The Satanic Temple is Now a Registered Tax-Exempt Church

The Satanic Temple is Now a Registered Tax-Exempt Church April 24, 2019

Settle down class, please hold all your questions until the end of the presentation. An official statement from The Satanic Temple is forthcoming but Lucien Greaves has informed me that I get to spill the beans. (UPDATE: You can read the Temple’s full statement HERE.)

Image Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Lucien Greaves Says The Satanic Temple is Now a Tax-Exempt Church

“In light of theocratic assaults upon the Separation of Church and State in the legislative effort to establish a codified place of privilege for one religious viewpoint, we feel that accepting religious tax exemption — rather than renouncing in protest — can help us to better assert our claims to equal access and exemption while laying to rest any suspicion that we don’t meet the qualifications of a true religious organization. Satanism is here to stay.” –Lucien Greaves, co-founder The Satanic Temple

 

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I Thought We Want Churches to be Taxed?

I said hold your questions! Ok, look here’s the deal. This is a move that The Satanic Temple’s (TST’s) co-founder Lucien Greaves has been floating for a while now. Way back in May of 2017 after President Trump signed his “Religious Liberty” executive order. Greaves discussed how TST would be re-evaluating its position on tax-exemption in a newsletter to TST’s mailing list:

“Another byproduct of this turn of events, of course, is that The Satanic Temple must re-evaluate its prior principled refusal to accept religious tax-exemption. This position now confers a total advantage of “none”, while our theocratic counterparts trample over the Constitution and all it previously stood for. It appears that now is a time in which a more principled stand is to meet our opponent on equal footing, so to as balance, as best we can, what has been a frighteningly asymmetrical battle. As “the religious” are increasingly gaining ground as a privileged class, we must ensure that this privilege is available to all, and that superstition doesn’t gain exclusive rights over non-theistic religions or non-belief. With the religio-political landscape suddenly so grotesquely deformed from what we previously recognized, it seems reasonable that non-believers should adjust their language accordingly, and insist that atheistic and secular non-profits, advancing a distinct religious opinion and/or opinion upon religion, are themselves rightful beneficiaries of religious tax exemption as well.” – Lucien Greaves, May 2017

That was two years ago. Greaves also signaled this move on twitter last July when the then still Republican controlled house passed legislation to prevent the IRS from revoking tax-exempt status from churches as part of an IRS Funding bill.

Clearly this move has been a long time coming.

Seeking Inclusion in Theist Dominated Spaces is The Satanic Temple’s Whole Deal

“Religious Liberty”, Philadelphia, dedicated in 1876 to “the people of the United States”. Image Credit:User “Smallbones” via Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Now, I know many in the atheist community are going to balk at a move like this since ‘tax the churches’ is something of a rallying cry and pointing out how much money churches avoid paying into government coffers has always been a big talking point. But think about it for a minute. This has always been TST’s modus operandi:

  • When churches handed out bibles in Florida, TST asked to hand out their coloring books and the school stopped letting churches hand out bibles.
  • When Christians dominate the bully pulpit of invocations at government meetings TST asks to be afforded the same privilege, seeks legal action when they are denied, or compels local governments to change their laws.
  • When theocratic legislators put Christian lawn ornaments at their state capitols TST asks to have their monuments like the Baphomet and Snaketivity placed right next to them.

The brief but well-documented history of TST (see “Hail Satan?” Now in theaters!) is one of finding spaces where theocrats have carved out exemptions from Church/State separation for their churches and then TST asserts the right be treated as an equal religion with equal protections. Sometimes that motivates law-makers to rethink their strategy. But other times they’ve simply accepted that TST is entitled to be treated like every other church. I am fairly certain it ties the people who have to try and defend religious privileges in knots when TST has the unmitigated gall to assert their right to claim the exemptions they carved out with the intention of only benefiting theocrats.

There’s also an issue of perceived legitimacy at play here. Brace yourself for this atheists because I’m going to rip off a bandaid.

Many Atheists Have Refused to Take Satanism Seriously

To the extent there’s any qualifications for being a ‘recognized religion’ in the United States, tax-exemption is really the only game in town. Separation of church and state demands that the government can’t go around telling people which religions are and are not legitimate.  Whether or not a religion is ‘legitimate’ occupies a murky legal definition on whether or not a religious belief is “deeply-held”. For example, Pastafarians don’t actually believe that a lack of pirates caused global warming. There really isn’t more of a definition than that.

Now when it comes to TST people have tried to employ all manner of dismissive arguments to try and claim that it’s not a ‘real religion’. Just yesterday Seth Andrews did an entire Thinking Atheist episode about TST and within an hour of the episode coming out there were fans of the show calling TST “atheist satirists who troll Christians”, “an inside joke”, “stupid”, and “goofball stage play Bulls**t”.

That’s just the Atheists. Theists just tell Satanists we’re going to hell, that they’ll pray for us, and make all the same canned arguments they always make to all atheists. Both atheist and theists also try to say that religions require a belief in the supernatural, which it doesn’t (we’ll discuss that some other time in a future article).

I’ve been having these conversations for a few years now and it’s amazing that the one thing many atheists have in common with fundamentalist Christians is a deep desire to try and deny TST’s legitimacy as a religious organization.

So, now The Satanic Temple is now officially recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt church. It is as legitimate as a religion can get in the United States.

Listen, I get it. There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance to take in here. On one hand atheists want to support TST because of the work that they do, and on the other hand you once read Christopher Hitchens one weekend in college and decided that all religion is poison and it should be wiped out at all costs. So you really don’t want TST to be a religion because you really want to like them. It’s like that person you had a crush on who you weren’t really in love with because you were in love with your idea of who you thought they were instead. That’s a tough realization to come to, but here we are.

At any rate, that brings us to what is sure to be another contentious issue with this announcement, the inevitable outcry from the Church of Satan (CoS) in which they’re going to say that it is unSatanic to be tax-exempt because that’s what uncle Anton said.

I Thought Satanists Believed Churches Should Pay Taxes?

Well, for a long time that was the prevailing ideology of most Satanists because it has been the Church of Satan’s position for so long. Their assertion is sort of a ‘lead by example’ kind of narrative which asserts that you believe churches should be taxed, then it would be hypocritical to take advantage of that privilege. Unfortunately, the whole story isn’t nearly that clear cut. In his history of the Church of Satan Michael Aquino noted that CoS  was originally was founded as a non-profit organization and by Aquino’s account CoS failed to qualify for federal tax-exempt status, but did enjoy exemption for several early years at the state level in California during the 70’s.

“Although Anton later made a habit of stating that the Church deliberately refused tax-exempt status as a gesture of protest against religious tax-exemption, this was simply an excuse for the Church of Satan’s failure to qualify for exemption. On September 16, 1971 a California tax-exemption was issued for the Church, conditional upon a federal exemption. When this was not granted, the California exemption was revoked in 1973. It was reapplied for in 1975, then revoked again in 1985. AS of 1992 – the last time I checked – neither the California Attorney General nor the Federal Internal Revenue Service listed the Church of Satan as an exempt organization.” (Aquino, p 427)

Aquino’s account is not without its problems. Aquino rather notoriously left the CoS in 1975. CoS, of course, maintains that they choose to forgo tax-exemption as a matter of conscience. Since both accounts are presented by biased interests as to which narrative is considered the truth, and since Anton Lavey is dead so it’s not like anyone can ask him, everyone just kind of has to make up their mind about what they believe on their own. Though it should be said that Aquino rather thoroughly documents his work.

Ultimately though, I don’t think it matters. The Satanic Temple has already made quite clear they have no interest in what the Church of Satan has to say on many topics. Both groups waste a lot of ink reminding people they have nothing to do with each other anyway. That the two sects differ on the issue of tax-exemption is only one of many differences.

The Takeaway is that Donations to The Satanic Temple are Now Tax-Deductible

Today’s announcement means donations to The Satanic Temple will be tax-deductible just like they are for American Atheists, Atheist Community of Austin, The Salvation Army, Lakewood Church, or Holy Ghost Ministries. So if your accountant tells you to find a charity to throw some money at, or you just want to contribute, you can now get a tidy little write-off for your trouble.

I have a Patreon! Please support my work and get cool extra content. Have a look and check out my two new podcasts Ex Libris Obscura and Live! From the Public Domain in addition to my long running Naked Diner Podcast with co-host Andy Hall.

