[unicode symbol for inscribed pentagram]
July 27, 2015 12:16 PM   Subscribe

The nine foot tall, 1 ton statue of Baphomet (discussed previously) has, at long last, been unveiled in Detroit!

For your consideration:
A few pictures of the unveiling.
A very brief video of the unveiling, complete with brief homoeroticism.

How did they keep the high numbers of protestors away?
Step one: have attendees agree to sign their souls over to Satan.
Step two: only then, provide attendees with the real location.
posted by Lemurrhea (122 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
it kind of looks like something out of Evil Skymall
posted by theodolite at 12:19 PM on July 27, 2015 [61 favorites]


How did they keep the high numbers of protestors away?
Step one: have attendees agree to sign their souls over to Satan.
Step two: only then, provide attendees with the real location.


Isn't this how it worked here before the rest of us had to pay $5?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:22 PM on July 27, 2015 [80 favorites]


it kind of looks like something out of Evil Skymall

ftfy
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


How did they keep the high numbers of protestors away?
Step one: have attendees agree to sign their souls over to Satan.
Step two: only then, provide attendees with the real location.

Isn't this how it worked here before the rest of us had to pay $5?


Ask Paphnuty.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:26 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oklahoma has dibs on that thing. Our supreme court just ruled that the Ten Commandments monument on the capitol grounds is violative of the separation of church and state in the state constitution, but our elected officials have vowed to change the constitution to allow it-- and Baphomet-- to be here. I look forward to visiting it when I come back for visits. Me? I gotta get out of here. These people are crazy.
posted by norm at 12:26 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


HAIL SATAN
posted by demonic winged headgear at 12:26 PM on July 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


Motörhead City
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:28 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Isn't he supposed to have breasts? I though Baphomet had breasts.
posted by Hoopo at 12:29 PM on July 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


The funniest thing going on Facebook is to click on the "trending news" entry for this story. So many prophecies of destruction and despairing grandmas.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:30 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow uh those sure are photos of a bunch of white people celebrating and a bunch of black people protesting and while I'm as down with public displays of weird occult shit as anyone else who is down with weird occult shit I feel like maybe, just maybe, they did not pick the best time and place to do this.
posted by griphus at 12:31 PM on July 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


The breasts are definitely an important part of Baphomet, which is supposed to represent the unity of male and female. Not sure why it was left out of this statue.
posted by graymouser at 12:32 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


The breasts are definitely an important part of Baphomet, which is supposed to represent the unity of male and female. Not sure why it was left out of this statue.

Well, if righteous god-fearing Americans have to tolerate a statue of Baphomet in the name of free speech, so be it. But with exposed breasts? WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN
posted by Existential Dread at 12:35 PM on July 27, 2015 [38 favorites]


griphus, you make a very good point and I'm sorry I hadn't thought of it.

graymouser, I'm guessing it's to prevent any argument of obscenity related to the display of female breasts.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:35 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Call it Libertarian Gothic, maybe — some darker permutation of Ayn Rand’s crusade for free will.

The horrible real truth of Satanists of the LaVey mold: they're basically just objectivist jerkoffs playing Crowley dress-up.

I guess they are slightly less objectionable than evangelical Christian libertarian assholes but only just slightly and mainly by virtue of being less numerous.
posted by Artw at 12:36 PM on July 27, 2015 [29 favorites]


Re:Title, do we not have satanic emojis or are we just exercising restraint in emoji use for once?
posted by Artw at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know, you open a temple to Satan and soon your city will be reduced to a smoking ruin...

Wait, it's in Detroit? Uh, carry on.

yes detroit is in a renaissance and there are urban farms and indian village is gorgeous and have you see royal oak it's lovely go blue i love you all
posted by leotrotsky at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well, it's this or Cedar Point this weekend. I wonder which one my 11-year-old daughter will vote for.
posted by Etrigan at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


ERECT THE STATUARY THAT THOU WILT, THUS IS THE WHOLE OF THE LAW.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:41 PM on July 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


Wow uh those sure are photos of a bunch of white people celebrating and a bunch of black people protesting

Ehhh...maybe it's just a sign that the protesters have more important things that they should be protesting? (and given that there were only a few dozen of them, it seems like most folk in Detroit agree -- location obfuscation tomfoolery aside).
posted by sparklemotion at 12:43 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


I guess they are slightly less objectionable than evangelical Christian libertarian assholes

What you did there. I see it.
posted by slater at 12:58 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


As mentioned, the Satanic Temple tried to keep the location of the unveiling a secret known only to ticket holders, which is likely why the number of protestors at the site were small. Because of the secrecy, protests of varying size have been held for the last month at local churches in the Detroit metro area (including at least one on Saturday numbering a couple of hundred people,) or at the Eastern Market, which is where the statue was originally supposed to be placed.

Several hundred people is different than dozens, obviously. They'll still have no immediate, visible effect. But personally, I'm not so quick to dismiss how upset they are. Or how effective they may be at lobbying for new legislation in the future. Especially if they get their parent Church organizations involved.
posted by zarq at 12:59 PM on July 27, 2015


Needs (like most things these days) more Sousaphone
posted by jeribus at 1:03 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I certainly would feel different telling the church of persistently ducked over minority not to worry because it's just edgelord doofuses than if it was a bunch of stereotypical moral majority sorts, I don't know about you.
posted by Artw at 1:05 PM on July 27, 2015


zarq: As mentioned, the Satanic Temple tried to keep the location of the unveiling a secret known only to ticket holders, which is likely why the number of protestors at the site were small.

