for same-sex marriage. Prior to the recent Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land, the Temple offered “to perform same-sex weddings in the state of Michigan with the intention of reforming the state’s anti-gay marriage stance.”
“We are available to perform weddings in Michigan as well as other states that do not recognize same-sex unions,” the group said.
The Baphomet statue was originally planned to be uncovered at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, but Detroit was ultimately selected for the unveiling because The Satanic Temple in the city has a “strong congregation,” with more than 200 registered members.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter: @tdwilliamsrome