About Jack Matirko
Jack Matirko is an activist, blogger, and podcaster focussing on issues of church and state separation. He runs Patheos' Satanic Blog For Infernal Use Only (patheos.com/blogs/infernal), co-hosts the Naked Diner Podcast (patreon.com/nakeddiner), and is a member of The Satanic Temple-Arizona Chapter. His opinions are his own. To contribute to his work please consider becoming a patron of his podcast. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dennis Keane

    “Pastafarians don’t actually believe that a lack of pirates caused global warming.” – As a minister in the Orthodox Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – I can tell you that many of us do. Those “Reformed” churches will boil in pasta sauce for an eternity. 🙂

    Excellent news.

  • Belle Saint Anne

    Is control over my own body officially a religious freedom now?

  • Matt Kovach
  • WallofSleep

    Woot! No, wait, I mean “Bwahahahaha!”

    http://i.imgur.com/jKxYiTK.gif

    “Now, I know many in the atheist community are going to balk at a move…”

    That’s their damn problem. As Greaves notes, this is an asymmetrical war, and we need to engage in asymmetrical warfare tactics. As far as this atheist is concerned, I appreciate the (peaceful) efforts of anyone trying to rebuild the wall of separation our Founders erected, even if I may not adopt their tactics for myself. That includes the efforts of atheists, satanists, pastafarians, and yes, even theists. It takes all kinds.

  • HALLELU-err… HAIL BEELZEBULB!

  • You’re a good sort of dude, Wall.

  • WallofSleep
  • Agni Ashwin

    will boil in pasta sauce for an eternity

    Not exactly al dente.

  • alverant

    My car/home insurance carrier requires people to pay $20 for their newsletter but if you’re a teacher or member of the clergy you get it for free. How much is it to become one of TST so I can see how serious they are in giving equal rights to all faiths (and maybe save myself some money in the long term)?

  • Marie-José Renaud

    Rather Spaghetti’O. Forgive my French.

  • Freethinker
  • WallofSleep

    Tim Curry at his… usual. Is that bastard not brilliant, or what?

  • If that’s all want a clergy title for you should go through Universal Life Church

  • silkalivedoll

    Mmm, spaghetti sauce… oh, sorry, is that supposed to be a bad thing? XD

  • Joel

    People, wake up! Satan does NOT care anything about you beyond desiring your eternal presence in an eventual lake of fire. Ask Jesus for salvation, which is extremely easy to do, right now, so that doesn’t happen.
    The following will happen, whether you believe it or not:
    And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
    Revelation 20:14, 15, KJV

  • WallofSleep
  • Kit Hadley-Day

    that’s a great story, now go sit in the corner while the grown ups talk.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    hard agree with this move, while the final aim is for churches to lose these ridiculous privileges going into a fight with one hand tied behind your back is just never going to work.

  • Anri

    Imma put the probability that you’ve actually read any of the positions or information about TST at somewhere between 0 and none.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

    What’s your opinion of those that oppose your faith without learning about it first?
    Now you can apply that opinion to yourself.
    Congratulations. An own goal’s still a goal, right?

  • Anri

    There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance to take in here. On one hand atheists want to support TST because of the work that they do, and on the other hand you once read Christopher Hitchens one weekend in college and decided that all religion is poison and it should be wiped out at all costs.

    Wow, thanks.
    I guess I would have assumed the TST might at least pretend to be opposed to generalized simplistic caricatures of people’s opinions, all things considered.
    There’s some cognitive dissonance around here somewhere, all right.

    I wonder if the TST can tell me what book I might read next weekend that I will base a worldview I don’t hold on? I guess, being such a shallow thinker, I’d best stay away from Atlas Shrugged or Dianetics. Or The Art of the Deal, for that matter.

    Close call, that.

    Personally, I don’t think the TST getting tax-exempt status is a bad move at all. I will pay my reduced tax rate on capitol gains while voting for legislators who might very well try to raise it, as it’s often regressive, and I don’t consider that hypocritical. The TST getting tax-exempt status themselves might aid in the fight to have to rescinded, or at least more reasonably applied, generally. It’s all a matter of what you do with it.
    In the meantime, good on ya.

  • alverant

    Maybe, but I like TST better. They’re more in line with my values.

  • Joel

    What I said is not a story, it’s true. You need to realize your need of salvation, offered solely by Jesus as the only way of avoiding eternity in the lake of fire previously mentioned.

  • Joel

    I read enough of it to know that when something says Satan or Satanic, it’s wrong and nothing good will happen from that situation.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    a work of fiction is a story. you need to realize that the majority of the world does not need nor believes in you god. and your threats just mark you as the same sort of moral monster that your imaginary diety is described as.

  • Jeff

    Ok, hard to tell if this is Poe-level or not. On the incredibly likely condition you actually believe that, can we have some evidence? First, any certification, licensing, documentation that you speak for all believers? Second, which particular deity are you talking about? There are literally thousands of versions of Christians. Third, your evidence of your god being the only god. Finally, once we have all that, we can start discussing whether there is a god at all. Oh, and all this, in a searchable form please. None of this scan of an image.

  • FNF Crew

    Not the first Satanic church. See Lilith Grotto Church Inc. of the Church of Satan granted in 1980. EIN 22-2157331.

  • Freethinker

    Amazingly so. From the ultimate devil in Legend to a messed up preacher in Pass the Ammo, and cardinal Richelieu of 3 musketeers to the scariest clown of ‘It’ and of course Rocky Horror Picture Show. Few actors ever had as diverse a range of characters.

  • Nad Navlis

    Hmm…a religion that not only allows but encourages: rape, murder, human and animal sacrifice, sex with animals and dead people, rape of infants, torture and cannibalism. I’m sure there are other repugnant and illegal acts that I am not aware of. It’s not a religion. It’s an attack on humanity.

  • Jim

    I agree. Christianity IS an “attack on humanity.”

  • Also Trymon in The Color of Magic, classic.

  • The Un-PC Truth

    Be careful what you wish for, especially if it’s inspired by spite.

  • Wayne Kerr

    “I guess I would have assumed the TST might at least pretend to be opposed to generalized simplistic caricatures of people’s opinions, all things considered.”

    This is one reason why I support the cause but not the fighters; they fail to uphold their own standards on this point. Meet the new boss, same as the old.

  • DG

    Satanism is not a religion, it is an anti-religion. “Satan” means “adversary”, i.e., opposition to God. The Constitution protects religion, and therefor it can not also protect opposition to religion. The IRS decision is based on faulty understanding of this matter, and must be reversed.

  • WallofSleep

    So nothing, then.

  • WallofSleep

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. My Santa Claus is the real Santa Claus and all the other Claus’ are false Santas.

  • Nad Navlis

    I didn’t say that. Your comprehension is obviously as warped as your views. Now apologize for putting false words in my mouth and STFU punk.

  • Tax the churches? Sounds good, but step 1 is to get them to open their books! All US nonprofits open their books by filling out IRS 990 forms … except churches. Perhaps they have something to hide?

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2019/03/what-do-churches-have-to-hide-the-solution-is-simple-irs-990/

  • all of these things are in the bible and a majority of them aren’t even presented critically lol

  • Nad Navlis

    Don’t refer to the Bible as you are unfamiliar with it. Much of what is mentioned is punishable by death in the Bible. Regardless, Christianity is not practiced in that manner. You lose, loser.

  • But they don’t encourage any of that. You’re attributing morally repugnant behaviors to them because you want others to fear them. But that just doesn’t hold up to actual scrutiny.

  • Tonianne

    These shit heads cause unnecessary confrontation for the entire occult and pagan community by stirring up the uninformed Christian fanatics. Like a Trump rally, where what follows is hatred and counter demonstrations by the frothing at the mouth Christians, so are there protests that target everybody wherever these stupid fuckers show up with their bastardized version of Baphomet. These “Sabrina” idiots don’t even realize that Baphomet represents complete alchemical transition and not any deity, demon, devil or whatever. Therefore to appropriate that as their symbol is ludicrous.

    Everyone, left hand path people, witches, Wiccans, Druids, Norse, pagan, heathen, Luciferians, Voodoo, hoodoo, occultists are now placed at hazard. Think not? A young witch came into my shop and told me that when she was in Arkansas, after the ST last asinine demonstration, she was jumped by a group of “good ol’ boys” who were complete strangers, and the word WITCH was carved onto her chest with a pocket knife. Nothing was done. Since it was going to scar, she had Witch, tattooed over it. So don’t even assume these assholes don’t cause life threatening reprisals.

    The fucking paranoid religious nuts don’t differentiate, just hate and persecute. Ever since that group of moronic poseurs have flaunted their attention whore shit stirring, nobody is safe.