I really hope they called these planning sessions "Baphomeetings".
posted by dr_dank at 1:09 PM on July 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: so many prophecies of destruction and despairing grandmas.
posted by happyroach at 1:10 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


[A few comments removed, let's maybe just cool it a little.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:11 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry, griphus, no, you are just plain wrong.

The reason they unveiled it in Detroit was that they built it in Detroit. And they built it in Detroit because their headquarters are in Detroit, and their headquarters are in Detroit because their leaders are from Detroit... and have just as much right to hold this event there as anyone, anywhere.

This isn't white outsiders coming into a black neighborhood in a majority black city to make black people uncomfortable because they figure those people are powerless to stop them or whatever. This isn't directed at race in any way, shape, or form. This is people engaging in political speech in their own hometown.

They even tried to keep it AWAY from anybody who was offended enough to protest.

And they did it now because there was a current issue that led them to build the thing now.

Exactly what "time and place" would you have them choose?

A lot of things are race issues. A lot of things that people don't want to admit are race issues are still race issues. This, however, is not a race issue, period.
posted by Hizonner at 1:11 PM on July 27, 2015 [56 favorites]


Well, I certainly would feel different telling the church of persistently ducked over minority not to worry because it's just edgelord doofuses than if it was a bunch of stereotypical moral majority sorts, I don't know about you.
Artw

This comment rests on some odd assumptions, namely that "church[es] of [a] persistently ducked over minority" aren't "stereotypical moral majority sorts".

Just because a church has a congregations of POC doesn't mean it's a bastion of progress and enlightenment. Evangelical Christianity is very strong among the American black population, though not surprisingly the black and white Evangelicals don't really get along.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:16 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


A lot of things are race issues. A lot of things that people don't want to admit are race issues are still race issues. This, however, is not a race issue, period.

So, I kind of don't agree with griphus on this, but I don't think he's wrong for noticing the racial disparity here.

The fact that Detroit is a majority black city makes it even more interesting that there are no POCs in the photogallery from the unveiling. Like, if this is a race neutral organization (and I'm not saying it isn't) why don't they have any black folks?

That, combined with the editorial decision of the news organizations to only publish the pictures of black protesters makes things seem a little hinky.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


No matter the reason for it ending up in Detroit and the racial makeup of the celebrants and the protesters, the optics sure look shitty nonetheless.

But, when you're hailing Satan, maybe seeming racist is just one of the things you gotta put up with I suppose. It's a tough gig.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Couple more things removed, please cool it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:23 PM on July 27, 2015


That, combined with the editorial decision of the news organizations to only publish the pictures of black protesters makes things seem a little hinky.
sparklemotion

That seems like a pretty big assumption of bad faith. What if there just weren't any white protesters, or only one or two? It sounds like they took some measures to keep the location secret. Maybe only this black religious group found out where it was in time to protest.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:24 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


You guys know Satan is bad and is probably ok with racism, right?
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:26 PM on July 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


In timely news, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has just today issued a new ruling clarifying that they in fact DID mean that the Ten Commandments had to leave the Capitol grounds. So as it stands Baphomet is out. But I have faith that they want this statue and therefore will change the constitution to allow His Demonic Majesty to take his goaty place.
posted by norm at 1:29 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Like, if this is a race neutral organization (and I'm not saying it isn't) why don't they have any black folks?

I suspect that the multi-faceted & deeply embedded systemic racism that keeps many Christian churches largely white—even progressive, explicitly anti-racist churches—also affects groups like the Satanists.
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:37 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would like to sneak in a recording to place next to the statue that played Yakety-Sax over and over again. Because.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:39 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


That seems like a pretty big assumption of bad faith.

My whole point was to not assume bad faith on anyone's part (well, except for anyone who would protest this statue while welcoming the 10 commandments on public property -- they are bad people and should feel bad).

It makes sense that the news orgs made the decision to publish the pictures of the protesters that they had (and they probably didn't have many, for the reasons discussed above). Another option could have been to not publish photos at all, but I'm not sure that that would be a good choice. Either way, some editor saw some pictures of a handful of black protesters and decided to publish them. I don't find any fault there.

It also makes sense that the Satanists would want to unveil the statue in Detroit (for the reasons given above). I don't find any fault there either.

I guess I'm arguing for a little nuance here. I think it's wrong to imply that this event shouldn't have happened, but I also think its wrong to flat out state that the racial disparities here aren't at least worth commenting on (and, if I were involved with the ST, maybe looking to address somehow).
posted by sparklemotion at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2015


Maybe only this black religious group found out where it was in time to protest.

I think any time you get a bunch of (mostly) white folks celebrating a thing on one side and a bunch of (mostly) black folks protesting a thing on the other, it helps to step back and examine why that happened. Maybe only this small group found out about the protest? Sure, why not; it's a reasonable hypothesis considering the secrecy and so on. That still doesn't explain why the Satanists who worked for this unveiling and threw a party are almost entirely white folks considering the demographics of Detroit, or how their being a majority-white organization would've influenced their decision to do what they did where they did it.
posted by griphus at 1:42 PM on July 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


I go to concerts in Detroit that frequently do not represent the demographics of the residents of Detroit proper. I don't think that's the band's fault. This seems pretty similar.
posted by kiltedtaco at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


My interactions with actual card-carrying Satanists are well in the past, but introspection about race relations isn't exactly high on their agenda. For the most part it seems like they're (as said above) Libertarians doing Crowley cosplay. With all that entails.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:44 PM on July 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


So, I went looking for a Stuff White People Like post about being goth, but found this instead which is probably more on point.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:52 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


I, too, have been to events in Detroit that did not represent the demographics of the city proper. It's not the bands'/Satanists' fault, but it's hardly incidental. It's not like Detroit is the one city in America where there's no racial aspect to gentrification and displacement.

