Satanic Temple Performs Same-Sex Union-Celebrating “Pink Mass” at Grave Site of Westboro Baptist Church Founder’s Mother
This past Sunday, July 14, top officials from the New York-based Satanic Temple travelled to the grave site of the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps in order to stage a formal ceremony celebrating same-sex unions. Photos of the ceremony are publicly available on the new Satanic Temple-operated website, www.westboro-baptists.com, where The Satanic Temple encourages other same-sex couples to submit their own photos from similar pilgrimages to the Mississippi cemetery.
Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves officiated the ceremony while two same-sex couples celebrated their homosexuality at the gravesite.
The Satanic Temple supports freedom and the pursuit of happiness for all people, thus they support same-sex couples’ legal equality. The Satanic Temple claims that the mass was conducted as an affirmation of those values, and claims that the action is meant to convey a message of love in the face of hate.
The Westboro Baptists, famed for their bombastic “God Hates Fags” anti-homosexual activism, raised the ire of the Satanic Temple months previous. “The idea for the Pink Mass ceremony and website came during the aftermath of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, during which time the WBC were threatening to protest the funerals of the bombing victims,” explains Greaves. “Members of The Satanic Temple were in Boston, waiting for them, but they failed to show. Later, the WBC issued a statement that they had been present ‘in spirit’. We decided that a same-sex couple celebrating ceremony at the gravesite of Fred Phelps’s mother was an appropriate way to meet the Westboro Baptists, ‘in spirit’, but this time on our terms.”
Explaining the ceremony itself, Greaves continues, “The Satanic Temple now believes that Fred Phelps must believe that his mother is now gay, in the afterlife, due to our Pink Mass… And nobody can challenge our right to our beliefs.”
This revelation of The Satanic Temple’s graveyard ritual comes fast on the tail of the Westboro Baptist Church’s announcement that they intend to picket the death of 31 year-old “Glee” actor, Cory Monteith.
The Satanic Temple is hoping their recent action will draw attention to the organization’s efforts to raise funds so that they may participate in the New York City Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway program. More information on the campaign can be found at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-satanic-temple-adopt-a-highway-campaign?c=home
Much has been written regarding a recent confrontation in Texas between activists on both sides of the abortion debate in which Pro-Choice advocates chanted “Hail Satan” in response to a Pro-Life mob singing out Amazing Grace. While a good deal of commentary from both ends of the spectrum has thoughtlessly denigrated the “Hail Satan” faction, we feel that their message was both salient and clear: religious rationales used to justify certain views to some hold no currency whatsoever to scores of others. While neither the Old nor New Testaments have anything directly to say about the issue of abortion, interpretations of those texts, construed into a Pro-Life stance, mean nothing to those of us who do not contextualize our lives within the framework of those mythologies.
Thus, chanting “Hail Satan” was an effective way of saying, “You are going to have to argue your point on rational grounds. We do not subscribe to your Religion.”
While various commentary has focused on the legitimacy of the activists’ Satanic loyalties, we would submit that the concentration on the question of whether or not Satanism is Pro-Life or Pro-Choice misses the point entirely. Surely, there are Christians who consider themselves ‘Pro-Choice’ just as there are Satanists who, following their own conscience, consider themselves ‘Pro-Life’.
(That said, The Satanic Temple believes “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.” Devoid of the presence of a supernatural ghostly essence (soul), the Will is necessarily the product of a developed nervous system, which arguably gives the authority of inviolability to the mother over the fetus.)
The fact is, arguments based upon some notion of religious primacy aren’t going to resolve this debate, nor should they have any place in the argument at all.
We fully support the “Hail Satan” activists in Austin, Texas, and we applaud their courage in reminding the world that ours is a Nation of religious pluralism.
In further efforts to increase public understanding and acceptance of Satanism, the Satanic Temple plans to enter the adopt-a-highway program in New York City where they will maintain voluntary beautification of a stretch of public highway for at least 2 years by way of litter cleanup and landscaping.
The adoption and 2 year clean-up effort will cost an estimated $10,000 for which the Satanic Temple is accepting donations through the popular crowd-source funding site, indiegogo.com.
Once approved, the New York Department of Transportation will erect a blue-and-white sign acknowledging The Satanic Temple as the adopters of the designated piece of highway, helping promote a message of Satanic civic pride and social responsibility.
According to The Satanic Temple, the organization hopes to convey “support, camaraderie, and compassion,” for which they are “dedicated to keeping our public spaces clean, safe, and enjoyable for all people.”
“Community, compassion, justice, and civic responsibility — these are worthwhile values wherever they are practiced, regardless of whomever they are practiced by, and whatever arbitrary political or religious label may be attached to them. We call on all people to support the Satanic Temple in this effort to engage their community in a positive, productive manner,” the Satanic Temple website states. (more…)
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This past April 11th, members of The Satanic Temple, along with long-time public Satanist and entertainer, Szandora LaVey, delivered lectures at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. The response has been overwhelming positive.
TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, began his lecture, A History of Satanism from the Old Testament to The Satanic Temple:
There is an unfortunate fantasy that has stained our civilization’s history — the delusion of a hidden society that has pledged itself to the service of Satan and, in doing so, opposes all that is held dear in Christian society. (more…)
The Cultural Studies Club at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education to host lecture on The
History of Satanic Worship
Thursday, April 11 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, the Cultural Studies Club at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) will host members of the Satanic Temple and Satanic model/performer Szandora LaVey as they present a lecture on the world’s most maligned religion.
The Cultural Studies Club of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education will be hosting ‘A History of Satanic Worship’ to be presented April 11, 2013, by academics and practicing Satanists. (more…)
- TST currently has a few dates scheduled to present lectures at institutions of higher learning regarding the History of Satanism from The Old Testament to The Satanic Temple. Please let us know if your college or university might be interested in arranging a speaking engagement with us. Contact: TheSatanicTemple at Gmail dot com.
- Our forum is now active and we hope to start a productive dialogue regarding our future organizational activities. Please email the address above if you are interested in joining the conversation.
- Activists are advocating for an International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers. Please check out their petition here: http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/3/13/international-day-to-defend-apostates-and-blasphemers#
This past January, the 25th, The Satanic Temple staged a rally on the Capitol Steps of Tallahassee in support of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s Senate Bill (98) which authorizes “a district school board to adopt a policy that allows an inspirational message to be delivered by students at a student assembly; providing policy requirements; providing purpose, etc.”
While some saw Senate Bill 98 a flagrant attempt at inserting Christian prayer into public schools, The Satanic Temple recognized that all religions and religious perspectives (including those of non-believers) stand to benefit from this freedom to speak their message to those who might otherwise never be exposed to it. SB98, we feel, supports religious diversity, rather than homogeneity.
Before a nonplussed press, supporters, and puzzled passers-by, The Satanic Temple spokesman, Lucien Greaves delivered a preliminary statement which was followed by a speech given by one Cassandra Wagner, a High School Satanist native to Florida. The Keynote speech was delivered by the head of the Satanic Temple. (more…)