    And since they don’t worship a deity, how then do they qualify as a “church”? These assholes are a menace. The entire pagan community has to band together and denounce this shit show. As far as I’m concerned I see no difference between The Satanic Temple and the Westboro Baptist Church. They’re both phony.

  • NotJesus

    I agree with you Jim. Nad is obviously completely uninformed about TST. If you’re reading this Nad, here are the Seven Tenets of The Satanic Temple (sort of the equivalent of your 10 commandments but far more moral and definitely superior.):
    • One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
    • The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
    • One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
    • The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
    • Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
    • People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
    • Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

  • Joel

    All the documentation needed is to read a KJV Bible. There’s only one God, Creator of everything in existence.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    The same was in the beginning with God.
    All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    John 1:1-4
    There is only 1 way to become a Christian, by asking Jesus for salvation that he alone can provide.
    If you try to get yourself into heaven, there is a guaranteed 100% failure rate.

  • NotJesus

    The following will happen whether you believe it or not: you will die, your body will rot (or you may be cremated), the end. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

  • NotJesus

    You know a few centuries ago, there was quite a bit of documentation that proved the earth was flat and pretty much 100% of the earth’s population believed it. Now it’s just the morons that think earth is flat.

  • Joel

    Our planet has always been a globe. I am part of that small percentage who never thought the earth is flat.

  • Tonianne

    These shit heads cause unnecessary confrontation for the entire occult and pagan community by stirring up the uninformed Christian fanatics. Like a Trump rally, where what follows is hatred and counter demonstrations by the frothing at the mouth Christians, so are there protests that target everybody wherever these stupid fuckers show up with their bastardized version of Baphomet. These “Sabrina” idiots don’t even realize that Baphomet represents complete alchemical transition and not any deity, demon, devil or whatever. Therefore to appropriate that as their symbol is ludicrous.

    Everyone, left hand path people, witches, Wiccans, Druids, Norse, pagan, heathen, Luciferians, Voodoo, hoodoo, occultists are now placed at hazard. Think not? A young witch came into my shop and told me that when she was in Arkansas, after the TST last asinine demonstration, she was jumped by a group of “good ol’ boys” who were complete strangers and the word WITCH was carved onto her chest with a dirty pocket knife. Nothing was done. Since it was going to scar, she had Witch, tattooed over it. So don’t even assume these assholes don’t cause life threatening reprisals by fanatical nutcases.

    The fucking paranoid religious nuts don’t differentiate, just hate and persecute. Ever since that group of moronic poseurs have flaunted their attention whore shit stirring, nobody is safe.

    And since they don’t worship a deity, how then do they qualify as a “church”? These assholes are a menace. The entire pagan community has to band together and denounce this shit show. As far as I’m concerned there is no difference between The Satanic Temple and the Westboro Baptist Church. They’re both phoney as hell.

  • Nad Navlis

    Bullshit. They don’t give a fuck about you little pretenders. You bring money into the “church”. The higher ups most definitely practice all those things in their black masses. Not my opinion but fact from former and current members. Do you even know the difference between luciferian and Satanism?

  • Billy Preston

    These are the signs of the times, what more can anybody say, we will see how this works out for them on judgment day.

  • Billy Preston

    We will see how that statement works for you on the coming judgement day.

  • Billy Preston

    Amen!

  • Billy Preston

    Great posts, you jumped into Satan’s pool of garbage posting here, I agree on everything you posted so far. God Bless

  • Iron Chariots

    Billy, it amazes me that religious types think judgement day and hell threats etc carry any weight. Also disgusts me that they think it’s justified.
    Do you get worried if someone said to you “You’ll be eaten by a dragon!”

  • Billy Preston

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse, you think you are clever, I hope that works out for ya on judgement day, and the game of thrones pun was not that funny.

  • talonts

    $20 for a newsletter?

    Maybe consider a different carrier…

  • talonts

    You should REALLY read your buybull, punk…

  • talonts

    Don’t waste your time, Wall. Lackwits like this have never read the buybull cover to cover, yet try to tell atheists who HAVE what it says.

  • billwald

    “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. The saying is adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men”

    Our founding fathers who wrote the Constitution were overly optimistic and the US is paying the price in this century.

    https://www.bookbrowse.com/expressions/detail/index.cfm/expression_number/332/the-mills-of-the-gods-grind-slowly-but-they-grind-exceeding-fine

    The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine

    Meaning:
    Justice maybe slow but it will come eventually.

    Background:
    The earliest known use of this expression is by 3rd century Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, who wrote ‘The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.’

    Sextus Empiricus lived in the early 3rd century AD, possibly late 2nd century. He was a physician and philosopher who is thought to have lived mainly in Alexandria and Athens.

  • Iron Chariots

    Billy, no, I was trying to get you to understand that your fantasy threats are completly empty, but also disgusting if you actually believe they are true and justified. Oh and there is no referance to GoT, just showing you a mirror, but it seems you have no reflection.
    Were you indoctrinated as a child therefore stunting reasoning skills?
    Please take a course in critical thinking and then read the bible honestly, from cover to cover to reveal the nonsense you believe is true. Thanks.
    Best wishes

  • Nad Navlis

    It’s “Bible”. And if I’m a punk, you are a never have been you fucking abortion.

  • Billy Preston

    You are willfully ignorant, they are not my threats and they are not threats, you have freewill and the breath of life thanks to God, I beg to differ with you, someone in your life indoctrinated you badly, I’m sure the public school system had a huge hand in getting you to hate anything to do with God.
    And I suggest you dump the empty skill of critical thinking, look what it did for you. And I have read the Bible (KJV) from cover to cover dozens of times and at no time have I found it contains lies or nonsense.
    And I have no idea of which evil you follow but you must remember that for every reaction there is an equal an opposite reaction, so if you believe in some type of evil spirit then there has to be a good spirit, that is the way it works.
    I won’t trade ideas with you anymore, it’s not my place to change your heart, that is God’s job, but I pray you see the light and get out of the darkness.

  • Iron Chariots

    How about you prove a god exists before attributing things to it. Until you do you may as well attrubute things to pixies.
    You reakon critical thinking is an empty skill? Oh wow, your poor thing.
    “And I have read the Bible (KJV) from cover to cover dozens of times and at no time have I found it contains lies or nonsense.”
    I could give you hundreds of referances. My sugestion is you read the bible with both eyes, not just one.
    Yeah I agree in not trading ideas with you anymore. You are too far gone. Like and addict who is suck on denial.

  • Iron Chariots

    Wake up Joel. Satan is imaginary.
    It’s part of the childish carrot or stick you follow.

  • Anri

    So what part of the TST’s info that you read lead you to believe that?

    Because to be honest, your writing suggests that you’re still basing your opinion of them on what other people have written, not they themselves.

    Did you quit reading at the word “Satan”?
    Tell me, what would you think of the opinion of a Moslem who quit reading the bible at the word “God” because it wasn’t “Allah”?
    Would you think he would be entitled to have anything like a sensible or informed opinion on Christianity at all?
    Would you consider his opinion on Christianity to be worth listening to?
    Were he to give this opinion in a public forum, would he be doing absolutely anything at all other than flaunting his own deep ignorance of the topic?
    How does what he would be doing differ in any way from what you are doing?

    If you’re only interested in preaching to hear yourself preach, keep on the way you are. If it’s just for your own benefit, you’re doing fine.
    If, on the other hand, you’d like to actually stand half a chance of convincing anyone of your position – you know, actually convert someone – I’m pointing out to you that knowing what you are talking about is utterly vital.
    If that’s too much effort, hey I understand, no sweat. But don’t then go away thinking that it was the topic or the people here.

    If you insist on being intentionally unconvincing, or just don’t want to put in the work towards being convincing, you’re going to remain unconvincing.

  • Jeff

    Such Irony. King James decided what would and would not be placed in the bible (a gay king, isn’t that great?) Translation errors throughout. And you still haven’t answered who allows you to speak for ALL Christians, including Christians who allow women to lead their congregations, or do not believe SSM is wrong. And you still dont’ have any evidence of YOUR god being the “one”, especially since there have been so many gods both before and after. And you are correct, there is a 100% failure rate of getting into heaven, as there is no heaven, and no hell. Unless you know someone who’s been there?

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    If, on judgement day, I’m standing beside people who supported freedom, integrity, and rights of other human beings out of empathy and understanding (whether they’re gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender; atheist, Muslim, pagan, or Satanist), and upheld personal worth of individuals as a core value (as opposed to empty clumps of cells that are not people), it will not matter to me if a God who values slavering obedience, absolute control, and totalitarianism/repression of individual freedoms on a scale that hasn’t been since since Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin charges me with them as crimes. I’ll know which side I belong on and, yes, it will work out just fine for me.

