Honk For Jesus, Or, If You're So Inclined, Satan
Beware, ye God-fearing souls: Lucifer, who may or may not simply be trolling us, is on the march. So it is that Florida's Orange County public schools, which allowed a Christian group called World Changers of Florida to hand out Bibles, must now allow the New-York-based Satanic Temple to distribute their Satanic Children’s BIG BOOK of Activities, with coloring, mazes, and a word jumble incorporating "friendship, compassion, respect, empathy, justice, reason, freedom" that explains, "These bullies are mad and afraid of things they don't understand. Help Damian use inclusive language and defuse the situation."
The Temple has been even more successful in Oklahoma, where earlier this year they successfully petitioned the state to erect a goat-headed Baphomet statue on the capitol grounds "to complement and contrast" the Ten Commandments display officials had allowed. The Indiegogo-funded statue remains the subject of a legal battle by the ACLU. Regardless, the Satanists have gone ahead and almost finished it; temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves says it's well-insured due to the many threats he's received, but he "wouldn't expect these nearly insensible reactionaries to actually know how to assault a bronze monument without severely hurting themselves in the process.”
In both cases, Greaves says, "we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State.” But with Bibles being handed out in schools, "we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.”
Taking a tad further their wish to "establish an equal voice for contrasting religious opinions in the public square," the Satanists held a Black Mass in a small theater in the Civic Center on Sunday. An alarmed Catholic Church responded about the way you'd expect. Charging that "dark forces are targeting Oklahoma," Archbishop Paul Coakley first tried in vain to make the city ban the event, then filed a lawsuit accusing the Satanists of stealing a communion wafer from the Church, and then called for a “campaign of prayer” to stop the "devil worshipers" in their heathen tracks. Catholics (backed up by Fox News!) obliged, holding prayer services throughout the city and turning out in the hundreds in front of the building to pray, chant, sing, shout the Lord's Prayer through a megaphone, and beseech God on their knees to "fight the evil." It remains unclear if the forces of light or darkness won this particular celestial battle. Stay tuned.