The Satanic Temple Idaho was barred from participating in a Pride Month event on Saturday that was geared towards a family-oriented audience after other sponsors began withdrawing from the event. Other sponsors allegedly withdrew amid backlash for the inclusion of a group that has "Satan" in its name.
The Christian Post reported that the "family-friendly" Pride event in Idaho was called "Pride in the Park" and was sponsored by several nationally and locally recognized groups including the ACLU's Idaho chapter, Citizens Climate Lobby, a local library, the state police for District 1 and the Ecumenical Catholic Communion Church. The Satanic Temple Idaho also sought to participate in the event and offered rituals called "unbaptisms."
The "Pride in the Park" website said that the "family/children's activity area" was part of its celebration in downtown Coeur d'Alene on Saturday and said that the Satanic Temple Idaho was one of its sponsors before removing it from the list.
Sponsors Withdraw from Event Following Satanic Temple's Participation
On Friday, the Libs of TikTok Twitter account posted screenshots of news reports that said the Satanic Temple Idaho had been removed from the "Pride in the Park" event on Saturday. The tweet said, "Satanic Temple removed from list of supporters for Idaho drag dance party after backlash. Other sponsors reportedly dropped their sponsorship after learning of the Satanic Temple's involvement."
Meanwhile, a member of the Satanic Temple Idaho confirmed on Twitter that organizations were withdrawing support in response to the Satanic group's participation in the Pride event. In a Facebook post announcing the Satanic Temple Idaho's participation in "Pride in the Park," the group said they would offer merchandise, support, and will perform "unbaptisms."
In the Christian faith, baptisms are a special sacrament wherein those who believe in Jesus declare their faith by submerging themselves in water, symbolic of their old life dying and being reborn as a Christian follower of Jesus. "Unbaptisms" on the other hand are rituals that reverse baptism to reject their old faith. It is also reminiscent of the practice called "debaptism" that emerged several years ago.
'Unbaptisms' Growing Popular in Europe
The ritual of "unbaptisms" are not new. Religion News Service reported in November that "unbaptisms" were growing popular in Italy, a historically Catholic nation. According to the report,. more and more people in Italy choose to go through the process of "unbaptisms" which became available 20 years ago at the behest of the Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics or UAAR.
Rev. Daniele Mombelli, who serves as the vice chancellor of the Diocese of Brescia and professor of religious sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, explained that the procedure "[formalizes] the person's abandonment of the church." For others however, "unbaptisms" or the act of abandoning the church is a statement opposing its positions on LGBT rights, euthanasia, and abortion.
Canon law, however, says that those who go through the procedure of "unbaptism" are committing the crime of apostasy, which come with "severe consequences," Rev. Mombelli explained. Such consequences include excommunication from the church without a trial, meaning that the person is not included in any sacraments and may not become a godparent and cannot enjoy a Catholic funeral.
Related Article: Satanic Temple Asking Boston To Fly Their Flag Following Christian Group's Supreme Court Win