via Facebook

A poster by a group of pastors calling for protests at the unveiling of a Baphomet statue with prayer. (image via Facebook)

Last month, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled that officials must remove a nearly six-foot-tall statue of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state’s capitol, thwarting the Satanic Temple‘s plans to install its own statue of Baphomet to challenge government endorsement of religious symbols. The group now plans to unveil the never-before-seen bronze sculpture, which represents Satan as a goat-headed figure, in Detroit on Saturday night at an event dubbed “The Unveiling.” Unsurprisingly, the Baphomet bash is causing a stir.

Today, a group of pastors shared a poster promoting a prayer rally and protest of the ticketed event, billed as “a hedonistic celebration” to launch the Satanic Temple’s “largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats.” The poster, which oddly has the same aesthetic of the Satanic Temple’s website, features a photograph of the statue between the words “NOT ON OUR WATCH” and the names of dozens of pastors. The opposition effort is spearheaded by Pastor David Bullock of St. Matthew Baptist Church, who told Christian Today that the unveiling of the Baphomet sculpture amounts to “valorizing, elevating Satan.”

A poster advertising the Unveiling (image via Facebook)

A poster advertising the unveiling (image via Facebook)

“The last thing we need — in a city where we’re fighting against violence and fighting against economic problems and unemployment and the water crisis — is a statue dedicated to Satan right downtown,” Bullock added. The Satanic Temple does not actually worship Satan, and the statue’s presence in Detroit is only temporary, but many others in the local Christian community are taking to social media to call for the statue’s destruction. The Satanic Temple originally planned the Unveiling at Bert’s Market Place in Detroit’s Eastern Market area, but its owner backed out after receiving threats about burning down the venue, as AP reported.

The group chose Detroit as the site of Baphomet’s unveiling because the city is also home to the Satanic Temple’s first national chapterhouse, as Jex Blackmore, part of the Satanic Temple’s executive ministry, explained to Metro Times. Blackmore said the Satanic Temple has a strong following in the area but that he is not surprised by calls to protest the event and destroy the sculpture, which the Unveiling’s event description says “stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action.”

“It’s an incredibly charged object — even the idea of it is just charged,” Blackmore told Metro Times. “It’s a really amazing thing to witness the kind of connotations important people place on it on both sides. We have purchased excellent insurance for the object. We will have an ample amount of security at the event. Of course we respect and even encourage people to express their opinions on either side because it’s healthy and it’s part of democracy.”

The event will occur at a secret location, to be revealed to ticket holders on Saturday. Baphomet may eventually follow through on its original cause and move to a spot near the Arkansas Statehouse, where lawmakers recently approved the installation of a Ten Commandments monument similar to the one in Oklahoma.

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Claire Voon

Claire Voon is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Singapore, she grew up near Washington, D.C. and is now based in Chicago. Her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, VICE,...

18 replies on “Will Christians Crash Satanic Statue Unveiling in Detroit?”

  1. “The Satanic Temple originally planned the Unveiling at Bert’s Market Place in Detroit’s Eastern Market area, but its owner backed out after receiving threats about burning down the venue.”

    The statue’s unveiling was relocated because the owner of Bert’s Market Place didn’t want the statue there and didn’t know who rented the space. He gave back the rent money when he discovered it was the Temple’s. The threats of vandalism did not go to venue’s owner, but to the Temple’s co-founder. No one “backed out” of anything due to “receiving threats”.

    You are misreporting, as usual, and need an editor. I’m honestly not trying to troll you, but when I read an outlandish story here (what critics of click-bait style internet writing call “outrage porn”), I scroll up to find you as the author. It takes about two minutes of reading the sources you cite to see how badly you’ve manipulated the facts. I’m just letting you know. That’s all.

  2. Wow, these pastor’s are sure daft. I hope they haven’t sent their silly little posters to the printer yet, as they cite Church of Satan, not TST. Too funny, and sadly typical; Christians can’t even get the name of their enemy right!

  3. Christians’ “religious freedom” once more threatened by the existence of other points of view.

    1. That point of view is derived from Christianity, so I think they have a valid argument. If I blow my nose in your eggs, would you be mad? Or would say, “he likes to cook with unusual flavours”? Based on your comment above, I hope the latter because you seem like a tolerant guy.

      1. I’m a lifelong Christian myself, and as such I’m very weary of the idea that people who do something I don’t do or put up a statue I wouldn’t pray to (though I must admit I find this particular idol amusing) are, and I’m also amused by your way of putting it, “blowing their nose in my eggs.” As Thomas Jefferson once said: “If my neighbor believes in a thousand gods or no god, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

  4. Members of The Satanic Temple don’t literally worship Satan. In fact, the philosophy embraces a non-supernatural view of the world. Satan is revered as a mythological figure. My definition of a “religion” includes the belief in a deity or deities. The Satanic Temple doesn’t qualify.

  5. Hey, I think pseudo Satanists and the objecting Funny Christian Subgroups mentioned in the article should all get together in a joint bondfire to safely burn this statue (or a suitable replica). That way, the FCSGs would rejoice and I am sure the Lord of Darkness who be most pleased! fun for all involved! If you take me on this idea, be sure to invite us all! Love and Peace, Terry

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