    I will absolutely own that trip to Hell, because you see, as long as I’m not going where you and your poisonous self-righteous ilk are, it’s not all bad. Better to burn in Hell knowing I tried to make the world a little better than acquiesce like a servile Renfield to a cosmic Count Dracula.

    And as far as we know for certain, we all go to the same place: the earth, burned to ashes or eaten by time and worms. After two, possibly three generations, nobody will remember your name. Once your kids are dead, nobody will think about you. You will effective cease to exist. And yes, failing some transhumanist development of biological immortality, you will die. I guarantee it.

    So hows about doing something more productive with your life and sitting around jerking off to Bible verses, huh? The world’s too big and messed up and we’re too short-lived for everyone to dick around doing fuck all. And if you aren’t going to help us build bridges and houses, at least get off the cross. We need the wood.

  • Cousin Ricky

    Wait, is the Church of Satan still relevant?

  • No. But The Satanic Temple is

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Then you’ve clearly never read the Bible:

    30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
    1 Chronicles, 16:30.

    12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. [J — a sphere does not have four corners. A cube doesn’t even have four corners. God is apparently using the Mercator projection here.]
    Isaiah 11:12

    22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. [J – fun note: this directly contracts Isaiah 11:12, listed above, because a circle has no corners. It’s a good thing we don’t use the Bible to teach geometry].
    Isaiah 40:22

    24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
    Job 28:24

    8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor [J — this isn’t even possible on a flat earth with a diameter the size of a spheroid one, because atmospheric refraction will make it appear as if there’s a horizon obscuring part of it all the same].
    Matthew 4:8

    Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
    Psalm 104:5

    Taken together, all of them imply a flat earth, or that the Ancient Hebrews believed in a flat earth. That you don’t proves you don’t take the Bible literally. Which is fine, since absolutely nobody does. You, like everyone else, are just picking and choosing the parts that support a moral coded handed to you not from God but from the people you grew up around, and accepted unquestioningly because it fulfills your emotional need to be right, as opposed to correct. Psalm 104:5 and 1 Chronicles 16:30 are especially wrong, because as it turns out, moving planets is not all that difficult if you have a big enough outside force; these verses directly contradict Newton’s laws.

  • islandbrewer

    Upvoting extra for Gunslinger reference.

  • Jim

    My personal Rule Number One: NEVER apologize to an ignorant uneducated moronic cretin on the internet when thy spew hateful nonsense. Because whenever they accuse you of being “warped”, they are admitting defeat; they have no valid point to make and they know it.

    I repeat:

    Christianity IS an attack on humanity.

  • Jim

    Spoken by someone with no understanding of tax law, religion or freedom.

  • Jim

    Why should anyone explain the difference between luciferian and Satanism to someone such as yourself, who obviously knows nothing whatsoever about anything. Why bother? You lack the intelligence to understand language anyways…

  • Jim

    Your fictional “judgement day” is never going to happen. But if you don’t REPENT for your false beliefs, you will never spend your afterlife in Garnyor. I pity your bliff.

  • Jim

    There’s not going to be any stupid fucking judgement day.

  • ORigel

    Good move. I hope that all churches get taxed in the long-term but all religious organizations should have the same rights as any other. And for now that includes tax exemptions.

  • Nad Navlis

    It’s OK because your parents have already apologized for your birth.

  • bullet

    “A young witch came into my shop…”

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    Also, Sikhs don’t worship a deity. They go to church.

  • taylor_serenil

    fwiw, i have state farm. the office i deal with is small-town but iirc their company news thing is online.

  • taylor_serenil

    I’d say Satanism was a lot closer to a religion than Scientology, or at least a lot less dangerous to its followers.

  • Billy Preston

    Boy you are an uptight little bastard aren’t you. Such hate and anguish in your posts, you need to kick back and take a chill pill, you are going to blow up what little brains you have left.
    Your hatred of God and Christians is nothing new, try to get original, you can turn the TV on and just about every channel will be degrading Christians and God on an hourly basis, so what is your point?
    That is the problem with your hate filled life, your religion of satanism and/or atheism gives you those traits. And the only one sitting around is you, trolling these sites, get out and do something, give the food stamps back from where you got them, and tell your mother you are going to move out of the basement and get your own place and start being a man and not a worm.

  • Billy Preston

    Says who ole’ wise one? Your hero Hillary?

  • Billy Preston

    Lol, if you read it dozens of times and found errors then you have other issues, like reading skills. And I don’t have to prove God exists, you can yourself, you are here, or did Satan create you? Or do you believe you came from a rock?

  • Billy Preston

    Really? You are so mentally ill that you are convinced Christianity is an attack on humanity? Wow you are one blind and sick person, please list for all of us to see the goodwill that Satan has done for humanity, or whatever a disjointed person like you believes. Socialism/communism two of the worst beliefs in the world that have destroyed hundreds of millions of lives and they still do, yea I think I’ll stick to Christianity, Jesus is the way brother and I hope you find him.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Ooh. Looks like I done pissed you off, didn’t I?

    You’ll not I never said I hated Christians. Contrary to what you might think, honey, you don’t have a monopoly on that term. I’d rather hang with a Christian who used the Bible to justify a moral code that values the inherent integrity and personal worth of human beings than an atheist who doesn’t. Of course, you probably wouldn’t consider a person who supports gay marriage and transgender rights a Christian, but that’s your fucking problem, sunshine, not theirs.

    your religion of satanism and/or atheism gives you those traits

    That’s a nice assumption. I’m neither of those things, but don’t let that stop you from assuming, kiddo.

    give the food stamps back from where you got them, and tell your mother you are going to move out of the basement and get your own place and start being a man and not a worm.

    Yawn. And while I’m at it, do you want to me to put down the thesaurus and philosophy textbook and fight like a “man”, too?

    I don’t think you know what a “man” is, because I’ll give you a hint little boy: it ain’t you.

  • Tonianne

    The girl is a customer and has been traumatised enough. So fuck off. For you to say “it didnt happen” because I posted no pics just shows you are as ignorant and self absorbed as the rest of these assholes. Besides, I manage one of the oldest longest in operation occult shops in Ohio and my customers deserve their anomymity.

    Sikhs, like Buddhists, do have a spiritual path but they are monotheistic. TST have no spirituality but is made up of nothing but narcissistic vulgar exhibitionists who are starved for the limelight and don’t care who gets hurt to get it.

  • Ray Lee

    ….a religion that not only allows but encourages…

    Source, please.

    Go ahead, we’ll wait…………………………………….

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    These shit heads cause unnecessary confrontation for the entire occult and pagan community by stirring up the uninformed Christian fanatics.

    Hate to break it to you, but those fanatics aren’t going to start respecting you just because the TST goes away. You are not their brand of Christian. That’s all the excuse they need; anything else is just frosting for them to further justify it.

    The problem here isn’t with the TST; they can’t control and are not responsible for how other people react. Nor are you, nor is anyone else other than the person themselves. The problem is purely with these violent Christians terrorists. And even if the TST didn’t exist, well, they’d still come after you. They’d just find a different reason to do it.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    That’s actually rather wrong. I’m impressed with how wrong that is.

    1. Sikhs are monotheistic. They are the second or third largest monotheistic religion.

    2. I fully believe that some batshit hateful Christian terrorist would jump some young woman. I don’t need pictures to believe that; I know these folks well enough to know that’s fully possible. They have a history of that sort of thing in Medieval Europe and modern day West Africa.

  • Tonianne

    Of course they would and have for 2,000 years. But TST is the catalyst, like the violence the ensues after a Trump rally. They fan the flames, get their pictures in the media, bask in the attention, and then sleaze back to their domain leaving others to deal with the riled up Christians.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    I’m not sure that’s being entirely far to the TST, though. After all, the TST has worked to stop theocrats numerous times, and from what I’ve seen, they aren’t terrible people (no, that award probably goes to the Church of Satan, which is basically Objectivism dolled up with counter-culture trimmings).

    Frankly, I think the serve they do in undermining theocrats is invaluable. And because Christians can’t handle that and look for people to take it out on isn’t the TST’s fault. It’s the fault of the Christians themselves. If the TST was not there, the country would probably look a lot more theocratic.

  • Tonianne

    All of us in the varied pagan/heathen community and spiritual paths want to live our lives, work, be able to send our kids to school, own our homes and practice our faith in peace and safety. And as a lifelong (decades) theistic Luciferian, I find TST a disgusting obscenity.

