August 25, 2019

USA: Satanic Temple Who Claim Do Not Worship Satan Gets IRS Recognition As An Official Religion. Hail Satan? Movie Portrays The Satanic Temple As A Voice Of Reason And Humanism In The US.

WGBH News published on Apr 30, 2019: The Satanic Temple in Salem doesn’t worship Satan or believe in a holy text, but seems to exist for another key purpose: challenging the intersection of church and state and advocating for religious and individual freedom. The group has now received official IRS recognition as an official religion. Jim Braude was joined by Lucien Greaves, who cofounded the group in 2013.
The Satanic Temple adamantly claims not to worship Satan. Yet, they use Satan's name and use Satan's symbol for their organizations identity. This reminds me of a guy screaming at me that China is not Communist. He said just because China is ruled by the Communist Party of China doesn't make China Communist. Okaaay. ๐Ÿ™„

My goodness, people actually believe the Satanic Temple are a force for good? They are exactly like Antifa Communist fascist calling themselves Anti-fascist. I personally don't care that they exist. They've been around since the beginning of time. The fact that they claim to not worship Satan when they are clearly honoring Satan every which way is fascinating. It's like Islam calling themselves the 'religion of peace' when that phrase means the peace Islam refers to only exists when people are forced to live under the rule of oppressive Islamic sharia law.

And furthermore, the Satanic Temple complains about not having religious freedom in America when they are ALLOWED to exist in this Judeo-Christian nation. There is no way in hell could the Satanic Temple open up shop in any Islamic nation. I dare you to open up a Satanic Temple in any nation ruled by Islam. The Satanic Temple also complains about LGBT people being oppressed in the United States. Well, I am a Lesbian living in the United States who is not oppressed. Heck, it drives me nuts that you defend Islam when Islam murders LGBT people in nations ruled by Islam.

The Satanic Temple claims to defend individual freedom. Really? Are your members allowed to leave the Satanic Temple order any time without any consequences? I know it's illegal to leave Islam and the penalty is death. In Christianity, a person has a personal relationship with God on his or her own free will. Christianity is not a cult and a person can choose to not be a Christian without penalty.

In our Christian world, the Satanic Temple and Islam are free to worship across America. If the Satanic Temple or Atheist had their way, they would officially ban Christianity altogether and make it illegal to sell Bibles or crosses and illegal to worship God or Jesus. In the same way nation's ruled by Islam bans Christianity and illegal to sell Bibles or crosses. So, to the intelligent mind who here are the oppressors? The one that allows for freedom to worship whomever you want or the one that bans religions they hate, they don't agree with, or that offend them. The Satanic Temple is already working hard to legally oppress Christianity across America. They are like Antifa Communist who claim to be defending America against the fascist right. But it's Antifa Communist movement who are literally beating people up stopping them from their right to assemble peaceably because those people don't think like them. Antifa Communist are being the oppressor, stifling free speech across America. (emphasis mine)
The Guardian, UK
written by Steve Rose
Thursday August 15, 2019

A new film, Hail Satan?, portrays the Satanic Temple as a voice of reason and humanism in the US. Has the time come to rehabilitate the dark lord?

ver the past century of popular culture, Satan has acquired the souls of delta blues musicians, incited youth rebellions, possessed small children and goats, impregnated unsuspecting women and transmitted evil through backwards lyrics on heavy metal records. But recently, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, the nature of his game has been puzzling us.
For those of you who don't know, there are ONLY 70 MEMBERS in the hatefilled Westboro Baptist Church. In July 2019 ONE MONTH, there were 134 Islamic Jihadist terror attacks in 23 COUNTRIES that killed 761 people and injured 1,246 people.  But the Satanic Temple wants you to believe Christianity is the oppressive authoritarian repulsive hatefilled religion and Islam are saints. Okaaay. ๐Ÿ™„ (emphasis mine)
The forces aligned against Satan have become so objectionable that he no longer looks like the bad guy. They include such groups as the Westboro Baptist church, notorious for its hate speech against LGBTQ people, Jews, Muslims and other groups, all of which it condemns as “satanic frauds”. There’s the Trump administration, in league with the US religious right, which has been aggressively pushing anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ legislation, not to mention engaging in overt Islamophobia. Those forces would also include the 20,000 people who recently signed an online petition condemning the Amazon TV adaptation of the cult novel Good Omens – about a demon and an angel – as “another step to make satanism appear normal”.

