Hundreds of members of The Satanic Temple gathered in Boston this weekend for SatanCon, the largest Satanic gathering in history. Visitors tore up the Bible during the opening ceremony as the crowd chanted “Hail Satan!” in delirium.
The sold-out three-day event at the Marriott Copley Place had it all: satanic rituals, entertainment and discussion panels.
The event included lectures by University professors on topics such as “Satanism and Self-Pleasure”, “Claiming the Trans Body” “A/theistic Strategies for Self-Determination”, the infiltration of Satanism in schools and more.
Organizers of the Satanic Temple claim they do not believe in Satan and should not be confused with other satanic religions. Instead, the group says it supports the separation of church and state.
“This is about supporting human rights. It is to support women’s physical autonomy. It’s about freedom of religion, freedom from religion,” SatanCon attendee Richard-Lael Lillard told WBZ-TV. “Most people don’t believe in Satan. It’s not some 1980s horror movie.”
The 10th Satanist convention SatanCon specifically dedicated this year’s events to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, whom the group sued for refusing to allow them to hold an opening prayer before city council meetings.
While organizers describe this year’s event as the largest satanic gathering in history, it also included a “satanic market” and a satanic wedding chapel although the Satanic event and Satanic shopping were only for those vaccinated against covid19 and wearing a mask.
All shoppers ought to be 18+, show proof of Covid vaccination and wear a mask properly. The same restrictions applied to attending the event as ”Satancon attendees should be 18 years of age or older and have proof of a COVID vaccination. Participants should wear an N-95, KN-95 or disposable surgical mask.”
Not to be confused with the Church of Satan, the Temple of Satan is a satirical religious organization that makes fun of modern religion and politics and raises the question of what counts as a religion and which religions are privileged.
Although it is a mixed faith organization, it is officially recognized as a church by the US tax authorities and is exempt from taxes.
Another paradox is that the Temple of Satan is not theistic. One of its seven principles instructs members to base their beliefs on scientific knowledge and “to ensure that scientific facts are not distorted in accordance with their beliefs.”
“Accepting the name of Satan,” the Temple writes on its website, “means accepting a rational request that moves away from the supernatural and superstitions based on archaic traditions. Satanists should actively work to sharpen their critical thinking and practice rational agnosticism in all matters.”
Thus, temple members do not believe in Satan in the Judeo-Christian sense; instead, they worship him as a literary figure who defies authority.
The Satanic Temple not only seeks to eradicate Christ, but its members truly believe in their own religious teachings of freedom, mercy, and skepticism.
Satanic temples are sometimes compared to humanism, a school of thought that emphasizes rationality and human potential over divinity and faith. The organizers of the temple explain that they differ from the humanists in their “external position” and “rejection of tyrannical power.”
The Temple estimates that it has about 700,000 members worldwide.
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