So maybe you’ve heard of the the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). You know, the d-bags who picket the funerals of everyone from fallen soldiers to Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker, Â holding up homophobic signs and revelling in “god’s punishment” of the deceased?
Well,Â a little while back, members of theÂ Satanic Temple performed a pink mass over the grave of WBC founder Fred Phelp JR.’s mother. What’s a pink mass might you ask? Well, as the afore-linked article explains:
A Pink Mass is a ritual performed after death designed to turn a straight person into a homo, regardless of whether or not that person is currently alive. Itâ€™s not unlike the Mormon practice of baptizing the dead, only instead of being blessed with holy water, the personâ€™s spirit becomes totally gay.
When I first read this, I got to thinking “Hey, these guys don’t sound that bad. Not only do they oppose an institutionalized group that’s actually is evil, but they do it with a sense of humour, too.” I mean, they’re even trying to adopt a highway.
Satan in the Search Results
So I did some Googling around to find out more about them, where I found theÂ 9 TenetsÂ upon which the Satanic Temple was founded. Here are the first 6:
1) Strive to act with compassion and reciprocity toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
2) The struggle for justice is an ongoing pursuit.
3) People are fallible, and although we should all try to do our best, poor judgment is inevitable. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it, and resolve any harm that may have been caused by our misdeeds.
4) Oneâ€™s body is inviolable, subject to oneâ€™s own will alone.
5) Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take careÂ neverÂ to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
6) The freedoms of others should be respected, even the freedom to offend. To willfully encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forego your own.
You can go check the rest of them out for yourself, but none of their tenets are at all unreasonable. What it basically seems to come down to with these is: be compassionate, never give up the pursuit of justice, try to right your wrongs, keep your hands to yourself, follow the scientific method (love that one), and don’t encroach on anyone else’s freedom. Pretty fair, right?
But, of course, that’s just one group, so I kept Googling, which brought me to theÂ 11 Satanic CommandmentsÂ (via the Church of Satan) and, again, there were 6 rules that really caught my eye:
1) Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2) Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3) When in anotherâ€™s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
5) Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
8) Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9) Do not harm little children.
Again, you should check out the rest of them for yourself, but it basically comes down to: mind your own business, don’t bother anyone with your problems, be a good dinner/house guest, don’t be a perverted creep, don’t complain about what you choose for yourself, and keep your hands off children.
Overall, not a bad set of rules to make sure everyone gets along, wouldn’t you say? I mean, I can think of at least one major religious institution that could learn a thing or two from #9 alone.
Now, I know what some of you must be thinking: “But can you imagine what else it must say in their scripture and what they do for their worship?”Â WellÂ Google turned me into a pancake personÂ a long time ago, and I have the attention span of a Ritalin addict going through withdrawal, so my research kinda stopped there.
But what I can tell you is that I was raised with a holy book that advocates genocide, rape, and slavery, so I can’t imagine that anything that the Satanic scripture might have to say that can be that much worse.
So maybe the problem with Satanism is one of public perception. Maybe, if anything, what they can learn from other faiths is to better manage their brand and control the spin.