    Don’t fool yourself. These exhibitionistic p.o.s. have only one agenda and it sure isn’t from any noble altruistic motive. They’re nothing but attention whores.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Are you sure you aren’t confusing them for the Church of Satan? Because it sounds to me like you’re describing the Church of Satan, not the TST.

    The TST does good work to thwart Christian expansion and dominion over the public space; altruism or not, it doesn’t change the fact that they have been successful. Their lawsuits to protect access to abortion have been very important, even if they haven’t borne fruit. Their push to get their literature distributed in schools that want to push the Bible on hapless students has been instrumental in stopping the theocrats. And while it’s true they do sometimes use showy methods, those are important to calling attention to the inequality other, non-Christians face in this country.

    I don’t blame the media for the violence at Trump rallies, even if they are the targets. I blame the brainless hateful idiots that attend his rallies. And while the TST’s actions may piss Christians off (and good on them for doing so, although to be fair, it isn’t that hard to get them angry), it’s like I told the guy a few threads down: that’s their fucking problem. It’s easy for me to say that when I’m not the ones targeted, I realize that, and it absolutely sucks and definitely runs opposed to the notion of freedom of religion that evil, hateful bastards come after you guys. But if we treated these egg-shell princes with kid gloves, they’d still come after you. And if it weren’t for the TST, it would be someone else: Americans United, or the Unitarians, or some humanist group. Like a Trump rally, they’re primed for violence; they don’t even need an excuse, they just like to have one.

  • Ray Lee

    Except that TST has local supporters, who were also at the Little Rock event and appear in the documentary (I believe, although I haven’t seen it, yet). So… not running away hiding. You can find some of them on Facebook.

    Following your reasoning, if an LGBT person was attacked after a Pride parade, we should just shut down the parades. Because, you know, it was the catalyst that set off the bigots. All those damn marchers with their flags and balloons, getting the locals pissed off, and then “sleazing back to their domains” (whatever that means).

  • Tonianne

    A legitimate peaceful parade is one thing. A group of attention seeking assholes deliberately with the only intention of provoking confrontation and hate is another. Or do you liken gay parades with the KKK and white supremist groups fueled by hostility?
    Their domain is their home turf, where they are safe.

  • Ray Lee

    Did you seriously just equate TST activism with a Klan rally? I think you did.

    I don’t necessarily agree with everything TST says or does. They’re a little far left for my taste. But they’re definitely doing more than just stirring up shit.

    So if a few Bible thumpers get angry because queers, atheists, and Satanists are publicly standing up for themselves – fuck ’em.

  • Tonianne

    Although I appreciate your erudition, I respect your logic and opinion, you are nevertheless missing the main point. They are NOT a humanist group championing the rights of non-Christians. By their “showy” and I assume you mean, they employ vile, vulgar perverse and confrontational methods to gain attention. In that, they are successful. A turd in the punch bowl is an attention grabber too, but I certainly wouldn’t want to drink out of it. We pagans and occultists fervently wish they’d crawl back into the hole they sleazed out of.

  • Joseph Colletti

    HORRIBLE, DISGRACEFUL, UNAMERICAN ON THE PART OF THE US. THE ANGER OF GOD WILL BE DEMONSTRATED AND ALL WILL UNFORTUNATELY BE RECIPIENTS BECAUSE OF SUCH DISASTROUS DEEDS.

  • Tonianne

    The first Satanic Church predated Anton LaVey by several years although they communicated often. It was started in the late ’50’s by Herbert Sloane in Toledo, Ohio, called the Coven of Endor.

  • Tonianne

    Your reading comprehension skills are lacking. I did not equate TST with the KKK. I differentiated comparing the method of a peaceful gay parade to the volatile confrontational tactics of hate groups.

  • Tonianne

    The Bible is nothing but lies, nonsensical hypocrisy. Not to mention the filthiest most perverted text I have ever read. The horrors written in the bible make the writings of De Sade look like “Fun with Dick and Jane.”

    Even the Ten Commandments state that humans are to have no other gods before Him. Notice, he did not deny there were other gods, just none before him. And why? Because He is a jealous God. Now a few commandments down, humans are not supposed to covet anything that is his neighbors. His wives, wealth, property, fig trees, herds of animals, anything, for it is a sin to be jealous. So tell me, are we sinful humans supposed to have attributes God himself does not possess? Nonsense.

    And to correct your misconception, it was Lucifer, bringer of light and knowledge along with the gift of free will, not “Jehovha, Yehweh, God” who wanted to keep us all in the darkness of ignorance, servitude of mental and spiritual enslavement.

  • FNF Crew

    …I’m referring to the first one to receive 501c3 determination… The Satanic Temple claimed to be the first. I’m pointing out the Lilith Grotto received their determination in 1980.

  • FNF Crew

    And Lilith was granted tax-exemption as an “Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations)”, so it was not affiliated with the national Church of Satan organization. It was just one local chapter.

  • Tonianne

    “Nobility!?” Sir, surely you jest for it is to laugh. These vulgar poseurs do indeed offend and place at hazard the well being of those non-Christians they vow to champion. Yet I see they have gone to great lengths to cover their asses. Of course they are as hypocritical of their own tenets as Christians are of their 10 Commandments .

  • Iron Chariots

    It’s not valid to use a invisable sky wizard that has no evidence for existing as an answer for anything.
    Why do you have to pretend to know the origins of humanity, and why would you think its justified to use a nonsensical concept as an answer.
    I can see clearly that you don’t have any critical thinking skills and why you dismiss the importance of thinking.
    You are willing to decieve yourself for fear of missing out on your fantasy afterlife reward or else.
    This is what you are saying and you actually think its an arguement lol….And I don’t have to prove pixie exists, you can yourself, you are here, or did anti pixie create you? Or do you believe you came from a rock?
    As I said “You are too far gone. Like and addict who is suck on denial.”
    Thanks for the further evidence of this.
    I’m happy to help you escape you delusions, if you’re ever ready.
    Until then you have a nice life in fantasyland.

  • Jim

    There will never be a “judgement day.” But if you don’t repent your wicked Christian ways, you’ll never make it to Asgard in your afterlife. I wouldn’t want to be you.

  • Jim

    Hillary is YOUR hero.

  • Jim

    Your parents have not only apologized for your birth, they have regretted it and repented their sin of birthing you. Their method of raising you has created a malfunctioning cerebral cortex. Seek help.

  • Jim

    You stick to the false faith of Christianity. Please. There’ll be more room in Asgard when your bliff isn’t allowed to have an afterlife.

    And the worst insult I’ve ever had was when you called me “brother.” I am not your brother. If I was, I would be tempted to commit suicide AFTER I legally disowned you and changed my name. Your mental illness is contagious. Better keep it bottled up for the good of society.

    Reading your posts, I feel like I need an industrial strength disinfectant.

  • Jim

    You said it. Great post. Whenever one of those delusional Christians starts drooling and talking about their evil Jesus and his 10 commandments, I know for certain that they’ve never read their buybull. Ten commandments? Which set? The ones Moses smashed, or the ones that Yahweh gave to replace the smashed ones? The second set, with commandments like “Thou shalt not eat leavened bread.”

    Also, they’re completely unaware that there are 613 commandments. They are so doped up on Jesus that they can’t even count.

  • Jim

    If you go back far enough in time, we all, all humans, came from rocks.

    Ever heard of DNA?

  • Chris

    And as ‘Larry’ in the brilliant ‘Blue Money’ (with Billy Connolly)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iifBKNQ-Q_I

  • sweeks

    Hahaha! I’ll take my chances. 🙂

  • sweeks

    I’d just like to point out that it’s impossible to hate something that doesn’t exist. You could hate an imaginary god (which one? There are thousands!), but that would be a waste of my time. Of course, you’re free to spend yours as you see fit. Enjoy!

  • sweeks

    No, but Voldemort might curse him! That’s worth worrying about. ^_^

  • sweeks

    You might look up “Dunning-Kruger Effect” (“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect )and reflect on how it might apply to you.
    Spoiler: It does!

  • sweeks

    Please refer to your holy book. Turn to Matthew 5:38-39 and reflect on how these verses might apply to you.
    You’re welcome!

  • sweeks

    Here’s the tenet you need to read:
    Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
    The clue is “best scientific understanding of the world”. There is no credible scientific evidence of the existence of either god (any god) or satan. Followers of The Satanic Temple (full disclosure: I’m one) are non-believers; atheists, if you prefer. m/

  • sweeks

    Dunning-Kruger rears its head. 😉

  • sweeks

    Hahaha! There is only Zuul!
    /s

  • Joel

    There is plenty of evidence around you proving God exists: clouds, sky, cars, buildings, people, roads. He created everything by speaking it into existence, with the exception of mankind. Man was made from dust of earth and woman from one of Adam’s ribs after he fell into a deep sleep.

