The Satanic Temple recently declared that it would set up 15 new chapters across America and several others around the world. Jex Blackmore, head of Satanic Temple’s newest chapter in Detroit as well as a member of the congregation’s executive ministry team, dismissed the Biblical view of Satan as being the “Father of Lies,” saying her congregation views him otherwise.
“Satan, to us, is not a deity or entity, but rather a symbol of the ultimate revolutionary iconoclast exemplified by Milton, William Blake and Anatole France,” Blackmore said, likening her group’s variety of Satanism to a humanist philosophy that hopes to give its followers a sense of identity, community, and shared values.
Blackmore described her congregation as a non-theistic religious group that does not abide by supernaturalism and participate in rituals, such as animal sacrifices, that are often associated with satanic groups.
“Our group includes mothers and fathers, veterans, musicians, professors, entrepreneurs and students,” Blackmore continued. “We represent all different walks of life.”
The Satanic Temple claims to have over 10,000 online members, including teenagers and senior adults, and it insists that it is not associated with any other satanic group, like the Dakhma of Angra Mainya that is headed by Adam Daniels, a former sex offender. His group, which has been in the news for many controversial reasons, plans on organizing a black mass at the Oklahoma City Civic Center on September 21.
The Satanic Temple has voiced its disapproval for informed consent laws in favour of women who want to undergo abortions, volunteered to officiate same-sex weddings in Michigan in order to overturn the state’s law that says marriage is a union between one man and one woman, and also held a pink mass, which they claim would turn a person gay in the afterlife, at the grave of Fred Phelps Junior’s mother. Phelps was the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church that is known for its homophobic ideologies today.
“We have slightly more females than males involved in the online community, but overall we are very diverse,” Blackmore says about her group.
Since the Satanic Temple is largely an online congregation, its popularity lies in the ease and convenience with which members can connect with one another.
Photo Credit: The Satanic Temple Detroit