After winning a court battle aided by the ACLU, a member of the Satanic Temple prayed “Hail Satan” to open a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough in southern Alaska, prompting walkouts by about a dozen officials and attendees.
Satanic Temple member Iris Fontana closed her prayer Tuesday with: “That which will not bend, must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared as demise. It is done, hail Satan,” according to Kenai radio station KSRM.
It was Fontana’s invocation to the same body in August 2016 that touched off the legal fight. The borough reacted with a new policy limiting people giving the invocation to those from an “Assembly-approved religious association.” Fontana and the ACLU sued, and the Alaska Supreme Court ruled last October that the policy was unconstitutional. The new policy allows people of all faiths or no faith.
On Tuesday, protesters outside the borough’s administration building drew 40 people with signs saying “reject Satan and his works” and “know Jesus and his love,” the Peninsula Clarion newspaper reported.
Others signed up to pray before assembly meetings include a “non-believer,” a Baha’i, a Wiccan and a Pastafarian.
KSRM said that among the protesters Tuesday was William Siebenmorgen, who flew to Alaska from Pennsylvania for the event.
“God will be pleased with our public prayers of reparation. We want God’s blessings on America, not Satan’s curses. Lucifer is the eternal loser. Let’s keep him out,” he told radio station.
In her invocation, Fontana asked attendees to clear their minds and embrace the impulse to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Let us be present in this moment, clear our minds and be free of outdated propaganda and regulations that were created by historical people who were afraid of the unknown.
Let us embrace the impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so that we may let go of comforting delusions, and see the truth in the world.
Let us demand that humans be judged for their actions, not their loyalty to useless social norms, labels, and categories.
Let us stand firm against all authority that tries to threaten the unalienable rights of all humans.
Let us cast aside our differences to use reason, logic, science, and compassion to create solutions for the greater good of our community.
It is Done. Hail Satan. Thank you.
Barrett Fletcher, the pastor of the satirical First Lower Peninsula Congregation of Pastafarians — believers in the Flying Spaghetti Monster — told the local paper the borough should do away with invocations and “stop offending people.”
“I’m sure when I give the invocation in Homer in September there will be people that are offended by the idea of a creator of the universe, the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, being invoked,” Fletcher said.
‘Weapon to fight the religious right’
The Spaghetti Monster movement emerged in 2005 to protest a decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to allow the teaching of intelligent design alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution.
As WND reported in 2016, the Satanic Temple, which pressed for an “After School Satan Club” at a Washington state elementary school, says it views Satan as a literary figure, symbolic of rebellion, and regards Satanism as a “formidable weapon to fight” against the “religious right” for “the separation of church and state.”
In 2015, the Satanic Temple of Seattle came to a Bremerton High School football game, west of Seattle, clad in devil costumes to demand equal access to pray publicly. They were responding to assistant coach Joe Kennedy’s post-game ritual of quietly praying on the 50-yard line, which drew a crowd of players, parents and local residents in solidarity when the practice was opposed as an alleged violation of the First Amendment. The Seattle Times reported at that time that a half-dozen students and teachers invited the Satanists to attend an Oct. 29, 2015, game in “the spirit of free expression.”
Meanwhile, in Mount Vernon, Washington, about 60 miles north of Seattle, the Satanic Temple of Seattle threatened a lawsuit to force Centennial Elementary School to allow its After School Satan Club.
The Satanists were seizing on a 2001 Supreme Court ruling, Good News Bible Club vs. Milford Central School District, which stated that if schools allow any organization to use school property, they must allow access to all organizations, including religious ones.
‘Embrace the Luciferian impulse’
In her August 2016 invocation, Fontana urged the assembly to “embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the tree of knowledge,” concluding with, “Hail Satan.”
Hello everyone, thank you for having me. Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines, born of fearful minds in darkened times. Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the tree of knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old. Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations. Let us reason our solutions with agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of all or one. That which will not bend must break and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. It is done. Hail Satan. Thank you.