As Sangermaine said, the protesters may very well be super-conservative religious folks, but that's not the point. I don't think peoples' squeamishness about the photos is because the protesters are right, but because the photos appear to reflect a racial divide that isn't exactly isolated to this one instance.
posted by teponaztli at 1:53 PM on July 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


The only famous satanist that I've heard of was a close personal friend of Anton LaVey named Sammy Davis Junior. So when people bring up the Church of Satan all I can think about is Sammy's appearance on Batman.
posted by I-baLL at 1:54 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


That still doesn't explain why the Satanists who worked for this unveiling and threw a party are almost entirely white folks considering the demographics of Detroit

Different ethnic groups and demographic groups have vastly different beliefs, tastes, and behaviors, and different sub-cultures have different ethnic and demographic constituencies.
posted by dgaicun at 1:55 PM on July 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh my God don't read the comments on sparklemotion's link.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:55 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do admire the way Satanists defend the First Amendment while highlighting the hypocrisy of the Religious Right. And I don't want to speak for griphus (who made a good point), but when I heard the story I thought, "Yup, Detroit is definitely gentrifying." Correctly guessed the racial makeup of the attendees and protestors without even looking at a picture.

And that's great because Detroit desperately needs more residents and taxpayers. But that also means Detroit is likely to experience the same racial tensions that Brooklyn and Oakland and Washington and many other cities are dealing with for far longer. The racial divide for this event isn't that big an issue in itself, but does point to where the city is headed.

When Anthony Bourdain visited Detroit for his CNN show in 2013, he tried to get the young white new arrivals to think about gentrification. None of the new residents even seemed to grasp the concept. In fairness, Bourdain, as a New Yorker, didn't have anything he could teach them either, because New York City does not know how to make gentrification work for everyone involved. I sure as hell don't, but I live in the middle of nowhere, so this is not my problem.
posted by riruro at 1:56 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Speaking of demographics, anybody know where the name Baphomet comes from?

I would have gone with Beelzebub/Zeus Apomyios with the white eyes and blood-smeared cheeks etc but nobody asks my opinion about how to venerate the Prince of Darkness in a respectful, intersectional way
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:59 PM on July 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


Er, New York City is a bad example of increased racial tensions due to gentrification seeing as the amount of minorities has increased with gentrification and the amount of "white" people has dropped.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_New_York_City
posted by I-baLL at 2:02 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been following this story for a while; I even donated to the Kickstarter. I have little time for anyone who takes Satanism seriously, but these guys seem to have their tongue pretty firmly in cheek.

They also conducted a ritual at Fred Phelps' mom's grave to turn her posthumously gay.

Regarding the lack of breasts: I noticed that when the statue was first unveiled, and my assumption is the same as Countess Elena's. Breasty Baphomet will always be the One True Baphomet, but it's a smart move.

The sign-your-soul-over-to-Satan contract is pretty brilliant, as well: simultaneously a clever and effective tactic, and a hilarious bit of trolling.

Briefly suggested in the Time article: although Oklahoma has capitulated and ruled that neither the Ten Commandments monument or the Baphomet statue can stand on state grounds, the Temple now has Arkansas in their sights.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:02 PM on July 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


Also apparently the venue was changed due to in part to threats threatening (uh, is there a better way to phrase "threats threatening"?) to burn down the venue:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/07/14/the-satanic-temples-baphomet-statue-unveiling-marred-by-threats/
posted by I-baLL at 2:05 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


People threatening? Threats don't do the threatening themselves.

Next year in threatres! Baphomet II: The Threatening
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


FYI, TST specifically reject LaVeyan Satanism and are at their core a couple of liberals trolling religious conservatives.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:08 PM on July 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


Call it Libertarian Gothic, maybe — some darker permutation of Ayn Rand’s crusade for free will.

You can call it that if you like. I wonder how much this sucker cost. Somebody spent a lot of dough on an attention getting stunt. What do you think the market value for it is? I am skeptical it has a market value significantly larger than the scrap value of the material.

The wikipedia page on the Seattle monolith (the closest comparison project I could think of offhand) claims it cost 250 dollars. You could build a really bitchin monolith for what these satanists spent on this goatesque statue.
posted by bukvich at 2:10 PM on July 27, 2015


Isn't this how it worked here before the rest of us had to pay $5?

That was the theory, but then it turned out that a number of us didn't have souls. FOOLED YA MATT!
posted by eriko at 2:14 PM on July 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


"You can call it that if you like. I wonder how much this sucker cost. Somebody spent a lot of dough on an attention getting stunt."

Art pranks do tend to get expensive. The Wall Street Bull was originally a $360,000 prank.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_Bull
posted by I-baLL at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


do we not have satanic emojis or are we just exercising restraint in emoji use for once?

I spent about 3 minutes searching for variations of "unicode pentagram", "unicode baphomet", etc etc, and got nothing exciting, just a generic ⛤. Then I realized that I have an actual job to do and the boss would come down on me like a ton of bricks if he realized I was wasting my time like this.

wrt the racial aspect: I certainly agree that it exists, and I apologize for not paying enough attention to notice the racial disparity in protestors vs celebrants. The Satanic church definitely seems like it's in the upper-class gentrified headspace, and I don't know what's going on as to why the Freep article is primarily POCs. It's not great.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


"As mentioned, the Satanic Temple tried to keep the location of the unveiling a secret known only to ticket holders, which is likely why the number of protestors at the site were small."

I just realized that the protestors were protesting at the original site as opposed to the actual unveiling site.
posted by I-baLL at 2:18 PM on July 27, 2015


Have the protestors expressed a racial element, or are they simply making a religious argument?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:24 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


No! let us rather choose,
Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at once
O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulfur and strange fire,
His own invented torments.
I've always had a soft spot for Moloch's speech in Book 2 of Paradise Lost. His argument is the one that explains why the armies of hell are so hideous: they're using the only things they had to hand, and they were living in a torture chamber created for them by God.