Now, a documentary threatens to rehabilitate Satan. Directed by Penny Lane, Hail Satan? follows the early adventures of the Satanic Temple, an institution that has hit upon the perfect counter-strategy to the evangelicals’ efforts to recouple church and state. Based in Salem, Massachusetts (where else?), the Satanic Temple is officially recognised as a tax-exempt religious organisation. As such, it has been claiming the same rights and privileges as those obtained by evangelical Christian groups – albeit with a prankster sensibility.

Dogwoof published on Jun 25, 2019: Hail Satan? in cinemas and on demand 23 August. Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colourful and controversial religious movements in American history, the Satanic Temple.
Where the city council of Phoenix, Arizona, began its meetings with a Christian prayer, for example, the Satanic Temple demanded that satanic prayers should also be said. The council chose to drop the prayers altogether. When the Child Evangelism Fellowship set up the pro-Christian Good News clubs in US public schools, the Satanic Temple introduced its own After School Satan clubs – promoting scientific rationalism. And when the Oklahoma state capitol permitted the installation of a Ten Commandments sculpture in its grounds, the Satanic Temple campaigned to erect its own 8ft-high statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed, cloven-hoofed deity.

“It became very apparent that there was a real need for what we were doing,” says Lucien Greaves, the Satanic Temple’s spokesman and de-facto leader. “More and more, they try to whittle away the rights of others and define us as a Christian nation, to the extent that religious liberty applies to them alone. That’s just a scary circumstance for us to be in.”

Greaves is exactly what you would expect the earthly ambassador of Satan to look like. Pale-skinned, well-groomed and dressed entirely in black, and with one clouded eye, he could have walked off the set of a teen vampire series. Harvard-educated, he often sounds as if he is reading from an academic text. There is no mention of God in the US constitution, he points out, but there is a first amendment protecting freedom of expression and religion. The words “under God” were added to the US pledge of allegiance in 1954, and “In God we trust” first printed on US currency in 1956 – so as to differentiate the US from the godless communists. “Up to that point, it had been E pluribus unum – ‘from many, one’ – which was a much better motto.”

Greaves doesn’t believe in God, Satan, “evil” or anything supernatural, he says. Nor does he sacrifice babies or serve a secret coven. The Satanic Temple is nontheistic, and its principles are broadly liberal humanism. The first of its seven tenets, for example, is: “One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.”

So why call it “satanism”? “The metaphor of Satan is just as important to a lot of us as it would be to anybody who takes it literally because we grew up in a Judaeo-Christian culture. It really does speak to us in a very pointed and poignant way about our place in our culture and what our affirmative values are … and, of course, it defines what we oppose: these kinds of theocratic norms and authoritarian structures.”

The Satanic Temple’s interpretation is closer to that of Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost, Greaves says. “The rebel against tyranny, who stands in stark contrast to that mindless superstition and that mob mentality that causes people to give themselves the moral self-licensing to create the ‘other’… and thereby victimize people.”

You could say that is in keeping with Satan’s place in pop culture. Only occasionally has he been taken as a literal figure of evil; more often, the devil represents the outsider, the provocateur, the one with the best tunes. To be labelled “the devil’s music”, as jazz, blues and rock’n’roll all were, was the best possible branding. The Rolling Stones expressed their Sympathy and called an album Their Satanic Majesties Request, but nobody considered them serious satanists. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page would have been more qualified; he inserted mystical symbols into the band’s imagery, owned an occult bookshop in London and was a keen collector of the works. He even bought the Scottish home of the occultist Aleister Crowley (whose face also appears on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album). Page collaborated with the film-maker Kenneth Anger, whose films of the era, such as Lucifer Rising and Invocation of My Demon Brother, brought together a Who’s Who of 60s occult-dabblers, including Page, Mick Jagger, Donald Cammell, Marianne Faithfull, the Manson family member Bobby Beausoleil, and Anton LaVey.

