Dear Opinionated Social Media Political Philosopher,
Congratulations on the recent social media post where you cunningly argued that if monuments to American “history” are to be forcibly removed during this current wave of Civil Rights protests, so too should The Satanic Temple’s goat-headed, angel-winged Baphomet monument be destroyed. So many independent-minded, mainstream media-eschewing, non-conformist God-fearing patriots like yourself have individually arrived at the same idea at the same time that I put together this standard letter to address it, just for you.
The problem with the idea of destroying Baphomet in response to the removal of Confederate memorials is that it does not represent equal treatment, because:
- Confederate memorials are not religious monuments. Baphomet is in a completely different category with completely different arguments for its inclusion on public grounds. Arguing for the removal of Baphomet in reply to the removal of Confederate memorials is a non-sequitur that is equivalent to arguing that if pornography can’t be broadcast on public television neither can Sesame Street. The medium is the same, but the messages -- and the arguments for and against those messages -- are entirely different.
- Baphomet has only ever been requested to be installed where there are already pre-existing 10 Commandments monuments. Just as it is nonsense to say that Baphomet should be destroyed in reply to the removal of Confederate memorials, it is nonsense to argue that Baphomet should be destroyed, in the name of equality, while 10 Commandments monuments should remain. Just because we choose not to venerate American traitors who fought to uphold slavery does not mean we must therefore abandon religious liberty. We have never asked for the 10 Commandments to come down, only that we be allowed to erect Baphomet on the same public grounds where they reside. You do not remove Baphomet by taking down Confederate memorials. You remove Baphomet when you remove 10 Commandments monuments. Unless,
- You are not arguing for equal treatment, but for arbitrary authority that benefits your own viewpoint. You are signaling that you do not disagree with unequal treatment, you just begrudge the fact that you feel that it is being dispensed against your own interests. Do not pretend that your argument against Baphomet is based on “fair play.”
- The Baphomet monument does not marginalize or denigrate anybody. Try as they might, panicked and outraged Evangelicals have no credible claim that the Baphomet monument diminishes them in any way. We have always been clear regarding the meaning and intention of Baphomet: to celebrate diversity, pluralism, free expression, and religious liberty. Christians who cite a false history based upon conspiracy theories of “Satanic Ritual Abuse” are actually continuing a Christian history of marginalizing and denigrating “others” by way of witch-hunts, inquisitions, and unjustified out-group purges. It is this history, ironically, that gives the Baphomet monument all of the historical gravity that can be afforded “historical” depictions of the 10 Commandments.
All of these arguments aside, however, it is worth noting that the Baphomet monument (of which there is only one) does not currently reside on public grounds at all, which moots the entire argument from the start. It is also worth noting that, in Arkansas, where we are fighting to have the Baphomet displayed, a 10 Commandments monument has stood throughout the course of litigation, unmolested by secularists, Satanists, religious liberty advocates, and others who disagree with its placement there. (It was, upon its original installation, promptly, and intentionally, smashed into by a car that was being driven by a deranged born again Christian… but that’s another story.) Hardly a week goes by where we are not confronted with threats of Baphomet’s destruction, and those threats began coming at us well before the current unrelated monument controversies. No doubt, when Baphomet resides on Capitol grounds, some offended zealot will attempt to destroy it, regardless of the fate of any other monuments elsewhere in the nation.
...And no reference to unrelated Confederate memorial removals will lessen the hypocrisy in that.
The Satanic Temple
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