And then Moloch gives God the most appropriate epithet ever: The Torturer.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:32 PM on July 27, 2015 [18 favorites]


Most vitally, though, the group does not “promote a belief in a personal Satan.” By their logic, Satan is an abstraction, or, as Nancy Kaffer wrote for The Daily Beast last year, “a literary figure, not a deity — he stands for rationality, for skepticism, for speaking truth to power, even at great personal cost.”

No, you're thinking of Richard Dawkins. Goat n' pentragram Satan is still the official mascot of heavy-metal cheese-evil. \"/
posted by dgaicun at 2:33 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder how much this sucker cost

The Indiegogo campaign raised US$28,180 (well above its $20,000 goal).

The technique of keeping the event location secret, and instructing attendees to come to a preliminary location to get directions to the actual venue, was used for illicit raves back in the 90s. The preliminary location was called a "map point". It's amusing to see the same technique applied here. I wonder if TST was aware of the rave connection.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:33 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like maybe, just maybe, they did not pick the best time and place to do this.

A few folks have already addressed this, up thread, so I don't want to pile on griphus here. That said, as a lifelong (and current) Detroiter, I keep wincing when well-meaning out-of-towners try and make racial hay out of this kerfuffle. It just does not comport with what I'm seeing and hearing on the ground, here.

The protesters are mainly black residents because the church presence in the city of Detroit is overwhelmingly black and socially conservative (for certain values of "socially conservative"). The optics are bad insofar as we remain not only a majority-Black city in one of the most segregated areas in the nation, but to accuse the organizers of this particular event of engaging in race-baiting or something is just wrong.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2015 [18 favorites]


Lemurrhea: here's a few for you:

U+26E4 ⛤ PENTAGRAM,
U+26E5 ⛥ RIGHT-HANDED INTERLACED PENTAGRAM,
U+26E6 ⛦ LEFT-HANDED INTERLACED PENTAGRAM,
U+26E7 ⛧ INVERTED PENTAGRAM,
U+1F608 😈 SMILING FACE WITH HORNS,
U+1F410 🐐 GOAT,
U+22D4 ⋔ PITCHFORK,
U+2ADA ⫚ PITCHFORK WITH TEE TOP
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:37 PM on July 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


There are people of color in the Satanist party photos, just not black people. That looks like any goth/EBM party from the last 25 years- mostly white, some people of color but barely any Black people. Unfortunately the demographics just work out that way. Kind of like Burning Man.

I think this joke is hilarious at face value, and offending asshole Christians in charge of state legislatures is awesome. However after the violence that Black churches in the south have endured these last couple of months I understand why people would be sensitive to those community's response to what is essentially a practical joke. It makes sense to question the racial disparity between the photographs, even though its easy to explain on the surface. Does that make sense?
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:39 PM on July 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


I was sort of annoyed by the Facebook news feed's characterization of Baphomet as an idol, but I'm not sure if that's actually technically wrong or not. Help me out here, satanists - I'm just cheering TST along from the sidelines for being a thorn in the religious right's side, but I'm not actually, y'know, particularly gothic.
posted by Kyol at 2:42 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Basically the Templars were accused of worshipping severed heads and whatnot in the name of Muhammad, which became "Baphomet" because medieval people couldn't transliterate for shit; he was represented as a goat-man with boobs by 19th-century occultists. So, yes, idol is quite correct, but I think he makes a lousy mascot for Satanism that aspires to anything beyond Hot Topic-level edginess.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:51 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


prize bull octorok: I think he makes a lousy mascot for Satanism that aspires to anything beyond Hot Topic-level edginess.

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been from the Churchgoing protestors if this were a statue of a Sexy Naughty Braless Satan wearing shiny red and black teeny tiny boy shorts and a barely-there Adventure Time crop top?
posted by zarq at 2:56 PM on July 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


The pentagram, that familiar logo of both orthodox Satanists and disaffected teens, originated as a rough outline of Baphomet’s head.

OHHHHHHHHH! *lightbulb*

I've been playing a lot of Brutal Doom (which, if you haven't, you oughta) lately so this is totally apropos. I bet if you "unf" Baphomet from the right angle his head folds back and his neck is full of stimpaks.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:10 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think he makes a lousy mascot for Satanism that aspires to anything beyond Hot Topic-level edginess.

Yeah, I personally prefer bong-ripping bearded Satan, myself. Brutal doom!
posted by Existential Dread at 3:14 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kyol, it depends on what definition of the term "idol" you're using, and which branch of Satanism (or which individual Satanist) you're asking about.

In the most general sense, an idol is simply an image or object representing a deity, to which worship is addressed. In that sense, Christian churches (and Buddhist and Hindu temples, and so forth) are full of idols—and this statue would be considered one as well.

Well, except for the fact that the Temple, like many strains of philosophical Satanism, is avowedly atheistic, and doesn't believe in a deistic Satan who could be worshiped through an idol. So, to them, it's just a statue.

(Granted, you'd be wise to take anything that the Temple says about their own beliefs with a grain of salt—it seems obvious to me that their statement of beliefs is deliberately ambiguous, and designed to further their political and trolling goals. But I strongly suspect that they believe in Satan about as much as they believe in Yahweh or Zeus, which is to say not at all.)

