Satanists Thank Christian Legal Group for Paving the Way for Their Own Success

If you think about what the Satanic Temple has accomplished recently, it’s impressive for any group, much less one you didn’t even know existed before 2013.

They pressured Oklahoma to reconsider a Ten Commandments monument at its State Capitol building because they wanted a statue of Baphomet in the same space. (The Christian monument was eventually deemed illegal, anyway.) They got a Florida school district to ban Bible distributions because they wanted to give away Satanic-themed coloring books. They got a Satanic display in the Florida State Capitol building to join the Nativity scene last winter. And, perhaps most significantly, they sued the Governor of Missouri on behalf of a member who didn’t want to wait for the 72-hour mandatory waiting period to pass before she could obtain an abortion. She used the argument that waiting so long violated her “religious freedom.”

It’s easy to forget that the Satanic Temple doesn’t actually believe in anything supernatural, including Satan. Yet they’ve forced government officials to recognize that if they want to grant privileges to the Christian majority by saying the door is open to all religions, they may have to treat Satanists the same way. It’s an argument that doesn’t always work with atheist groups who explicitly reject God.

Valerie Tarico, writing at Salon, spoke with the group’s leader Lucien Greaves about their activism, and he makes some excellent points:

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White Christians Are Now in the Minority While the Young “Nones” Are on the Rise

According to Pew Research Center data published in the National Journal, white Christians are finally in the minority, dropping from 55% of the population in 2007 to 46% today.

In contrast, the generations born after 1981 — the older and younger Millennials — are continuing the trend of shedding their religious labels. More than a third of their populations are “Unaffiliated,” making that the largest demographic in both age groups.



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Jacksonville Holds “Community Conversation” On LGBT Rights; Angry Christians Call It A Sham

Last week in Jacksonville, Florida, anti-LGBT activists threw a fit at a public forum because LGBT people dared to say they had experienced discrimination.

The occasion was the first of three “community conversations” held by Jacksonville’s mayor, Republican Lenny Curry, about whether the city should extend nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. This forum was called “Supporting the Needs and Well-Being of Families,” and as you might expect, it quickly devolved into shouting and false accusations.

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Southwest Airlines Delays Flight After Paranoid Passengers Hear Other Travelers Speaking Arabic

I don’t have a lot of good things to say about President George W. Bush. However, if there’s one thing he got right, it was in a speech following 9/11 when he said:

The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.

It was a message people needed to hear but they weren’t listening. To be fair, if the policies enacted by the Bush administration are any indication, Bush wasn’t listening to himself. That said, we would all do well to heed those words today.

Much has been said about the rights sacrificed in the name of security back then, but we gave up a large chunk of our humanity as well. Violence against people who fit the Western view of what a Muslim looks like soared, causing many to fear for their lives. Overt and thinly veiled prejudice against the same population ran rampant. And now, in the wake of the Paris attacks, people aren’t even pretending not to be bigots anymore.

This goes far beyond talk of Muslim registries, IDs, and internment camps. It’s in everyday life — including, it seems, during travel. All those warnings you hear in the airport about reporting suspicious behavior? It turns out speaking Arabic is suspicious enough for Southwest Airlines to be alarmed.



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Dr. Ben Carson, Breaking the Irony Meter, Says He Doesn’t Want Ideologues in Public Office

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Dr. Ben Carson explained his views on everything from vaccine efficacy to Creationism. It’ll make your head explode if you let it.

The Republican Presidential candidate says he’s a Creationist, though not necessarily a Young Earth Creationist, as if that’s really any better. He accepts that vaccines work, though he thinks they could be administered on a more spaced out timetable, contrary to what experts say is healthy for babies.

But maybe the oddest thing he said involved who he wanted to see running for public office:

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