  • sweeks

    Yeah, my favorite bit in the OT is what Lot got up to after the destruction of his town. You’ve read it, I’m sure: Genesis 19:30-36. A little bit of incest… nice for a “righteous man” (2 Peter 2:7-8). Lots more “documentation” where that came from!
    I’ll see your quote from John and raise you Matthew 21:19-20 and Mark 11:13-14, 20-21. He killed a fig tree because it wasn’t bearing figs *out of season*. How much more impressive it would have been if he had caused the tree to bear fruit instead of killing it! But “vengeance” was strong in the minds of the Bronze Age authors of the bible, so that never occurred to them.

  • Iron Chariots

    Would not be suprised if Billy ‘thinks’ DNA was sent by the devil to test the faithful. 😉
    Anyway Billy told me… “And I suggest you dump the empty skill of critical thinking,…”
    Say no more

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Yes.Let them tremble at the coming of the Great Colander,which will separate the righteous from the chaff!

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Yes.If they didn’t die gloriously in battle they will not enter Valhalla.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Nad, the Bible also encourages these things you left out: eating feces and drinking urine and ripping unborn babies from their mother’s wombs.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Long as you are gonna quote the Bible,don’t forget this gem of wisdom they never teach in Sunday school:

    2 Kings 18:27 King James Version (KJV) But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

    …it must be an important message,it’s repeated:

    Isaiah 36:12 King James Version (KJV) But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee tospeak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon thewall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss withyou?

  • C_Alan_Nault

    As relevant as any Christian church.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    LOL. From the looks of things,god is too busy making images of his son appear on taco shells and toast to bother with things like school shootings,church shootings,famine,injustice,etc.

  • sweeks

    Hahaha… Dunning-Kruger again!

  • sweeks

    Well, to be fair, a current hypothesis is that rocks, clay or other inorganic material played a role in organizing the basic materials comprising the first life form. The truth is, we don’t know. We may never know. But that doesn’t mean “god did it”. And, PLEASE, religious people: don’t confuse “evolution” with “abiogenesis”.

  • sweeks

    The god of the bible has no attributes or abilities that couldn’t have been imagined by Bronze Age people.
    As for biblical horrors, I recommend Steve Wells’s “Drunk with Blood- God’s Killings in the Bible” for some light reading.
    Spoiler: God killed millions, while Satan killed 10 (and that was on a bet with god).

  • sweeks

    Check out this list of all the commandments (1304!) in the bible: https://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2014/06/every-jot-and-tittle-list-of-all-bibles.html
    Steve Wells put a lot of work into that list! All you have to do is obey! LoL!

  • sweeks

    Fortunately, there are explanations for all the things you listed, and many more besides, that do not require the services of an invisible and otherwise undetectable “creator”. They involve “science”; the most powerful tool so far devised by humans to explore and explain the universe.
    The biblical account of the creation of Adam and Eve is no more sophisticated than what a Bronze-Age goat herder could conceive of. Science tells us that there was never a literal Adam and Eve, in any case.

  • sweeks

    That’s the trouble with your biblical god… he creates a lot of collateral damage (see: The Flood). Probably needs glasses.
    BTW, no need to shout. 🙂

  • Jim

    Lol. YES! How come the stupid Bible makes no mention of DNA? I mean, the creator of the universe isn’t aware of DNA? Perhaps it should be unsurprising. After all, the all-knowing creator of the universe was also unaware of the existence of other planets.

  • Jim

    Abiogenesis is a hot topic at present. It’s apparent that something inorganic must have contributed to the origination of life. My best guess would be something that acted as a catalyst via water, such as montmorillonite. Just within the last 2 weeks, scientists created conditions for testing the evolution of single celled organisms into multicelled organisms. And their hypothesis was proved when the expected evolution happened.

  • PhillipWynn

    I had a devil of a time figuring out what all the fuss was about, until I realized it was a Hail Mary pass to avoid paying Texas.

  • BertB

    Yes, open their books like any other charity demanding tax exemption. But they should ALL lose their tax exemptions! Every damn charity and every damn church. A tax exemption means that the charity can spend money and the government chips in whatever the tax exemption is. whether it is a cause that government supports or not. I say, do away with all the tax exemptions. If people want to give to a charity, fine. It’s none of the government’s business, Government should neither encourage nor discourage their donations. Churches especially should not get tax exemptions, nor should donors to the churches get deductions. Just doing that would probably solve our budget deficits in this country, and get rid of a lot of illegal influence on government by organizations that should not use government funds to influence government.

  • a_b704

    Does Satan want a minimum of 10% of my paycheck too? Gods are greedy bstrds!

  • Cousin Ricky

    There is a key on the middle left edge of your keyboard marked “Caps Lock.” At some point you must have struck it. Press it again, and your text will return to normal.

  • The benefit religion gets due to its tax exempt status is about $80B/year (in the US), as I recall. That’s a lot, but not enough to make a dent in our deficit.

    Yes, let’s reconsider dropping churches’ tax exemption, but the first item of business is to make the books open. There’s simply no argument for this exemption. That it embarrasses churches (what do they have to hide??) makes it plausible that removing this exemption would find congressional support.

  • Phil Rimmer

    Tax exemption, actively fought against while being subject to it, is no problem for me. The Trojan horse irony of improved funding for this is sweet.

    But exemption must be fought against, from the inside or out. Religious status is quite a separate issue.

  • Pan Unicorn

    As a Theistic Satanist, I haven’t always been a fan of TST’s more LeVeyan-inspired style of Satanism but I certainly love the effort they’ve put into fighting for religious freedom and their god-tier trolling of conservatives. I hope they continue to succeed as an organisation and wish them the best of luck

  • Pan Unicorn

    Still cheaper than virgin sacrifices. Less messy too

  • Pan Unicorn

    Satanism is certainly a religion as any Theistic Satanist will inform you

  • Phil

    I am hoping for Sto-vo-kor.

  • Phil

    So you are advocating “Peace in our time” appeasement? We all know how that went.

  • Dennis Keane

    Only the small minded will get through 🙂

  • a_b704

    Easier to find too 😉

  • Nad Navlis

    No need to wait. Do your own research you lazy mf. You are not a professor grading my paper.

  • Nad Navlis

    I didn’t say thanks and you can stop cherry picking with your own personal interpretations.

  • Ray Lee

    I actually know a little something about the subject. That’s how I know that you don’t.

  • sweeks

    “Turning the other cheek” is hardly a personal interpretation; rather, it’s a widely accepted understanding of how true Christians respond to persecution.
    (Somehow I really didn’t expect you to say “thanks”. Cheers!)

  • BertB

    The estimates I have seen don’t include property tax exemptions or tax deductions for individuals who donate to churches.

  • BertB

    Amen to the last! That’s what always gets me. The special privilege of tax exemption violates the Establishment Clause. Their response is that taxing them violates the Free Exercise Clause. My answer is that free exercise does not mean a free ride. In every sense, a church is a business, with income and expenses, a staff of employees, a physical plant…and an operating budget. The Establishment Clause makes it clear that they should be treated like any other business, not granted special privileges.

  • fifthdentist

    How many Christians don’t believe that the grape juice and soda crackers is the actual blood and body of J.C.?

  • fifthdentist

    I think this is brilliant, actually.

    It also causes fundies no end of butthurt and pearl clutching.

    Go, Satan!

  • Tonianne

    No, we just want to be left alone. We want to work, raise our families, send our children to school, buy homes, plant gardens and practice our varied paths without interference or being made into a mockery.
    TST just throws gasoline on the flames and incites more hatred against us. We know how to defend ourselves very well without their moronic antics. We’ve been doing it for 2,000 years.

  • Tonianne

    And as a theistic Luciferian, one would think if you really adhered to the precepts of theistic Satanism or any pagan/occult doctrine you would be just as appalled as most of us at the “collateral damage” these idiots leave in their wake.

  • G.S.K. herzak

    As a Muslim guy in Canada, I really LOVE these Satanists in standing up for religious liberty. Now the Jesus Freaks know how we feel!

  • bullet

    I mixed up Sikhs and Jains. My mistake. I don’t see how that’s impressively wrong.

    I don’t believe that a girl had WITCH carved into her chest and the story never made it here.

  • bullet

    I still don’t believe you.

    TST has appropriated one of the most hated symbols on the planet to fight for YOUR religious freedom. They don’t quietly ask to be treated equally or put pretty little coexist stickers on their cars. They demand it. And if they are successful, perhaps your delusional band of nature lovers will finally be free of Christian harassment.

