Topping the list of hot trends in 2014 were “Victimism” (i.e., posturing as a victim for political advantage and media attention) and “Annoy-Thy-Neighbor” activism. There were many groups that combined both to great effect, so it would be difficult to choose the best representative case. But the lamest example of the year is much easier to find: it’s by Jex Blackmore and the Michigan Satanists.
Unfortunately, that’s not the name of a band trying to hard to be clever. Blackmore is a real person (I think, but who knows nowadays) and a member of the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple. As is typical of most modern-day “Satanists” they don’t really believe in Satan at all. On their Facebook page they explain, “As Satanists, we believe that elevating revolt against arbitrary authority and defiance in the face of oppression is the highest of callings. We stand in solidarity with groups who are subject to institutionalized forms of discrimination and state oppression.”
In other words, they’re the typical lefty Social Justice Warriors—only more clueless and annoying. Secular Satanists think they’re being edgy and ironic and sticking it to Christians, while everyone else considers them as cringe-worthy in their lack of self-awareness. Seriously, is there anything sadder than a secular Satanist? They’re so pathetic you want to give them a hug and offer them some hot cocoa. You want to tell them that if they’d just stop drawing pentagrams and scribbling “I ♥ Richard Dawkins” in their notebooks and go out into the Real World they too could make friends .
Instead, they try to hide their loneliness by doing stuff like erecting a “Satanic holiday display” at the Michigan statehouse:
The display, which depicts a snake wrapped around the Satanic cross presenting a book as a holiday gift, will be featured on the northeast lawn at the Capitol Dec. 21 to 23, said Jex Blackmore, a member of the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple. The cross reads, “The greatest gift is knowledge.”
“Encouraging families to have important discussions and to learn from each other and to spend the holidays promoting knowledge … is just something we think is important,” Blackmore, whose phone number begins with the digits 666, said today.
John Truscott, a member of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, which approved the display, said the commission had to OK it because members were “constrained by the Constitution” and must “recognize everybody’s First Amendment rights.”
But Truscott added, “Personally, I think this is absolutely repulsive and I’m very frustrated by it. I don’t appreciate a group trying to hijack a Christian holiday.”
I understand Truscott’s frustration but surely he can’t be too surprised, can he? After all, showing disrespect for our neighbors has become as much a holiday tradition as Nativity scenes on the courthouse square.
And speaking of Nativity displays, there won’t be one at the Michigan Capitol this year. A person from out-of-state offered to pay for it but couldn’t find anyone to put up and tear down the display each day, a requirement since the Capitol rules forbid permanent displays.
Sure, the Satanists have more time on their hands this season put up and tear down their own display. After all, they probably don’t get a lot of invites to Yuletide parties. But we Christians shouldn’t get too upset about the Satanic holiday display when we’re too lazy to put up our own holiday scenery. Maybe we should even concede the secularists won the “War on Christmas,” or at least let the Satanists win this particular skirmish. As Jesus said, “… and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well.”
Let ’em have the statehouse square and their silly display, and we’ll work on finding a way to show them what—and who—Christmas is really about.
Update: Christmas is saved! A Michigan state senator has stepped up to help with a Nativity display: Emphasizing he was putting up the nativity scene as “citizen Rick Jones, not Sen. Rick Jones,” he said he was happy to “represent the light and not the darkness.”