I’m a big supporter of The Satanic Temple and I was glad to talk to co-founder Lucien Greaves on a recent podcast of mine. Recently, The Satanic Temple sponsored a Satanic monument at a veteran’s memorial in Minnesota since the memorial first erected a Christian monument. The Satanic Temple received backlash for wanting their own monument even though it is unfair for the government to endorse Christianity at this memorial and then not allow other religions like Satanism to have monuments too.
Lucien went on Fox News to discuss the issue with Tucker Carlson. Carlson starts out asking Lucien what Satanism is and Lucien very appropriately says it’s irrelevant for the issue at hand. Their religion should be able to have a monument if other religions have monuments.
Carlson tried to understand this, but basically couldn’t get on board that Satanism was a “real” religion. Here is a bit of transcript from the video:
CARLSON: … the point of calling this “Satanism” is to horrify, like, normal people in the middle of the country. That is exactly the point…
GREAVES: That is not true. No, no, that is not the point…
CARLSON: So what is the point? I’ll give you 30 seconds. What’s the point of Satanism?
GREAVES: Well, to sum up a religious movement and its history in 30 seconds isn’t quite fair… but I would say that Satanism embodies Enlightenment values. It is emblematic of the ultimate rebellion against tyranny. To that end, we look at the history of the crushing of the Church, and the rise of Enlightenment values, and the rise of pluralism and diversity and multiculturalism as inherently Satanic.CARLSON: Yeah… I think what you’re doing is you’re taking a Christian symbol — Satan — and you’re using it against Christians. I mean, that’s kind of the point. Because you could’ve chosen anything to name this group, since it’s basically new, and you didn’t. You chose the one thing that Christians hate the most. So, again, it’s by nature…
GREAVES: Because Satanism means something to us. It’s not an arbitrary label.
CARLSON: Right. I wish you were more straightforward about it.
GREAVES: I think you could really get into it!
CARLSON: Yeah… probably not.
The issue here is that Carlson is trying to argue that because Satanism isn’t a “real” religion, they shouldn’t have the privileges of other religions. But this creates a pretty big problem. Who is the arbiter of what is a “true” religion and what is not? Also, just because a religion is non-theistic, that doesn’t make them any less of a religion. Personally, I think the end of the debate made Carlson look pretty silly, but I appreciate him at least inviting Lucien to come on and briefly share his perspective.
Watch the full video here!