By now, many of you have seen this story. If you haven't, click the pic to be directed to the source of the story that is making its round in the media coverage.
I also shared this on my personal facebook page and I knew it would sound a little critical to say what I am about to say. WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT OF THIS?
Ok...now that it probably hit a nerve with you, lets start from the very beginning. Everyone knows that I have been very supportive of TST since the beginning but truth be told, after 5 years, not only did we not always see eye to eye, many in the Satanic community have come and gone from their wavering support for them. TST has faced a few challenges since the beginning.
Now, I am not going into a long history of the details where I can make examples of when they gained or lost support from Satanists, because if you are an avid reader of all things Satanic in social media, or news outlets, you'd be familiar with some of the criticism they have faced. I have had my fair share but I don't go in depth over some of the things they do. For the most part, I think they served as a vessel for Satanists worldwide. It was not long ago that Satanism was a religion that had remained "underground" for lack of a better way of putting it. Its not that Satanism is a horrible thing, its not. It's not a lifetstyle, its not a trend, or a phase, its a philosophy and a way of life by means of how Satanists view the world for what it IS. Often times, frowned upon by the majority of other religions, in particular, the Christianity types. We are the most hated and discriminated against for simply believing what we believe in. This is exactly what Jews have dealt with nearly their entire history. You cannot tell a Jew from a Christian by simply looking at them. Its not until they tell you or you tell them, that changes everything. Once people know, you are either accepted or disrespected. The same applies for Satanists. I mean, have you forgotten the Satanic Panic era? That was just fear over nothing and a reason to treat Satanists like the worst of mankind. This is partly the reason why Satanism has always remained an underground religion.
Then comes The Satanic Temple when they made some bold moves on the political arena. Everyone was thrilled and loving it. What started out as a joke to go against the grain with society and politics had taken a turn for something more serious worth fighting for. This is how it began and again, if you do not know their story, research it. I am not about to into details on that, I am merely getting to my point, bare with me.
After all that they have done, I was supportive of most of it. For me, things jumped the shark by the way I experienced a personal situation with them. I have told my story in the past and I was rather disenfranchised by some of the people at headquarters and their professionalism. However, having said that, I didn't feel that the entire organization is this way. Just a few bad apples within. It was not until just over a year AFTER I told my own story that things really started to unravel for TST. Many had become critical over how headquarters handled certain situations including but NOT LIMITED to membership departures. In fact, CHAPTER HEADS were leaving the organization along with some of its members. Now, I cannot blame anyone for doing what they feel is best. I have had my own set of questions on how things are run. Every Satanist should ALWAYS question everything for themselves, THE INDIVIDUAL. Understand that NOT EVERY Satanist will agree with each other. Satanism is a very individualistic religion, we worship ourselves, the highest authority in our lives. This is a core belief in Satanism and I felt that alot of this was lost with these sudden rise in GROUPS of Satanism. Suddenly, everyone was a fuckin High Priest of this and that. I mean seriously? Such a title better come with some serious leadership skills if you ask me. This is why I never endorsed becoming a member of any group and I have always been very clear on this. There are a few unprofessional people or lack of leadership within the organization. I have spoken to them in one way or another. I have heard the stories that come out and I soak it all in. I never speak of things unless I am asked for my opinion, with the exception of this blog where I am a little more open about my thoughts on things. TST has the potential to be a voice for Satanism in the public sector. I think it has good footing for such but it is still such a new organization and has more work to do. Some of what they have done, however, can be a little questionable, at least for me.
In the most recent story that has come up. The SNAKE-tivity scene. I am from Chicago so this really hit home for me. Its not the first time a Chapter of TST has put up a festive piece of art or sculpture. Now, for the most part, my home state of Illinois has done something VERY honorable. The state capitol has held up the Free Speech protocol for those who wish to put up festive decorations or statues or what ever way you wish to refer to it. They did it without making a ruckus about it. Now, here is where I have questions about this. The rules were simple, tax payer money cannot have paid for it. That's fair, right? So who DOES PAY FOR IT?
Think about this a second...
Now, in support of TST, I think its great that they raise money to fight the ongoing court battles for things they feel strongly about. For one in particular that I was NOT In support of, on a personal level of course, was the Twitter lawsuit. You UTILIZE TWITTER'S platform to get your message out. In my opinion, if anything happens and your account gets shut down, you are going to fight an uphill battle because its THEIR PLATFORM and THEIR RULES. Grant it, maybe they have a chance to win an argument but is it necessary to really go after twitter AFTER they reinstated your account? I felt that the remedy was already done but still, they got sued. And that is where I was really questioning how I think about my support for really just ANY organization.
Years ago, when I started this website, I saw a sudden rise in competition. Other sellers were and still are, producing Satanic Jewelry. They see someone having some success and they think they can produce something better. Well, THEY THOUGHT it was easy but as you may already know, since the founding of the Church of Satan, no one has every produced Sigil of Baphomet Necklaces like I have. Competitors had decades before me to come up with a good product. And even now, they try. My response to this sudden rise was simple. VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS PEOPLE!
Think of money like casting a vote. The more you cast into a particular product or service, the more you assure yourself that that company will stay around longer while the losers will eventually fade away into failure. So having said this just a few years ago, how does this relate to this story?
Its simple, your donations and purchases helps fund things that may or may not be in your favor.
Let me be clear on this too. I don't particularly care what organizations do with the money they get donated or funds raised through sales. I don't but if I have to question whether my money supports this, that is when I have to really think about this a little better.
Finally, this leads me to the TST Snaketivity in Springfield , IL. What is the fuckin point of this? First of all, Satanists do not celebrate Christmas. Never have. I have to question whether an organization is set out to just disrespect other religions and expect respect back? Is that really the question here? Its not our fucking holiday anyway, yet there I see stooping down to a low level by mocking their holiday. And I also think the money could have been spent for better causes. I asked this on my personal facebook page by simply saying, what is the fuckin point of this? So we can show off that were are a religion too? I think I already knew that. I don't care what others think. They are not Satanists. Do I expect them to understand MY religion? FUCK NO. Not any more than I understand their hypocrisy. I will never understand it but does that mean I need to really push against the grain with them at every chance I get? Of course not.
Listen, You do not wear your KISS ME I'M IRISH greens on CINCO DE MAYO. They do not mix. I don't see the point of putting Satanism in the faces of religious groups that have their own festive holidays. Our highest holiday of the calendar year is our birthdays. How would you like holy thumpers showing up on your celebration rubbing their garbage in your face? So why should WE be doing the same? Right? I mean, Anton LaVey said it best, we are the Satanic ELITISTS...that title holds value by the way we conduct ourselves. We know we will never be understood by non-satansists, that's a given. Doesn't mean we need to stir up controversy just because we CAN. Yeah, Illinois State Capitol didn't put of a fight over it. They did the right thing, but is it necessary to step into the lime light because the opportunity presents itself? I question that.
I am entrepreneur and savvy with my money. I cannot look at people with bad spending habits who later ask for help down the road. I have to look back and ask, was that purchase necessary when you DID have the money, JUST BECAUSE you COULD at the time? Gotta think long term. This is the stuff that can bring people down AND organizations too. So some day, when I am asked for support, I may have to refer to this sort of behavior too and really think about how I am going to VOTE next time.
When I got a response on my personal facebook page it was answered with a question. "What is the point of plurality?"
I don't think this is about plurality. It was taking an opportunity to do what we wouldn't want done to us.
Take the high road my friends and always stay Dark