LaVey is acknowledged as the founder of modern satanism, although he, too, was more theatrical showman than genuine prince of darkness. He strove to look the part, with his shaved head, sharp little goatee and black cloak – imagery largely gleaned from old horror movies. He opened the First Church of Satan in San Francisco in 1966, synthesising various occult sources into a semi-coherent philosophy, and attracting a few celebrity devotees, including Jayne Mansfield. Greaves acknowledges the Church of Satan as an influence, but rejects LaVey’s beliefs in social Darwinism and police-state authoritarianism as “Ayn Rand with ceremonial trappings”.

The heavy metal acts of the 1970s and 80s caused more alarm in some quarters, from Black Sabbath and Coven onwards through the likes of Slayer, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and onwards to thrash, death and ultimately black metal. Again, the satanic messaging was largely theatrical: occult symbolism, demonic lyrics and horror-movie guitar riffs. The exception was the infamous Norwegian black metal scene, which devolved into genuine horror with the bands Burzum and Mayhem, whose horrific saga involved church-burnings, suicide and murder. “A lot of these movements have always had an inordinate amount of attention for how small they really are,” says Greaves. “Sometimes, they embraced the worst elements of what they were accused of. They become this creation of the hysteria against satanism.”

That hysteria rose to witch-hunt levels in the 1980s and 90s, in what became known as the “satanic panic”. Doubtless inflamed by the imagery of horror movies, such as The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, Christian groups began finding “evidence” of satanism everywhere. They heard subliminal satanic messages in rock records, the most famous being Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven (which supposedly contains the phrase, “Here’s to my sweet Satan,” when played backwards). Then came lurid allegations of satanic ritual abuse around the world – child sexual abuse, murder, torture, cannibalism and gory rituals, ostensibly at the behest of a secret sect intent on undermining the foundations of civilisation.

This is the environment in which Greaves grew up. “I saw peoples’ lives destroyed by the mere attribution of satanism,” he says. “I began to realise that the real evil was in the witch-hunt itself, and not in any of these alleged cults that were supposed to be initiating these activities.” While satanist conspiracy theories filled the airwaves, it bears remembering that there really was an organised sect sexually abusing children on a global scale with impunity: the Catholic church.

Things have hardly improved in recent years, Greaves admits. Despite being led by a serial sinner, the Trump administration has been on a concerted mission to reinsert conservative Christian values into US public life. This legislative assault, known as “Project Blitz”, is coordinated and well-funded. “We’re obviously on the defensive now,” says Greaves, “and it’s a frightening state of affairs in the US when you have a clearly deranged theocrat like Mike Pence as vice-president and a buffoon like Trump in office, and they’re willing to pander to their evangelical nationalist base.”

The release of Hail Satan? is a blessing and a curse for the Satanic Temple. It should bring new members and much-needed revenue to the cause (the church’s only income is direct donations and merchandise sales), but it also puts Greaves in the limelight, possibly even the crosshairs. Towards the end of Hail Satan? we see him appearing at a satanist rally in Little Rock, Arkansas, next to the notorious Baphomet statue. Before he steps out, he puts on a bulletproof jacket.

Greaves remembers that rally well. “What you don’t see,” he says, “is when I was walking up to the podium, there were a bunch of people with guns loitering about, and they wanted me to know they were there. I ended up speaking with my back to them, which was rather harrowing. I’m kind of puzzled as to why nobody did take a shot, but that was a very clear possibility.” He regularly receives death threats from the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi and Christian supremacy groups, he says, but Greaves is more concerned for his country’s future than his own. “We’re at the precipice of a new dark age,” he says ominously. Rather than ushering it in, the satanists are trying to stop it.

In the UK, Hail Satan? has preview screenings on 20 August and is released on 23 August.
The writer in the article below took this picture when she was attending a Satanic worship ritual / ceremony in Detroit, Michigan. Notice the upside cross at the altar. Tell me again they don't worship Satan. Come on people. There's an elephant in the room and you're telling me there's nothing to see here but peace loving all-inclusive tolerant Satanists. Okaaay. ๐Ÿ™„ An upside cross at the altar is very tolerant of them.

Tolerant means showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. (empasis mine)
The Daily Beast
written by Nancy Kaffer
July 12, 2017

America’s new Satanists are less about animal sacrifice and more into ‘Paradise Lost’—and they may be our best hope for saving religious freedoms.