Those who are leaping to weird assumptions about TST's political leanings should be aware that they've also raised $32,000 for abortion rights; include "One’s body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone" as the first of their Seven Tenets; and have a (somewhat silly) "Right to Accurate Medical Information" mini-campaign (buy the shirt!). I don't know what else they may or may not believe, but I've seen nothing to suggest that they're Randians or anything like that.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:24 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


The pentagram, that familiar logo of both orthodox Satanists and disaffected teens, originated as a rough outline of Baphomet’s head.

heh


That still doesn't explain why the Satanists who worked for this unveiling and threw a party are almost entirely white folks considering the demographics of Detroit, or how their being a majority-white organization would've influenced their decision to do what they did where they did it.

Getting oneself wrapped up in silly pretentious bullshit expressly for the purposes of pissing off one's parents is a luxury not afforded to most teenage POC.
posted by schroedinger at 3:25 PM on July 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


If the mods could just replace this whole thread with Slayer youtube links that'd be great. Thanks.
posted by Palindromedary at 3:32 PM on July 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


> I've always had a soft spot for Moloch's speech in Book 2 of Paradise Lost.

As I'm sure you already know. you're not the first to notice that Milton gave Satan and some of the greater demons by far the best lines.


> how to venerate the Prince of Darkness in a respectful, intersectional way

That's not the Prince of Darkness. The Prince of Darkness will forever be on stage in front of Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and Bill Ward, biting heads off chickens.
posted by jfuller at 3:37 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if anyone else on Metafilter lives in Detroit, but I assure you that nobody here aside from a few overly religious ministers gave a shit or even noticed.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:14 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


That still doesn't explain why the Satanists who worked for this unveiling and threw a party are almost entirely white folks considering the demographics of Detroit, or how their being a majority-white organization would've influenced their decision to do what they did where they did it.

How many white kids vs. black kids have you known who would be interested in participating in faux-Satanic provocateurism?

(Or, what schroedinger said.)

The notion that this stunty pseudo-Satanic organization—which is really just one guy and his buddies engineering pranks—should have a racial outreach program is completely bizarre. It's not a real church. It's barely even an "organization". It's a few Goth-ish kids trolling the religious right. And we've seen no reason to believe that they're anything but welcoming to similarly minded folks of whatever color.

I mean, you are aware that there are thousands of venues of every kind across America whose patrons are not a statistically representative cross-section of their broader communities, right?

The reasons for, and consequences of that fact are worth exploring, but the sentiment in this thread seems to be that there's something especially salient or notable about the racial makeup of this particular event. And I'm just not seeing it. I mean, you wouldn't go to a Dave Matthews Band concert, and say "there sure aren't many People of Color here; I'd better call out the promoter for not doing enough to engage the black community". The promoter announced the event as publicly as any other; they made tickets available to anyone who cared to buy them; and it turned out that most of the people who cared to buy them were white. Maybe the black community just wasn't interested.

Not every instance where racial disparities exist is a case of racism, per se. (It might be a consequence of America's fraught racial history, which has resulted in black and white Americans being geographically / economically / culturally segrated—but it doesn't necessarily mean that anyone involved discriminated, or was discriminated against.)
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:19 PM on July 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


(i read the thread now and it seems are other mefites in detroit! are we the largest city that's never had a meetup?)
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:22 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


The optics are that here's this small trollish organization pulling a somewhat high-profile stunt that's basically a thumb in the eye of mainstream Christianity, and it looks like the mainstream Christians that mainly felt the eye-thumbing in the vicinity of the unveiling were the local black churches. This does not mean TST is a racist organization or that they did a racist thing, but there is sort of an unavoidable racial component to the optics of the event, and since their position is basically "we don't even believe in Satan lol," them unveiling a statue of Baphomet with little kids is really all about the optics, and this did not land quite the way it would have if they did the unveiling in the shadow of, say, an extremely white and politically-connected megachurch, and this is MetaFilter so people are gonna pick up on little nuances like that.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:34 PM on July 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


there is sort of an unavoidable racial component to the optics of the event

I'm not familiar with the term "optics" in this context, but: why? What does it matter that the particular church who showed up to protest the event happened to be predominantly black? What exactly are folks hoping to demonstrate by pointing that out?

I don't agree that the racial component is "unavoidable". To the contrary, it seems like people are trying really hard to insert a racial component.

As Hizonner pointed out waaay upthread, the statue was unveiled in Detroit because TST is from Detroit. They didn't unveil the statue in anyone's shadow. They did it on their own front porch.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:46 PM on July 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


and this is MetaFilter so people are gonna pick up on little nuances like that dismiss the ground-level reports from people who actually live here.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 4:47 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


FWIW, the head of the largest church in the city had a pretty typical reaction to the unveiling:
Bishop Charles Ellis III, pastor of the 6,000-member Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, said he is not concerned about a statue depicting Satan being unveiled in the city because America "was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion."
Also,
The Detroit Mass Mob Facebook page on Friday said it "would be great if we had a large turnout" on Saturday's 10 a.m. mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
(Detroit Mass Mob is a suburban Catholic meetup, for lack of a better term. They rotates weekly through churches in the city whose attendance has slowly dwindled, as white flight increases and parishioners die, to help with donations)
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:49 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


So, uh, is this thing open to the public right now? Because I've got a free Thursday coming up and an urge to take some Facebook photos I might regret later.
posted by fifthrider at 4:53 PM on July 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's level 10 racism, where you knew what you were doing and decided to do it like the KKK getting together for a march, and then there's level 1 racism, where you may be attempting to be as fair as possible, but the way things are in a racist country is that your actions are racist or further racial segregation by default. And there's a spectrum of racism, and I'd put this event at like a 2-- the event is symptomatic of historical racism, and the organizers probably didn't think through who might be offended before they put up a Baphomet specifically in Detroit. And they may think it's strictly about religion, but you can never escape your context.

