Satanic Temple sign ruffles feathers in a small Texas town

Satanic Temple sign ruffles feathers in a small Texas town November 3, 2017

In July this year, the town of Three Rivers (population 1,900) voted to reinstate corporal punishment in its schools – a move that prompted the Satanic Temple to erect a billboard stating its opposition to hitting kids.
This upset Lyn Means, pastor of the local First Baptist Church:

I’m very sorry that the billboard has been posted in our town, especially in a city park where families and our children congregate. There’s not really anything I can do about it personally except pray for those people responsible for putting something like that up in our town.

According to the Protect Children Project website, the Satanic Temple:

Believes that children should not be objects of physical violence or psychological abuse. We have prepared a letter that can be signed by students which informs their public schools that their deeply held beliefs do not allow for them to be hit in school, physically restrained, placed in solitary confinement, or deprived access to a bathroom.

Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said:

Hopefully, our billboard will give pause to passers-by who will be forced to confront the fact that the school district is being operated by depraved and ignorant sadists who have no business being in education.

In a statement school superintendent Mary Springs said:

It has come to our attention that outside groups may try to force their beliefs on our community while attempting to orchestrate controversy and conversation regarding this policy. We believe that the majority of our community is very supportive of the school and our policies. We believe that the conversations that take place between our administrators and our parents regarding student behavior are the most important conversations regarding this topic.
The district continues to focus on the greatest aspect of our work which is educating children and will not have any further comment on this policy.

The corporal punishment policy enacted by the Three Rivers school board requires parental approval before a school official can spank a child.
Kevin Mackey, minister of the Three Rivers Church of Christ, said:

Our religion causes us to love our children, and therefore we discipline them. Now, that discipline doesn’t have to be spanking. But it also can be spanking.

And his church put up a sign to counter the Satanic Temple’s billboard.

Francis Muzquiz de Anguiano, a Pentecostal Christian who posted a Facebook photo of the billboard, said:

They advertise they don’t believe in hitting children, but the first thing you think about is, they’ll sacrifice them. It’s really alarming to me as a Christian because they’re being really bold about their beliefs and trying to lure in people from the outside.

Actually, the Satanic Temple is an organisation dedicated to church-state separation – and one whose leaders say they don’t really believe in the devil or Satan worship. Greaves has characterised the group, based in Salem, Massachusetts, as “an atheistic religion”.
Lyn Means, the First Baptist pastor, said:

Of course, no Southern Baptist condones abuse or hitting children. Abuse is different from giving a child, in my opinion, a spat on the seat. Hitting conveys the idea of abuse. Discipline is a word they wouldn’t dare put on a billboard.

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  • phhht

    “There’s not really anything I can do about it personally except pray for those people responsible for putting something like that up in our town.”
    You could wish upon a star instead, Lyn Means. It’s just as effective as prayer, and it takes less time.

  • Robster

    One of the blokes the unfortunate inhabitants of this town listen to in a local religious facility is quoted in the post as saying; “Kevin Mackey, minister of the Three Rivers Church of Christ, said: Our religion causes us to love our children”, as if a religious belief is their only motivation causing them to “love the children”. This suggests perhaps these poor folks are without empathy or care without the Jesus nonsense. They appear to be proud, not embarrassed by this.

  • barriejohn

    I love it when the religious (especially religious teachers and leaders) are shown up as being really stupid and gullible, and like so many Mosquito de Anguish falls right into the trap:
    They advertise they don’t believe in hitting children, but the first thing you think about is, they’ll sacrifice them.
    Where’s the evidence for this? It’s not needed, just like everything else that they believe, and is on a par with Trump’s childish tweets, the only sad thing being that millions will just nod their heads and accept this nonsense because of whom it is coming from. I witnessed this sort of thing time and again, and you wonder what they have inside their heads keeping their ears apart.
    BTW, regarding Trump’s Tweets, this cracked me up yesterday:
    Surely, they’ve found the person who should be running the USA!

  • Broga

    barriejohn : What a spectacle Trump makes of himself and so shames the USA by his behaviour. A USA sergeant, kicked out of the Coastguard Service after 3 weeks for psychological problems, is accepted by the military and “deserts his post”. He is imprisoned in Afghanistan for 5 years, locked in a small cage and regularly tortured. He is released in an exchange.
    Trump, the USA Christian standard bearer, is furious because a judge does not send the man to prison. Trump has never been in the military but decides the man should have been imprisoned again or, preferably, killed.
    Trump is a bully, a thug and, from the safety of the Presidency, a coward. This pathetic creep is the USA President and encased in his fantasies, his ego flattered by sycophants, endangers us all.

  • Angela_K

    “…bold about their beliefs and trying to lure in people from the outside”. Seems Christians don’t understand irony.

  • barriejohn

    Broga et al: Talking about shepherds leading their sheep astray, this made me laugh this morning!

  • AgentCormac

    And talking of billboards, I can’t wait for this movie to come out next January. If it’s as good as the trailer suggests, it’s going to be fantastic.

  • Laura Roberts

    I love what the Satanic Temple does. So far I think all of their public displays have been spot-on.

  • John the Drunkard

    Since ‘satanism’ only exists as a shadow of Xtianity, why would anyone’s claim that:
    ‘first thing you think about is, they’ll sacrifice them.’
    be given any weight whatsoever?
    Any Biblical source for that ‘thought?’

  • Broga

    barriejohn: I liked the sheepdog story. Smart hounds sheepdogs.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: Perfectly logical thought process. The sheep were out in the cold and wet, and he and the family were in the warm and dry. What else was one to do?
    John the Drunkard: They get it from the Old Testament again – children “passing through the fire to Moloch”, etc.
    The times have changed, but we still have the depravity that the Canaanites had many millennium ago. Saline abortions poison and burn a baby in the womb until it is dead. There is absolutely no difference between the two. Both involve a baby being burned alive because it wasn’t wanted. Until Yeshua returns and destroys this blasphemy, we have to pray that it will end.
    Notice that we have to refer to Jesus as Yeshua again, just to show how clever we are. They make me want to puke!

  • Stonyground

    Is it really necessary for every single thread here to end up being all about Donald Trump? It is becoming very tiresome.

  • Vanity Unfair

    To John the Drunkard:
    Exodus 13,1-2 (all AV)
    1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
    Uneven editing of the various texts that formed Exodus over the course of a few centuries then gives us the following verses:
    Exodus 13, 13
    13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
    Exodus 13, 15
    15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
    Exodus 34, 19-20
    19 All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
    20 But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
    This part is most interesting as it occurs in the ten commandments:not the ones taught at Sunday School but the ones actually named as the ten commandments. The others are not so named. It also has the intriguing v. 26 (repeated elsewhere):
    26 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
    Thus it seems that child sacrifices were a part of early Israelite religion and the then Israelite deity was not averse to a bit of child slaughter itself. Later, child sacrifices could be paid off with animals donated to the clergy. I wonder who thought of that.