It’s 1 a.m., and I’m waiting for a Satanic ritual to start at a loft in Detroit. It’s dark, natch, and smoky, ditto, crammed with people dressed in black. Most of them are young and goth-ish. There are upside-down crosses aplenty, pounding dance music, a porn room and a surprisingly good hors d’oeuvres table—freshly baked Madeleines and gorgeous fruit, on platters grouped around a massive ice-sculpture replica of Brancusi’s Princess X, a statue that’s either a penis and testicles or a woman gazing into a mirror, depending on your point of view.

At this Satanic Temple party, the ritual is finally starting. Satanists, it seems, aren’t always prompt. Detroit Satanic Temple director Jex Blackmore—for most of the evening, she’s been leading a man dressed as a priest around on a leash—steps onto a low stage (prominently featured: a podium and an upside-down cross) and reads from a book.

Let’s be very clear about this: Adherents of the modern Satanic Temple don’t engage in religious or animal sacrifice, and they have no truck with magic, even the kind of low-key supernaturality embraced by some Christian denominations. Satan, to these Satanists, is a literary figure, not a deity—he stands for rationality, for skepticism, for speaking truth to power, even at great personal cost.

While Blackmore reads, two women and one man, all cloaked, file onto the stage. Each puts on a hood, and they lose the cloaks—except for the hoods, they’re naked, and the optics are a bit Abu Ghraib. A few heavily intoned passages later, Blackmore pushes up their hoods and pours wine into their upturned mouths. All three choke on the wine, which doesn’t make it seem less Abu Ghraib. The reading ends, the crowd shouts, “Hail Satan,” and the three devotees smash the wine glasses they’re holding on the ground.

And that’s it. The ritual, Blackmore said, was written by the Detroit chapter and participation is entirely voluntary; it was “intended to empower guests to challenge arbitrary systems of authority, confront archaic traditions and celebrate the Satanic tradition,” she said. The ritual itself “represented concepts of shame, sexuality and normative religions traditions.”

Wineboarding aside, the modern Satanic Temple is about as non-threatening as a group of devil worshippers can get.

But that’s the point. Satanic Temple chapters across the country have been pushing back against the right-wing religious establishment, providing a vocal counterpoint to religious orthodoxy: like a planned statue of Baphomet next to a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state Capitol, or the Satanic-themed coloring book being distributed to Florida elementary schools—simple but persistent reminders that freedom of religion applies across the board, that laws or guidelines intended to protect or promulgate right-wing Christianity or to blur the line between church and state convey the same access to other creeds.

The modern Satanic Temple is a relatively new entity. Don’t confuse it with the Church of Satan, founded in the 1960s by Anton LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible; the temple’s beliefs spring from the same traditions of humanist questioning, but differ significantly in a few key concepts, primarily in its disdain for authority.

The Detroit Satanic Temple first made Michigan headlines last December, when a Christian church announced plans to erect a nativity scene at the state Capitol in Lansing. So the Satanic Temple installed a “snaketivity” display on the state house lawn. (What’s a snaketivity? A cross with a pentagram, a large fake snake, an open volume of Anatole France’s Revolt of the Angels, and a banner with Gothic lettering: “Knowledge is the greatest gift.”)

“Restricting religious protections to the majority view is an attempt to delegitimize and control alternative beliefs,” Blackmore said. “If religious legitimacy is determined by a biased government, we are effectively in bondage to the beliefs and practices of those in power.”

A half-hour after the ritual ended, I was deep in heated debate about the merits of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act with a conservatively dressed Satanist who’s in town for the party. The Satanic Temple is pro-RFRA, the federal law that provided the legal grounds for the U.S. Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision; the court found that because the corporation’s owners’ sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit some types of contraception, the company need not offer such coverage to its employees.

The Hobby Lobby ruling dealt a major setback to women’s reproductive rights, and at first I’m surprised that the Satanists are not just for it, but support the efforts of several state governments to enact comparable laws, generally understood to target reproductive and LGBT rights. But with such laws in place, temple adherents say, there are greater opportunities to the Satanic Temple to advocate for equal protection.

The causes the temple has championed might seem counter-intuitive, absent context: The Protect Children Project offers kids in states where schools practice corporal punishment religious grounds to deny such punishment. Students can download a letter from the temple’s website noting a religious objection to such punishment. A lawsuit the Detroit chapter has considered filing would seek to require doctors to present medically accurate information to patients, a move designed to counteract right-wing efforts to slant reproductive health information.