FWIW I really like the idea of Baphomet as a symbol for atheists who believe in one's right to personal bodily sovereignty, and if the statue had boobs I'd get one for my lawn.
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:53 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


The position of CoS and its LaVey-free offshoots such as Temple of Set is a little hard to understand if your only exposure to religion is modern Christianity. It's a very neopagan philosophy, which shares a lot of underlying structure with less overtly offensive systems like Wicca.

The basic idea is that Satan is not a real being that really exists that you can pray to and sensibly hope for answers or favors. (And in other sects, neither are the Goddess, the Norse gods, etc.) But the rituals which focus on these beings are useful and effective, presumably for reasons having to do with the way our brains are structured. So the rituals can create powerful sensations, altered states of consciousness, epiphanies or insights, and so on, which is pretty much what all religions are for. So unlike most Christians Satanists and other neopagans understand that you aren't communicating with actual Baphomet, but the rituals involving his image might get you in touch with a part of your own mind you don't usually hear from much.

To do those things you need a unifying symbol set. Satanism just uses a unifying symbol set designed to troll Christians.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:53 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: aspires to anything beyond Hot Topic-level edginess.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:54 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


>WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN<

Right there in the statue...
posted by twidget at 4:55 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


the organizers probably didn't think through who might be offended before they put up a Baphomet specifically in Detroit.

Where should they have put the Baphomet statue up?


The position of CoS and its LaVey-free offshoots such as Temple of Set is a little hard to understand if your only exposure to religion is modern Christianity. It's a very neopagan philosophy, which shares a lot of underlying structure with less overtly offensive systems like Wicca.

The basic idea is that Satan is not a real being that really exists that you can pray to and sensibly hope for answers or favors. (And in other sects, neither are the Goddess, the Norse gods, etc.) But the rituals which focus on these beings are useful and effective, presumably for reasons having to do with the way our brains are structured. So the rituals can create powerful sensations, altered states of consciousness, epiphanies or insights, and so on, which is pretty much what all religions are for. So unlike most Christians Satanists and other neopagans understand that you aren't communicating with actual Baphomet, but the rituals involving his image might get you in touch with a part of your own mind you don't usually hear from much.


I have a lot of neopagan friends who like to discuss philosophy and religion and I have heard virtually none of them espouse this position- maybe two or three. The vast majority of the neopagans I know (and I admit that yes, that's anecdotal and possibly a weird thing about my friends) believe quite literally in their gods with the same passion and sincerity of any other theistic faith.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:04 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


So, uh, is this thing open to the public right now? Because I've got a free Thursday coming up and an urge to take some Facebook photos I might regret later.

You post a (weekend) meetup and I will drive down for it. And try to bring a load of Toronto-area Mefites to boot.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:05 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


the organizers probably didn't think through who might be offended before they put up a Baphomet specifically in Detroit

No, I think they were quite well aware of who would be offended: Christians, particularly those of the fundamentalist / literalist / fire-and-brimstone variety.

Why wouldn't black Christians be equally fair game for this kind of trolling as white Christians? That is a bizarre double standard.

Can you articulate this sentiment into a clearly defined principle that TST (or other folks) could apply in the future to avoid transgressing whatever boundary you think they have transgressed? I'm honestly at a loss to understand what you're arguing for here. Surely it's something a little more nuanced than "don't do anything that might offend any person who happens to be black", right?

Anyway, for at least the third time, the statue was unveiled in Detroit because the people who made it live in Detroit.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:05 PM on July 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


...nothing to suggest that they're Randians or anything like that.

minor derail: I've always used Randian to describe skeptical followers of James Randi and Randroids to describe followers of Ayn Rand's Objectivist belief.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:10 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I-ball: The only famous satanist that I've heard of was a close personal friend of Anton LaVey named Sammy Davis Junior

Straight Dope Message Board poster suggests it was research for a 1973 movie called Poor Devil with the plot summary "A young down on his luck resident of hell (Sammy Davis Jr.) is given a chance to redeem himself by signing up a down on his luck retail accountant to sell his soul to Lucifer (Christopher Lee)."
posted by larrybob at 5:11 PM on July 27, 2015


Pope Guilty, that's interesting. My exposure to the neopagan community came from selling semiprecious gemstones in the New Orleans area, and while there is a lot of belief in "forces" and various degrees of woo, I don't think I ever met anyone who adamantly believed in the existence of anthropomorphic godlike beings. I do know that my description is an accurate description of what LaVey taught because I've read his books and biography and known several actual Satanists and Temple of Set members. But even in the wider community there seemed to be some sophistication about this. I would even go as far to say that I doubt most of the members of the local Unitarian Universalist church believe in any kind of actual godlike being.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:13 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Last year The Satanic Temple set up a display in Florida's Capitol building, mainly to troll people who thought a Christian nativity scene was appropriate in a government building. It was a crappy display with a dollar-store christmas-tree-topper angel descending into crepe-paper hellflames, and a crazy woman tore it down. I took my 16 year-old son to see it before the crazy woman tore it down, hoping it would inspire him to be interested in Church And State issues, or Legislative Issues, or, you know, anything other than Video Games. He was unimpressed by the display, and said it looked like a Middle School Satan Fair display. And he was right. So, I'm glad to see that the Satanic Temple folks have a budget to make a really nice statue now.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:16 PM on July 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


I have long considered "sincere, devout Satanists" to be the Most Christian of sects. They're devoted to an entity ("Satan") that was created in the Bible, not another religion's holy writings and not in any secular writing. They've read every word of the Bible, BELIEVE everything it says about God's Instructions to Man and specifically REJECT it all. In contrast to even the most "Fundamentalist" Christian groups who can always find SOMETHING to ignore in the Bible. ("Yeah, we wear blended fiber clothing. God didn't MEAN to ban it" vs. "Yeah, we wear blended fiber clothing BECAUSE God means to ban it.")
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:24 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well oneswellfoop it's very clear from Anton LaVey's own writings that any such "sincere, devout Satanists" who actually believed Satan was a real being would be considered at best ignorant bumpkins by the fellow who wrote their Bible.

