'SatanCon' Debuts in Boston, Marking a Decade of The Satanic Temple's Defiance Against Religious and Political Norms

The Satanic Temple
Flickr/Marc Nozell

The SatanCon gathering in Boston is the Satanic Temple's 10th-anniversary celebration. Contrary to popular belief, the organization is less a gathering place for true worshipers of evil and more a sarcastic satire on American culture. 

In contrast to the Church of Satan, the temple does not elevate Satan to the status of the personification of evil. As an advocate for humanity and a necessary rebellion against an oppressive government, it sees him as a literary figure instead.

10th Anniversary of The Satanic Temple to be Held in Boston

According to a shared article on MSN, around 700,000 of the group's followers worldwide, according to co-founder Malcolm Jarry, think that Satan is portrayed in literature as a hero. However, the convention, which attracts guests wearing scarlet bodysuits and devil's horns, seems to have unnerved the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The archdiocese has planned a weekend of solemn activities to protest the convention in response.

In response to the SatanCon gathering, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is hosting several prayer-centered activities. According to the archdiocese's spokesperson, Terrence Donilon, their reaction is well-rounded, focusing on prayer, and there are plans to complete gathering places across the archdiocese.

The Boston Marriott Copley Place is the venue for SatanCon, which is believed to be the biggest Satanic gathering in history and is currently sold out. The celebration of the Satanic Temple, symbolically housed in a Victorian home in Salem, Massachusetts, will include temple rituals, a bazaar, and a wedding chapel.

Malcolm Jarry and Lucien Greaves, who met while attending Harvard, created the Satanic Temple. They started the organization to uphold the separation of church and state and advance inclusive religious freedom.

A representative for the Satanic Temple, Dex Desjardins, clarified that the group is frequently misunderstood and is not theistic, meaning they do not think there is a genuine Satan. According to  WBUR, he stressed that other religions have used the word Satan as well. The Salem-based Satanic Temple primarily emphasizes the fundamental principles of humanity, intelligence, and individual liberties.

Desjardins clarified that the group is more than just a free-speech advocacy group for political activists. Their limited advocacy focuses mainly on the First Amendment's protection of equal rights, religious freedom, and fair representation in public life.

Due to an existing legal dispute with the city, the Satanic Temple selected Boston as the location for their gathering. The group filed a lawsuit against the city council after it disallowed one of its members from giving the invocation at a meeting. According to Desjardins, the council has the discretion to pick and choose which religious leaders are permitted to deliver invocations, which the Satanic Temple considers to be highly discriminatory.

Also Read: Former Priest Warns of Spiritual Consequences As 'After School Satan Club' Sparks Controversy

About the Satanic Temple and Recognizing Misconceptions

The Satanic Temple is a satirical, non-theistic religious group that explores why some religions receive preferential treatment and challenges politics and religion. In the article in Global News, even though it's satirical, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service officially recognizes it as a church, granting it tax-exempt status.

The Satanic Temple upholds seven fundamental principles, including avoiding scientific fact distortion and forming views through scientific understanding. Members don't believe in a genuine Satan; instead, they see him as a literary character who stands for disobedience to authority.

Like humanism, which emphasizes reason and human potential more than divinity and faith, the organization's theology encourages freedom, compassion, and skepticism. Due to its "outside status" and hostility to dictatorial rule, the Satanic Temple sets itself apart from humanism.

Related Article: After School Satan Club Use of Northampton County Middle School to Be Reviewed Following School Threat and Closure