Politicians should take heedâ€¦you need to be careful about some of the bills and amendments you lend your John Hancock to, because you may find yourself in the same position as Florida Governor Rick Scott. On January 25, members of the Florida-based Satanic Temple will meet on the steps of the Governor's office to show their support for the Governor. Why? Because the group that worships the Dark Lord of Hell has found a way to legitimately bring their beliefs into the school system. Scott seems to have unsuspectingly interpreted the separation of Church and State in such a way â€“ that it could open a door for the local Satanists to enjoy certain freedoms within in public schools.
Last year, Rick Scott signed a bill into law that would permit local school boards to give authorization of policies that would let students lead 'inspirational messages' at school events â€“ even if the messages had religious undertones. Supporters were looking to incorporate Christian prayer back into school, such as the inspirational pep talk in the football team's locker room or saying a few words in commemoration of a fallen classmate. However, the vagueness of the wording leaves a lot for imaginative minds to interpret, and they wish to use the bill for purposes that politicians may have not intended.
The Satanic Temple takes the bill to mean that Satanist children will have the ability to praise the Devil in a school setting. In a statement released by the Temple, Neil Bricke (who will deliver a speech to the assembled multitude on January 25): "The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who -- particularly with SB 98 -- has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school."
Despite having a website, information regarding the Satanic Temple is still a little hazy. For example, reported membership details (such as how many people is a part of this group) are not revealed. Because of this, some have questioned the legitimacy or influence of the group especially since the church was founded only just last year.
According to the Satanic Temple website, their religious beliefs are expressed as:
"The Satanic Temple believes that God is supernatural and thus outside of the sphere of the physical. Godâ€™s perfection means that he cannot interact with the imperfect corporeal realm. Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankindâ€™s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning."
The statement ends with a 'Hail Satan!'
Although the Satanic Temple is in support of this religious-related bill, a spokesman for the organization stated that the group does not necessarily embrace other policies endorsed by Scott. It will be interesting to see the kind of turnout the Florida assembly will bring on January 25.