At least people are being explicit about what they really believe.
A local government meeting in Alaska was opened with a Satanic prayer earlier this week (video at the end of this article).
“Let us stand now,” began Iris Fontana, a member of The Satanic Temple, for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s meeting on Tuesday, “unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times.
“Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the tree of knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old.
“Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations. Let us reason our solutions with agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true.
“Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of all or one. That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise.
“It is done. Hail Satan. Thank you.”
The Satanic invocation is the result of a debate about the appropriate place of prayer in their meetings. In the past, a group of local pastors had coordinated the prayers; but they were challenged about whether they were being exclusionary. The assembly considered simply ending all prayers, but instead settled on opening up the invocation to anyone who wanted to offer it, on a first-come first-served basis.
Some think the Satanic prayer was a political stunt to force them to remove all prayer from their meetings.
“I think it’s more a political strategy,” said Blaine Gilman, president of the assembly, “to try to force the invocation to be removed from the Assembly,” he said. “Personally, I found it sort of offensive, the Satanic Temple lady who was speaking there, but even if I find it personally offensive, it’s still important to protect the right to freedom of speech and the right for religion.”
Indeed, The Satanic Temple is an atheistic political organization that does not believe in a literal Satan, but rather views him as a symbol for rationality. They are the same organization behind the “After School Satan” programs coming to elementary schools this fall.
In the meeting, Gilman tried to be conciliatory: “I think if we just kind of relax a little bit, listen to people, things will calm down on the invocation front and we can just go forward with our meetings.”
Here’s the full video of their meeting (the Satanic invocation starts at 1:58):
If the embed doesn’t work in your browser, you can view the video here.