Some of the temple’s tactics—the Satanic coloring book, for example—might make you wonder if they’re serious, or if the temple is firmly tongue-in-cheek, in the tradition of alternate religions like Discordianism or the Church of the Sub-Genius. But guys, I think they mean it.

The Satanic Temple is consciously trying to craft an alternate religious identity, one aligned with progressive beliefs and scientific principles, but with the special protections granted to those with sincerely held religious beliefs.

It’s a point that’s earned the approbation of no less a luminary than iconic cult film director John Waters, in town to headline Detroit’s Dirty Show, an annual erotic art exhibition. I spoke to Waters at the show that night; he’d been invited to the Satanic Temple party, but declined the invite, explaining that he had a 7 a.m. flight. “But I love what they’re doing,” he said. “I’m a member.” Really? “Well, I’m in talks.”

Waters is more sanguine than the average Satanic recruit; in some—well, most—circles, the tag “Satanist” draws some serious side-eye, even decades after the Satanic Panic of the 80s, in which popular media envisioned roving bands of homicidal Satanists, was debunked.

And in truth, the principles the temple is championing aren’t particularly, well, evil.

“According to a common misperception, organized religion embodies the highest moral virtues, and the figure of Satan as an adversary must therefore stand in diametric opposition to decency itself,” Blackmore said.

So why, I asked her, not change the name to something less alienating?

“Of course, we see that, in reality, traditional dogmas often stand in stark opposition to reasoned moral positions,” she said. “We have no interest in accommodating these misperceptions nor being apologetic for them. We call ourselves Satanists with pride, because Satanists we are.”

And as right-wing religious groups use federal law and courts to shape public policy, the Temple’s efforts seem increasingly necessary. No mainstream religious group is mounting the same kind of visible opposition to orthodoxy, to the right-wing religious views becoming enshrined in public policy. Can the Satanic Temple save religious freedom in America? I’m not sure. But at least they’re trying.
This picture is another taken from the article above when the writer visited a Satanic Temple in Detroit, Michigan to participate in a Satanic worship ceremony. They are pushing their own religious orthodoxy on America. All of you in the Satanic movement jacking off at the thought of Satan overthrowing Christianity and Judaism in America are in fact religious zealots yourselves. You work day and night committed to overthrowing Christianity and Judaism. That qualifies Satanic Temple members as religious zealots. And don't tell me you are not a religion. The Satanic Temple now receives official IRS recognition as an official religion because you applied to be recognized as a religion.

What is a zealot? a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals. That's you.
(emphasis mine)
The Washington Post
written by Peter Holley
February 5, 2019

For weeks now, Phoenix lawmakers have wrestled with the idea of allowing members of a Satanic group to give the invocation before an upcoming city meeting.

Phoenix City Council members arrived Wednesday at a controversial solution: Banning prayer altogether.

From now on, lawmakers decided in a 5-4 vote, council meetings will no longer begin with a traditional prayer, but instead open with a moment of silence.

Although the decision may block the Satanic Temple’s Feb. 17 invocation, it prompted outcries from some Phoenix residents and city officials who believe the prayer ban is a de facto victory for the Satanists.

“This is what that Satanist group wants,” Councilman Sal DiCiccio told the Arizona Republic. “A moment of silence is basically a banning of prayer. It’s to agree to the Satanic goal to ban prayer.”

In a tweet, DiCiccio called it a “sad day for Phoenix.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and four members of the council voted in favor of the change and argued that an effort to silence particular groups could land the city in an expensive legal battle.

“The First Amendment to the Constitution is not ambiguous on this issue,” Stanton said, according to the Republic. “Discriminating against faiths would violate the oath that all of us on this dais took. I personally take that very, very seriously.”

Gregory Lipper, a senior attorney at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the mayor’s prediction is sound.

Lipper, who has represented the Satanic Temple in previous legal battles, said that two years ago, the Supreme Court held in Town of Greece v. Galloway that a community’s practice of beginning legislative sessions with prayers does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

However, Lipper said, while local governments can open meetings with prayers, those governments cannot control the content of those prayers unless they denigrate other faiths or include proselytizing. Much of the resistance to the Satanic Temple, he said, comes from people who believe the group is made up of devil worshipers, and they tend to unleash fierce opposition that wouldn’t hold up in a court of law.