  • bullet

    “And as a lifelong (decades) theistic Luciferian, I find TST a disgusting obscenity.”

    THERE it is. You’re just another follower of another ass backwards Abrahamic offshoot. Maybe you get harrassed by Chritians because you ACTUALLY serve their enemy, not just use him as a joke to make them look stupid.

  • bullet

    “… or being made into a mockery.”

    There it is again. You’re just mad because they make fun of what you believe in, too.

  • bullet

    No, I’m pretty sure you did. “pagans : TST :: pride parade : Klan rally”

    Also, TST : pagans :: WBC : “true” Christians is a problematic analogy in SO MANY ways. The most basic: Westboro Baptists ARE Christian. They believe in the same gods and the same book. (Who are these “true” christians, BTW?) TST is not pagan. They don’t claim to be pagan. They very clearly state that they are not pagan. Or Wiccan. Or any other kind of “spiritual” group.

    You can’t call them hypocrites because they do exactly what they say they intend to do, which is push back against encroaching Christianity to defend true religious freedom.

  • Tonianne

    No. I don’t give a flying fuck or rats ass what they think. I don’t for irrelevant people like them or Trump. And I don’t care if at their rituals they whip each other into a frenzy and fuck daisy chain style. Not important.

    What does matter since you are obviously too dense to comprehend, is the danger they put pagan and occult folk in by infuriating the moronic Christians.
    The ignorant can be enlightened by edification and enlightment, but stupidity is terminal and an exercise in futility. Which are you?

  • Tonianne

    I’ve learned a long time ago not to bandy words with fools or drunkards.
    TST and WBC are both a mockery to what they profess to adhere to and both leave collateral damage in their wake. So yes, they are both hypocrites.
    As for you, its not my fault that you cannot comprehend what I wrote.

  • Tonianne

    If I were a part of any organized religion, mono or polytheistic, I still would think them a disgusting obscenity. Just how socially relevant is their leader putting his genitals on a tombstone? Disgusting, revolting and disrespectful. They are joke, the proverbial “turd in the punchbowl.”

    I do not view Lucifer as part of the Christian bible or doctrine but of the Gnosis and view him as Prometheus or the ultimate archetype of free will and bringer of enlightment. Dont dare to presume to tell me how I serve my lord. I am in no way an adherent to Christianity in any form.

    I dismiss your remarks. Anyone who doesn’t even know Sikhs are one of the largest monotheistic sects in the world and insists on seeing photos of an act of violence is not worth my time.

  • Tonianne

    You are obviously laboring under the misconception that your opinion is relevant to the educated grown ups.
    I don’t give a damn what you think. I know the truth.

  • Tonianne

    As long as they put the pagan/occult community at hazard, they are a menace. Fuck them. We neither want nor need them.

    And I’m a Luciferian, not a pacifist. But not being a fool, I know when and where to choose my battles before I retaliate.

  • sweeks

    I’m guessing that Billy-boy is a Trump enthusiast based on this disparagement of HRC. Funny how the evangelical crowd considers him so godly in spite of his having broken most of the 10 commandments.

  • Jim

    Lol! I only counted the “commandments” in the Old Testament. Thanks so much for the link. I am checking it out.

  • Jim

    AND Hillary is a lifelong Christian who has never violated the ten commandments while Trump is a lifelong atheist who continues to regularly violate the ten commandments.

    It was funny in 2012 when Romney ran against Obama. Obama is a Christian while Romney is a Mormon. All those right wing asshole Christians voted against the only Christian running for the presidency and supported the guy who was NOT a Christian.

    I’m still laughing about that.

  • sweeks

    Steve is a friend of mine, and has done some impressive work in the area of “understanding” the bible. See “Skeptic’s Annotated Bible” and “Drunk with Blood- God’s killings in the Bible”. I’m sure you will enjoy them as much as I have!
    m/

  • BertB

    They don’t care about anything except that he is anti-abortion and racist. The funny part of that is, he was pro-choice until he decided to get into politics.

  • Jim

    How wonderful to have a friend like that. I adore the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible but I’m unaware of “Drunk with Blood.” I’ll order it. Thanks for the info.

    I regularly donate to TST. I love those guys.

  • sweeks

    No, he just needs to pray the caps away!

  • Jim

    Whenever I’m out in public and some stupid Christian approaches me to “save my soul” (what a joke), I ask them what sins did the little baby kittens commit and how many whales were on Noah’s ark.

    The ensuing conversations are priceless,

  • Tonianne

    I agree completely and long overdue. But TST is not a religious organization. They aren’t any spiritual path.

  • sweeks

    I’ll bet you’re the life of the party at bible camp! LoL!
    I like to ask ’em what Lot was doing in the cave with his daughters… that makes for some awkward moments! Or, if they’re trying to shove the New Testament down my throat, I bring up the fig tree episode. The bible is the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

  • bullet

    “They’re not out for equality, religious or otherwise but to mock ALL spirituality, Christian, pagan, everyone.”

    The two are not mutually exclusive. We do it here all the time.

  • bullet

    1st: The “colon punctuation marks: are analogy shortcuts. “a:b::c:d”=”a is to b as c is to d”
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-origin-of-using-colons-in-analogies
    While it may not have been your intent to draw such a comparison it’s plain to see by removing the extraneous words you are specifically making that comparison. So, you see, it IS your fault I cannot comprehend what you wrote. If that’s not what you meant then you wrote it wrong.

    2nd: Who are you to decide who is a mockery of what they profess to adhere to? I’m sure you think you are a representative adherent of your faith, but someone else of the same faith may decide that you are doing it wrong and call you a mockery. Will you (A) try to explain to them that you are not, in fact, a mockery of your faith or will you (B) just insult them for having a differing opinion? I’ll leave you to guess which of us is A or B.

    3rd: Do you even know what TST professes to adhere to? Go check out their seven tenets. The only one I can see applies to you is “One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.” Have you, in fact, expressed to the Satanic Temple that their activities increase the distress of pagan communities? Has anyone? Did they tell the respective parties to fuck right the hell off? I’m really interested to know and I’ll be bringing it up to the TST in my area. It’s the Greater New Orleans Area, which has an awful lot of crazy Christians as well as a ton of pagan groups.

  • bullet

    “Anyone who… insists on seeing photos of an act of violence is not worth my time.”

    “Pics or it didn’t happen” is a flippant short-hand for “I believe you are repeating second hand information without any proof that it actually happened. Would you mind backing up that claim with some actual evidence?”

    Welcome to the internet.

  • bullet

    “I do not view Lucifer as part of the Christian bible or doctrine but of the Gnosis and view him as Prometheus or the ultimate archetype of free will and bringer of enlightment.”

    Which is pretty much exactly how TST views him. Except that the actually view him in the same vein as Prometheus, in that neither of them are real.

    “Dont dare to presume to tell me how I serve my Lord. I am in no way an adherent to Christianity in any form.”

    You say you serve Lucifer. Lucifer was invoked by the Hebrews and then co-opted and mythologized by the Christians. His entire enterprise, including equating him with the Serpent in the Garden (the “bringer of enlightenment”) was crafted as Hebrew/Christian mythology. Those are religions borne of Abraham, just as is Islam. So unless there’s a different Lucifer of whom I’m not aware, then you owe an awful lot to Christians for helping flesh out your Lord.

  • ORigel

    The spiritual path is something like, follow the Seven Tenets, emulate some of the values we derive from positive character interpretations from Satan.

  • Dennis Keane

    Got me!

  • bullet

    “I dismiss your remarks. Anyone who doesn’t even know Sikhs are one of the largest monotheistic sects in the world… is not worth my time.

    Took you three whole days to Google and differentiate Jains from Sikhs, did it? Please go play with your Xbox. The adults are trying to have an intelligent discussion here.”

    Regardless of the mixup, the point remains that there are non-theistic religions and churches. Perhaps an intelligent discussion should include that instead of silly insults. You might not be a Christian now, but you used to, right? Is that where you learned to argue?

    Ordinarily I would simply block someone who hides their post history and dismiss them as a troll, but I’m actually curious as to whether you can have a rational conversation with actual citations of your claims.

  • bullet

    Do you have any evidence of this “collateral damage”?

  • NotJesus

    Fuck you…the TST are NOT hypocrites. You pretty much have to be a Christian to be a hypocrite in this country.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    So hang on, if Satan exists then God does too? Why support one non-existent fairy over another non-existent fairy? Or is this truly just a bigoted hatred directed solely at Christianity?

  • Tonianne

    I’ve never been a Christian, ever.