LaVey was also pretty open about the fact that Satanism was in fact a reactionary offshoot of Christianity. Rituals rely on sources of emotional power and Satanism is designed from the ground up to tap a lifetime of conditioning to powerfully fear certain images. All of that becomes kind of irrelevant if you start out as a Hindu.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:37 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Middle School Satan Fair

Does this exist? If so, where, and if not, why not?
posted by asperity at 5:47 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


The basic idea is that Satan is not a real being that really exists that you can pray to and sensibly hope for answers or favors. (And in other sects, neither are the Goddess, the Norse gods, etc.) But the rituals which focus on these beings are useful and effective, presumably for reasons having to do with the way our brains are structured.

I've never been a Satanist. I was, at one point, involved in a Golden Dawn (occult, not racist political party) sect and got in so very much trouble for suggesting the idea that anything we did in temple had no external validity and was instead highly useful religious psychodrama.

You post a (weekend) meetup and I will drive down for it. And try to bring a load of Toronto-area Mefites to boot.

This would dovetail incredibly well with a specific interest I have in Detroit, can't do it for about 2-3 weeks (need to renew passport for one) and would be super super incredibly super duper OVER THE MOON interested in going to the D.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:48 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not familiar with the term "optics" in this context, but: why? What does it matter that the particular church who showed up to protest the event happened to be predominantly black? What exactly are folks hoping to demonstrate by pointing that out?

I don't think TST discriminated against anyone. It's pretty clear that they put up the statue in Detroit because that's where they live. It doesn't have to be a racist symbol, and no one has to be racist, for people to say "man, this photo reminds me of how segregated city communities can be." Yeah, they're from Detroit (the article says "the Detroit metro area," so maybe Southfield or something), but that doesn't mean there's not recognizable racial segregation there.

Or as another Detroit MeFite put it:
The optics are bad insofar as we remain not only a majority-Black city in one of the most segregated areas in the nation

Maybe I'm misreading people, but I'm pretty sure that's all most people are talking about when they talk about optics here, and it blew up into something bigger than that.
posted by teponaztli at 5:57 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


> Right there in the statue...

Would you like a piece of candy, leetle gorl?
posted by jfuller at 6:11 PM on July 27, 2015


If not actual Randians I am assuming at least 100% fedora ownership and they all follow Richard Dawkins on Twitter.
posted by Artw at 6:16 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Re: lack of white protestors. I suspect there is some amount of overlap between the white people in the (surrounding) area who would protest this sort of thing and the white people in the area who are afraid of going to Detroit, so yeah, there's some filtering going on that's probably a bit heavier on one side. (At least, that's what my experience growing up in a suburb of Flint and going to undergrad in the outer reaches of the Detroit metro area would suggest. Overall, my Facebook feed was fairly quiet from all sides about this.).
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:20 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


All I can say is I and almost-a-minyan of my queer Jewish friends watched a webcast of the unveiling, and one of us ROFLMAOd while the remainder almost expired from giggling on the couch. Several of us have contributed to TST fundraisers and consider the money well spent in terms of real-world political effects on separation of chuch and state, and reproductive rights.

We viewers also noticed and talked about the relatively white crowd. But in a nation where black people are regularly jailed or killed for smoking or selling cigarettes, much less the eternal fires of hell, and where the African-American church is one of the few institutions where they have complete governance, I would guess black Americans pick their Satanic trolling occasions very very carefully. Trolling requires the privilege of personal consequences being unlikely.

Hail Satin, indeed.
posted by Dreidl at 6:23 PM on July 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, they're from Detroit (the article says "the Detroit metro area," so maybe Southfield or something)

Southfield has been a majority African American suburb for several years now. What point, exactly, were you trying to make here? I'm assuming you're an ex-pat who left in the mid 90s. That's the most charitable explanation of your comment.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 6:59 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nevermind, teponaztli. I may have misread your comment.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 7:11 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


No! let us rather choose,
Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at once
O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulfur and strange fire,
His own invented torments.


Gah, now I have to read Milton again
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:31 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I just noticed that my six hundred and sixty sixth comment was in this very thread, linking to Electric Wizard's Funeralopolis. Coincidence....or something more?
posted by Existential Dread at 8:41 PM on July 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


I just noticed that my six hundred and sixty sixth comment was in this very thread, linking to Electric Wizard's Funeralopolis . Coincidence....or something more?
posted by Existential Dread at 11:41 PM on July 27 [+] [!]


Okay, bub.

Can we check your eyes?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:14 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


This has inspired me to complete my chapel to Formless Odeon.

GRANT US EYES!
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:40 PM on July 27, 2015




This would dovetail incredibly well with a specific interest I have in Detroit, can't do it for about 2-3 weeks (need to renew passport for one) and would be super super incredibly super duper OVER THE MOON interested in going to the D.

If you're planning a [political] art-related trip to Detroit, it's probably also worth your while to check out the embattled Detroit Institute of Arts while you still can – selling off its (frankly amazing) collection has been a political football since the bankruptcy, though it seems safe for the time being.
posted by frimble at 11:23 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


It certainly overshadows the controversy surrounding the impending installation of the Detroit Robocop statue

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
posted by waxlight at 1:31 AM on July 28, 2015


The only question I have is why wasn't it a statue to Esham the Unholy?
posted by BinGregory at 5:56 AM on July 28, 2015


I do know that my description is an accurate description of what LaVey taught because I've read his books and biography and known several actual Satanists and Temple of Set members.