“This is an issue that will come up in homogeneous communities when a member of a minority religion takes advantage of the invocation and it tends to generate a backlash,” Lipper told The Post. “Most local governments are used to a steady drumbeat of Christian clergy delivering Christian prayers. We’ve seen this same issue with Muslim prayer-givers and Wiccan prayer-givers around the country.

“When they show up, all the sudden the practice generated a bunch of objections.”

Lipper said the Phoenix City Council made the right decision, but for “disturbing reasons.”

“They’re saying, ‘we don’t like their prayers, so we’re going to shut the whole thing down,'” he said. “It leaves a bad taste in the Satanist’s mouth.”

Contrary to the name, Satanic Temple members are non-theists who do not believe in the existence of the devil and promote the idea that religion can be divorced from superstition. On its Web site, the Satanic Temple describes its mission as encouraging “benevolence and empathy among all people.” Among the group’s seven tenets: “The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend.”

“Our tenants are rational and we emphasize compassion,” Satanic Temple founder Lucien Greaves told The Washington Post. “Satan to us is metaphorical and represents a universal fight against tyranny and autocracy.”

The group has set off numerous headline-making free-speech debates in recent years by using provocative imagery. In 2014, it unveiled a proposal to place a seven-foot Satanic statue in front of the Oklahoma state capitol, next to a statue of the Ten Commandments.

Later that year, after threatening a lawsuit, the Satanic Temple — in conjunction with Americans United — convinced Florida officials to allow the temple to move forward with a holiday display in the state capitol in Tallahassee that showed an angel dropping from the sky into a pit of flames. The week-long display, which Florida officials had previously labeled “grossly offensive,” was placed in an area designated as an open forum for private speech.

Greaves said Thursday that the dispute with the Phoenix City Council began in December, when a local member of the Satanic organization applied via email to give the invocation before the governing body. Temple members, he said, assumed they’d walk in, give the invocation and leave, with their entire effort going mostly unnoticed.

That changed, the Republic reported, when news of the invocation spread and council members were “inundated” with comments from constituents.

“We’re an assertion of plurality,” Greaves told The Post. “The only way these type of open forums work is if multiple voices get involved. You need to allow for expression you might not agree with or want and we’re a hard and fast test of those principles.”

A proposal from four councilmen to let lawmakers take turns inviting different religious groups to give the prayer — indirectly blocking the satanists — was scrapped last week after city attorney Brad Holm noted it would constitute a First Amendment violation, according to the Republic.

The contentious issue came to a head Wednesday when more than a hundred people gathered in the council chambers to offer testimony on the issue that lasted for more than two hours, according to the Republic.

“I am not for the silent prayer,” Pastor Darlene Vasquez told council members, according to the Republic, which reported that Vasquez broke down in tears. “I want those who believe in the one true God to pray. It breaks my heart to hear what is going on.”

No Satanic Temple members addressed the council at the meeting, but Greaves — who watched a livestream of the gathering on the other side of the country —said he was shocked by what he saw. He noted that speakers referred to the Satanic Temple as a “cult” and a “hate group” and said council members accused the group of trying only to ban prayer entirely.

“It was kind of horrifying,” he told The Post. “I noted that it seemed outright medieval in there and really took on the atmosphere of an old school tent revival. There were people weeping and calling out the name of the one true god. It was really strange, a really strange thing to see.”

After the lawmakers voted to replace prayer with a moment of silence, DiCiccio, the council member, called the ruling a “big win” for the Satanic Temple, according to the Republic. He added that the city’s religious community plans to collect signatures to force another vote and overturn the council’s decision.

Greaves called DiCiccio’s willingness to reduce a substantive debate to competitive terms “an infantile way to approach matters of public policy.”

Unsure about whether the new council ruling retroactively eliminates the invocation schedule, Greaves said there remains a chance his group will still wind up giving the invocation later this month. The Satanic Temple, he said, never intended to have a moment of silence implemented by the city council — but he considers it a welcome improvement.

“The moment of silence is the most tenable option of any in the public chambers,” he said. “Anything else is a bit difficult to manage and really not the business of a government body anyway. Ultimately, it turns out for the good, but to whether people allow this debate to educate them about Constitutional rights is an open question.

“But the lesson is there,” he added.

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