Jan 14, 2016

Deliver Us From Evil: Inside Detroit's Satanic Temple

Clara Benedek
Windsor Independent
January 13, 2016

Satanic Temple
Satanic Temple
It all began with a girl attending church every Sunday, slowly discovering herself, and finding that she was looking for something more than just being a “Servant of Christ.” She read the books and found that the term “Satanist” has been historically applied to individuals who opposed the church, like feminists, scientists, and philosophers. Over time felt that she belonged to this group and not the Sunday morning worship.

Her name is Jex Blackmore and she is the National Spokesperson for the Satanic Temple and the Director of their Detroit chapter.

“I realized that I had more in common with these Satanic characterizations, which are a reflection of our natural, freethinking selves,” she said.

A Detroit native, Blackmore thinks the city is an ideal location. “I believe we've done well here because Satanism appeals to the radical, politically-charged atmosphere of Detroit,” she said.

However, since the public and media found out about the chapter, it’s been tougher to run the organization. They currently do not have a location open to the public. “Managing a [public location] is incredibly difficult because of the number of threats we receive,” said Blackmore.

“Most people understand Satanism through the lens of horror films and bogus media hysteria,” said Blackmore, who was again in the media spotlight recently for blogging about her abortion.

“We do not attack or attempt to dismantle Christian systems, we merely ask that our voices and rights are represented alongside other religions,” she said. “In doing so, we often see attitudes of exclusion emerge from within our state legislatures, which highlights larger issues regarding the imposition of religious ideology upon a diversity of citizens who may or may not subscribe to those beliefs.”

Obviously passionate about social justice, Blackmore is contributing to the growing discourse that is slowly surrounding this religion. On their website, the Satanic Temple of Detroit offers seven fundamental tenets: acting in compassion and empathy, continuing the search for justice, autonomy over one’s body, respecting others’ freedom, recognizing scientific facts as truth, and rectifying mistakes we make towards others.

Finally, the last one reads “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.”

Blackmore believes that in theory all religions can get along, but it’s way more difficult to implement that practice. “ Power lies in the concept that only one religion is the absolute truth and that those who reject this concept are an enemy of the institution,” said Blackmore.

The organization unveiled the statue of Baphomet last summer, which Blackmore told ABC News that it represents “both beast and man with one hand pointed to the sky and one to the ground which symbolizes the dualities of our nature.”

Many followers of this religion do not actually believe in a personal Satan, however the organization stands behind many social causes such as gay marriage and reproductive rights.

For more information, visit thesatanictempledetroit.com.


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