  • is … that a Rothko? I can’t tell, it’s at least trying to be a Rothko.

  • WallofSleep

    I dunno. What is a Rothko?

  • The painting behind him. Just seems out of place for a WWE set.

  • WallofSleep

    Oh! Brain fart on my part. For a minute there I was thinking you were talking about the person in the gif. Derp.

  • Joe

    They don’t believe an actual Satan exists.

  • Joe

    I see no damage.

  • Pan Unicorn

    What collateral damage? Granted I’m not in the US so I could be missing some context but from what I’ve read, their stunts have been harmless

  • Geoff Plumridge

    So why are they a religion then?

  • SCUBAsabre

    Speaking as an Atheist, I caution you not to assume all Atheists are so extreme in the “anti tax free” for churches that they can’t appreciate the benefits of remaining strategically nimble based on political and legal shifts in landscape. Don’t confuse overarching objectives and ideals with strategic and tactical action plans based on the shifting landscape. Taking on those smaller battles to force eaual access to government that the privileged faith based organizations have is critical. This is just a tool in the arsenal for fighting the theocratic tenticals strangling science in public schools, pushing back on some institutions getting elevated status in government by merely praying before County Commission Meetings, etc.

    Many of us would have preferred (just as the Satanic church originally did) to correct the travesty of tax free status for religous institutions in the more direct way but we also can see the larger picture. When the landscape changes for the opponent and their current champion exploits political divides from the Oval Office, this strategy is fantastic. The tactical approach of forcing equal access reminds me of the Church of the Flying Spahgetti Monster and Kansas. It was forcing legal parallelism and application even if it wasn’t really seeking to start church necessarily.

    Sometimes you have to drop back and punt….

  • ORigel

    They outnumber TST Satanists, but do no political activism.

  • ORigel

    Americans shouldn’t worry about the wrath of your god. But at some point, I’m sure they’ll be an earthquake in Japan for the actions TST did half a world away.

  • ORigel

    So you’re bitter because most Satanists are atheists? If Satan literally exists, he should just reveal himself to us so we’d change our position.

  • ORigel

    I think you’re projecting your qualities onto TST members.

    If your Lord has a problem with TST, he can tell us so himself.

  • sweeks

    I’m listed in the acknowledgements section for “editorial assistance” in the second edition!
    I’m a card-carrying member of TST, and I donated to their Arkansas rally fund (https://www.wsfa.com/story/38909189/satanic-temple-brings-huge-baphomet-statue-to-arkansas-capitol-for-rally/ )

  • Joe

    Because they meet the criteria of a religion.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    And what criteria is that exactly? Americans do speak English don’t they? Being part of a “religion” surely denotes some sort of “belief” system, not just a satirical anti-Christian hate club.

  • Joe

    They do have a belief system.

    If you’re interested, check out their website where they outline their beliefs in detail.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    Hang on, you just told me they don’t believe in the existence of Satan. Why take the name then? So they don’t have to pay tax?

  • Joe

    What does the name Satan have to do with anything? Is there something you’re having difficulty understanding here?

  • Geoff Plumridge

    What part of “The Satanic Temple” are you failing to understand? What does “Satanic” mean to you?

  • Joe

    It’s a name. Kentucky Fried Chicken is sold worldwide.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    But do you believe in Kentucky?

  • Joe

    That has nothing to do with anything.

    There’s a fundamental confusion on your part. I suggest starting here:

    https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/faq

    DO YOU WORSHIP SATAN?
    No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The Satanic Temple believes that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    No, I get it. Cynical greedy selfish hate filled people that don’t believe in anything but really don’t want to pay tax. No wonder the atheists love them.

  • I will pray Eldath, Goddess of waterfalls, pools, springs, and peace, for you.

  • I will pray Mielikki, the Forest Queen, for you.

  • Joe

    Did you even read the page I linked?

  • Or maybe you’ll spend an eternity on the Wall of the Faithless for having venerated a non-existant deity, or the Sumerian Ereshkigal will be waiting at the other side. Also, when it will happen?. During the Big Crunch maybe?. Or will it happen after a vacuum metastability event caused by decay of the Higgs boson?

    I’d not wage eternity in what’s written in a book, knowing how Zoroastrism has similar ideas for centuries before Jesus’ times.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    Sure did. Sad I bothered. But I might start a church called “Atheists really love Jesus” and try and get tax free status. They are just words after all, no real meaning.

  • Joe

    They cold do, but Satanism is already a valid movement worldwide.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    “Valid” being just a word surely doesn’t mean anything in this context, any more than “Satanic Temple” does. I just feel sorry for all of you.

  • Joe

    Why do you feel sorry? Satanism is a movement that has a lot of validity, and is now formally recognized as a religion. Which it is.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    Yep, invoking a name of a being they don’t believe in just to justify their self-indulgences. I feel nothing but pity.

  • Joe

    The name is ceremonial.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    And the religion factitious.

  • Joe

    I still don’t get why you;re so worked up about this. Everything is above board.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    Of course it is. It is a legitimate Satanic religion for people that don’t believe in Satan. Only messed up modern America can conjure up such complete and utter bullshit.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    If religion deserves no special privileges why do you support the existence of this one?

  • Phil Rimmer

    Support the existence of the privilege?

    In this sole instance to fund its abolition.

    Sweet.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    Just smells like bigotry. How boring.

  • Phil Rimmer

    Bigotry? Did you intend, perhaps, hypocrisy?

    And it is neither.

    Thrilled at your boredom though. Very promising for us all.

  • Phil Rimmer

    Fixed!

  • ORigel

    We believe in the Enlightment values that Satan embodies.

  • Joe

    What’s bullshit about it? I really don’t see your objection here.

  • Jim Jones

    Why is Scientology?

  • Jim Jones

    Baptists call themselves Christians as well. It’s a loose definition.

  • Geoff Plumridge

    They believe in Jesus? Tends to happen in that loose definition..

  • Geoff Plumridge

    “No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society….A man without an abiding faith is, by observation alone, more of a thing than a man.” Hubbard. So yes, Scientology is most definitely a religion.

  • BertB

    Scientology is no more or less fraudulent than all the rest.

  • Terry Fitzgerald

    If the churches would pay taxes, then maybe the stupid Trumptards could afford their wall!

  • BertB

    HAHA! That’s good. But they don’t pay taxes, so we all pay more…and I do not want to pay for Trump’s f**king wall!!!!!

  • hermes brookover

    I think it is a brilliant maneuver. This will get christian panties all in a wad. You have got to love that. I cannot wait to hear from the evangelical blow holes how much this hurts their feeling.

  • BertB

    Penny’s is gonna do a lotta business in panties.

  • Dr Sarah

    (zeroing in on main point…)

    There’s a Satanic Temple colouring book?? I now know what I’m getting for my daughter’s next birthday…

  • Lakawak

    trample the Constitution? Wow…way to show the world you don’t want to be taken seriously. Religious organizations get tax exempt status just like any other charity. Because they do charitable work. Nothing even remotely unconstitutional about it.

  • Lakawak

    I do love how you admit that your beliefs are based on that fact that you had no friends in college and read a book one weekend.

  • Lakawak

    Bert….thankfully, you have never had any position of power over anyone. Bert..your family wants just ONE thing from you. Your life insurance payout. Please, give that to them. For ONCE, make them proud.

  • BertB

    Churches generally spend less than 5% of their income on charitable work, and yet all their income is tax exempt, and their property is tax exempt.
    Also, they are not subject to IRS audit as secular charities are. Lots of special privileges that have nothing to do with their charitable work.

  • talonts

    Read your fucking buybull, fuckwit.

    “Hmm…a religion that not only allows but encourages: rape, murder, human and animal sacrifice, sex with animals and dead people, rape of infants, torture and cannibalism. I’m sure there are other repugnant and illegal acts that I am not aware of.”

    It’s all in that vile pile of crap you worship.

  • Nad Navlis

    You worship a satanic being so I understand your viewpoint.

  • Nad Navlis

    Fuck you, you motherfucking cocksucker. That is what you literally are. Worthless piece of shit. You give trash a bad name.

  • G.S.K. herzak

    Who isn’t a ‘satanic Marxist Muslim’ in your illiterate right wing nutbar world LOL!

  • Nad Navlis

    I have a post grad engineering degree and speak four languages, so your assumption regarding my literacy is wrong. Your assumption regarding people as “satanic Marxist Muslim” is wrong. I am not right wing and due to the security risk my job involves, my mental state has been tested and was found without issue. Stop posting because you can’t even manage to get one thing right. You are out of your depth.