The Satanic Temple-UK Helps to Mail Upside Down Crucifixes to Bavaria

The Satanic Temple-UK Helps to Mail Upside Down Crucifixes to Bavaria May 31, 2018

So here’s a fun one as we approach the weekend.

Bavarian Law Requires Crosses, Subversion Ensues

Beginning June 1st a new law in Bavaria, the Kreuzpflicht (“crucifix obligation”) will require that all public buildings hang a cross in their entrances. A satirical artist, along with help from members of The Satanic Temple London & UK (TST-UK) is mailing dozens of crucifixes to public buildings across southern Germany.

The law stems from something of an identity crisis for the small south German state stemming from an influx of Muslim immigrants during the Syrian refugee crisis. That is, some people are feeling like their cultural heritage is being threatened and, according the the Bavarian premier Markus Söder, the crosses ‘should be seen as a cultural rather than a religious symbol’.

It would seem that Söder thinks it should be seen that way because Bavarian law is actually a secular institution with separation of church and state enshrined in its constitution. Opponents of the new law warn against the double standard of banning Muslim and Jewish symbols from the public sphere, while sneaking this ‘cultural identity’ exemption in for Christian symbols.

The Loophole is a Literal Loophole

Working with satirical artist Darren Cullen of spellingmistakescostlives.com, members of TST-UK and others funded and/or assisted with the production of run of the mill crucifixes with one key difference: the hanging hook is on the bottom edge. The inverted crosses are being packaged and sent to dozens of public buildings in Bavaria along with hanging instructions and a letter on fake Bavarian Government letterhead stating:

“The cross, as a visible commitment to the fundamental values of the Bavarian legal and social order, should be displayed in the entrance. As an expression of the historical and cultural shape fo the free state, it must be clearly recognizable to everyone … Rest assured that the attachment of the cross does not violate the principle of religious freedom, after all it is not a religious symbol.” (translated from German)

Image Credit: Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives

Apparently, no part of the law actually states how the cross must be displayed, just that it be displayed in the entrance. I asked Darren Cullen if he had any reservations about the possible legal ramifications of impersonating the Bavarian premiere and he says he’s not worried. “If I was prosecuted for impersonating Söder it would only make it funnier,” he said over Facebook messenger. 

Secular Plurality is a Fruitful Playground

TST-UK Chapter Head Zeke Apollyon said they came to be involved in the project because they felt it was “an opportunity to highlight the subtle ways religion is used as a weapon in politics to create racial divisiveness”.

“The cross is a Christian emblem and an execution tool. It is dishonest and ridiculous to claim it as a simple passive cultural symbol.  The replica TSTUK has donated in solidarity is a more honest reflection of Bavaria’s growing secular culture, which we’re sure Markus Söder can appreciate as an apparent culture authority.”-Zeke Apollyon

Last week while researching my book review for The Prince of This World I came across a blurb for the book from Reading Religion’s Michael P. Murphy in which he said “The devil’s visitations have been multivalent in the course of history and we should not be shocked by the reach of his wily creativity. The devil is, as ever, the prince of this world, and he will have his seat at the table.” With regards to Kreuzpflicht, truer words have perhaps never been spoken. You can check out more pictures courtesy of Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives below.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    Love it! Love everything about it!

  • RSSAA

    To anyone who knows much about Christianity (which excludes most Christians), that’s a Cross of Saint Peter.

  • Percontation Points

    I was going to say… I’m not even a Christian and even *I* know that.

  • Inverted crosses have been culturally appropriated by non–christians and you know it. Just because it had an original context that wasn’t blasphemous doesn’t mean that it’s meaning hasn’t changed over time. If a Satanist is wearing an inverted cross you don’t get to go pretending they’re just really into martyrdom.

  • NotAgain U bucking fastards

    The picture at the bottom of the article is a photo of a crucifix with the instructions and letter, not a cross. The addition of Jesus may be an issue if the government gets picky.

  • mambocat

    Again, the inverted CRUCIFIX is the cross of St. Peter, unless being blasphemized (from the Church’s point of view) by use in a Satanic ritual. Good joke at the expense of the government, but I suspect they’ll simply re-orient the hanger. The display of a German flag in all public buildings would be sufficient to help the dim-witted remember that they are, in fact, residing in Germany.

  • Why wouldn’t the act of a Satanists helping with this project, seeing as they believe in activism as worship, constitute a ritual?

  • LostLoonie

    I really hope some smart-ass government employee actually does hang this cross.

    The letter should give them plausible deniability so they don’t get in trouble.

  • Brian Westley

    Hilarious and briliant!

  • either that or entangle the whole idea in bureaucracy and have the cross prominently on display in a locked file cabinet in a basement bathroom behind a sign that says ‘beware of the leopard’ 😉

  • TwoRutRoad

    They should do the same thing with the “In God We Trust” signs that schools are being forced to put up.

  • To be fair, TST has like 5 or six lawsuits going already, and for a group of their size that’s amazing.

  • Maoh

    I think he bavarians are more confused about WHICH version of Germany they are living in. The flag would definitely help with that, what with the conspicuous lack of a swastika.

  • Cross of St Peter doesn’t have an upside down Jesus nailed to it.

  • ORigel

    Did Satanists make the upside-down cross blasphemous or did xtians assign their imaginary devil-worshipper bogeymen the symbol and we just accepted it?

  • ORigel

    Well, that cannot be Jeebus as it isn’t a religious symbol but a cultural one. The man is included so people can be reminded that an execution device somehow became a cultural symbol without it being an attempt by theocrats to impose xtianity on Bavaria.

  • Guthrum

    This must be someone’s idea of a practical joke.

  • Raging Bee

    Yes, it is. Took you awhile to get it, didn’t it?

  • Septet

    Ha, I got that reference~

  • Nos482

    That ain’t Jesus… it’s Peter, duh. =P