Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Satanists for Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott won a close election in the Republican wave of 2010, and over the course of the last two years his poll numbers have dropped substantially. However, his popularity appears to be on the rise among Satanists. Members of a group called The Satanic Temple are planning a rally for Scott on January 25th in support of SB 98, a bill signed by Scott that allows students to present "inspirational messages" at public school events. While some have argued that bill violates the separation of church and state, it does not discriminate in favor of any religious group - meaning that Satanists can now use it to spread their message just as easily as Christians can.

The bill sparked controversy among groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said it was wrong to subject students to coercive prayer. But according to Lucien Greaves, the spokesman for The Satanic Temple, Scott showed courage in signing the bill that now allows all religious groups to spread their message.

“This is not a hoax,” said Greaves, who also goes by “Overlord”. “This is for real.” He said more than 100 members of his group, clad in black robes, will attend. “We feel it will be a great satanic coming out,” Greaves said. Asked if he thought Scott, a staunch Christian conservative, had intended for groups like his to take advantage of the new law, Greaves replied: “We take him at his word. It promotes religious freedom of all types.”

Personally, I've wondered for years why minority religious groups haven't taken greater advantage of laws such as these. In terms of generating attention, mainstream Christianity is at a serious disadvantage in a school context. Nobody's going to remember the kid who gets up and gives thanks to Christ at some event, but the kid who leads off with "Hail Satan" is going to be talked about for years to come. It will be interesting to see if The Satanic Temple is serious about taking advantage of the law to increase the visibility of its beliefs.

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