And I don't dispute that in any way, aside from noting that TST specifically and explicitly rejects LaVeyan Satanism.

But even in the wider community there seemed to be some sophistication about this. I would even go as far to say that I doubt most of the members of the local Unitarian Universalist church believe in any kind of actual godlike being.

Okay, number one, I can't speak to the UUs because I don't know many, and number two, I think it's not helpful to refer to a person as unsophisticated because they believe in god or gods.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:13 AM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Paganism contains a wide spectrum of belief, from atheists to those understanding deities as Jungian archetypes, to soft polytheism (a universal deity understood through different aspects/deities) to hard polytheism (actual individual deities.

I have no problem believing that you guys have come across completely different groups of pagans. Especially because there is also a spectrum of cross over with new age types, and I have found crystals more associated with new age and 'archetype' conceptions of deity.


As for ethnic background of neopagan based Satanism, well, what dgaicun and Dreidl said, basically.
There is a whole related branch of Afro-Caribbian traditions, and from what I have seen, African-Americans moving in neopagan-like circles are more likely to work with those - Yoruba, voudoun, santeria etc. You seen botanicas around? There is overlap, I went to a neopagan store outside of Oakland, where the staff when I happened to go in were white, and mooost of the stuff was wiccan, but it was referred to me as an African store when I got directions from people in the neighbourhood, because you get herbs, candles etc for uh, African religions.
So, I'm from New Zealand, so I won't have the best cultural insight, just trying to indicate that there is this wide subcultural area that you might not have any familiarity with, even if you have encountered neopagans and wiccans before.
posted by Elysum at 9:29 AM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


aside from noting that TST specifically and explicitly rejects LaVeyan Satanism.

Well IME most people who call themselves Satanists but "reject LaVeyan Satanism" are rejecting LaVey because, well, he's made a good stab at being the world's biggest asshole. The core ideas that Satan is a metaphor for the ego, that it is an individual's duty to satisfy the ego, and that a society of people who intelligently work to satisfy their egos will work well because intelligent people figure out how to work together (which of course comes from Crowley), seem to carry through.

I think it's not helpful to refer to a person as unsophisticated because they believe in god or gods.

That's not quite what I said. It's not necessarily unsophisticated to believe in god, but it is unsophisticated to think that "actually literally exists" is the only way to conceive of god. Belief can be ignorant or informed. I do not have the same opinion, for exmple, of Mike Huckabee that I do of C.S. Lewis.
posted by Bringer Tom at 9:55 AM on July 28, 2015




You guys know Satan is bad and is probably ok with racism, right?

Really? So many American Christians are so unabashedly racist, I just figured Satan *must* be down with civil rights.
posted by hell toupee at 10:54 AM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


it is unsophisticated to think that "actually literally exists" is the only way to conceive of god

This notion comes up a lot on MetaFilter. I guess I'm unsophisticated, because I confess that I don't understand it. Where, exactly, are all these non-theistic religious folks that people keep talking about?

I don't believe that a literal god is the only way to conceive of a god—but it is, by orders of magnitude, the most common way that people do conceive of gods.

Sure, there are a few minor sects which share many of the trappings of religion, but allow for a metaphorical interpretation of the thing they call "God". But they're very much the exception—and once a belief system has explicitly disclaimed theistic interpretations, I think it's fair to question whether that belief system is even a religion any more.

If there really are significant numbers of religious folks who think of God as a metaphorical construct, and not a literal being, then they're doing a bang-up job of hiding that fact. Seriously; where are these people? Point me to a religion or sect whose formal creed directly states that the thing they call "God" is not literally real.

And if someone does use the term "God" to refer to something other than, you know, a god, you'd think they would take pains to point that out. It would certainly help to communicate their meaning more clearly, and to attract potential adherents.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2015


This notion comes up a lot on MetaFilter. I guess I'm unsophisticated, because I confess that I don't understand it. Where, exactly, are all these non-theistic religious folks that people keep talking about?

Read this.

It's a big tent. With lots of room for conflicting ideas.

I'm a theistic Jew who is mostly agnostic, and I have no idea if a one or many gods exist. To be honest, I have no firm belief on the subject, and as I get older I find I have more questions than answers. There may or may not be a guiding force (or forces) in the universe. We may or may not have souls. Etc., etc.

And if someone does use the term "God" to refer to something other than, you know, a god, you'd think they would take pains to point that out. It would certainly help to communicate their meaning more clearly, and to attract potential adherents.

We don't seek out potential adherents. Don't feel our beliefs apply to anyone but us. And everything is open to interpretation and investigation.
posted by zarq at 1:04 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Xavier Xavier, I was born there. I lived in Ann Arbor a few years ago, but haven't been back to Southfield since the 80s. I thought "maybe Satanist guy and I are from the same place," and didn't mean anything else by it. I'm not really keen on where your call-out was going, but whatever message you thought it was, it's not that.
posted by teponaztli at 2:05 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Got it. Thanks for the clarification. I didn't need to be such a jerk either way. Cheers.

Oh, I almost forgot: HAIL SATAN.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 2:27 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Perhaps they should do a run of mantelpiece-sized miniature versions of this statue to raise funds for future campaigns. I, for one, would be tempted to buy one...
posted by acb at 2:44 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


acb it's in stock at amazon for 44 bucks

(with tits)
posted by bukvich at 3:03 PM on July 28, 2015


Alas, not the same statue. I think acb was wanting to support this particular action. I'd buy one myself if it were available.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:22 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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