Hey, there! Log in / Register

The devil, you say: Satanists want to give invocation at Boston City Council meeting

Satanic Temple Boston

Local Satanists say it's time the Boston City Council give the devil his due - by letting them open one of the council's bi-weekly meetings with an invocation.

The council has long started its regular meetings with an invocation by a member of the local clergy, who are invited on a rotating basis by individual councilors. For the most part, that means ministers or priests, but over the years the council has also been led in prayer by rabbis, an imam and even Hare Krishnas - invited by at-large Councilor Michelle Wu last year to chant for Nepali earthquake victims.

In a letter to Wu, now council president, Travis LeSaffre, head of the Satanic Temple in Boston said he wrote councilors Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) and Tito Jackson (Roxbury) asking for an invite, but has not heard back from them.

In somewhat sulfurous terms, given that he only wrote the councilors last week, LeSaffre wrote:

It would be shocking if I am to be turned away due to my faith while other religions are allowed to hold prayers in a government building. In fact, I would say that it would be a breach of the first amendment.

The religious oppression felt by those outside the Christian community in Boston is a blight on an otherwise liberal state. Consider what your actions could do to increase the diversity of the city council's current invocation schedule and the light it can shine on religious plurality within the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Wu responded today with an e-mail response that noted that individual councilors only get to invite two or three clergy members a year - the council normally only meets every other week.

The invitations are often used to recognize faith leaders who are active in the community and organizations that are representative of their districts. There is no restriction or criteria based on any Councilor's religious preferences. Many of us have a long list of folks we'd like to invite but haven't been able to accomodate. Everyone is welcome to attend the weekly City Council session, to testify at any City Council hearing, and to get involved in our policy work.

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

The city council will never admit they already are neck deep in the devil's work.

Those uncomfortable seats in the council chambers gallery could only have been spawned from the depths.

up
Voting closed 0

Can anyone explain why on Halloween city hall in Salem is allowed to display witchcraft and pagan symbols and the their town symbol is a witch? During Christmas all symbols including the Nativity scene or Christmas symbols are taboo in public places.

up
Voting closed 0

Have you heard about the town's history? You might want to look it up; I hear it's kind of interesting.

up
Voting closed 0

This wouldn't be an issue if a bunch of christians didn't murder a number of innocent people in their town.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, it's because they're considered secular symbols of Halloween, the same way that decorated pine trees are secular symbols of Christmas and rabbits and colored eggs are secular symbols of Easter.

up
Voting closed 0

The Salem issue requires some understanding of symbology.

The decorations throughout the city used on Halloween are the results of folklore and negative treatment of people who were in discord with the early Christian church.

The "pointy hat," green skin, and images of withered old women were a PR stunt by the church and kingdoms in league with them, to show this was mostly a bunch of silly old women (many herbalists and midwives) who were out of step with modern society, and who were often in opposition to male-dominated authority. They were the feminists of the day. The pointy hat was at one time the current style. When the negative image came into being it was a generation out. Think of it as a 1950s hairdo and clothing.

None of the Halloween symbology and imagery is part and parcel of any pagan (earth centered) religion for the most part. Most of it is not. Only some is - a very small fraction.

The city used to be negative toward such symbology and business but over time it became the city's money-maker so you now have a card reader on every corner.

So what you are seeing is the business of Halloween, be it year-round, not the promotion of religion.

The close intertwining of Christmas imagery with religion is another issue completely. Christmas Trees are in fact a pagan image imported from Germanic lands. Same is true for a Yule Log.

The menorah for Hanukkah, and the manger images for the birth of Yeshua (Jesus) have specific religious associations. As such they become part of the religious-secular argument.

You might find it interesting that many if not most pagans actually believe in God (same as mainstream beliefs) but see Deity as manifest in both genders and in lesser forms within nature (not unlike angels). It is gender equal as one might find in some eastern beliefs.

Pagans are not Satanic. There is no Satan in their pantheon.

You need to accept a negative deity figure that is opposite of Jehovah/Yaweh so one must accept the Judeo-Christian deity structure and pantheon in order to have Satanism. Indeed "Satan" is actually a misconstrued term. it is actually "ha-satan." Wikipedia says---, "Hebrew Bible. The original Hebrew term satan is a noun from a verb meaning primarily "to obstruct, oppose", as it is found in Numbers 22:22, 1 Samuel 29:4, Psalms 109:6. Ha-Satan is traditionally translated as "the accuser" or "the adversary"."

In modern secular terms, the adversary or "self-doubt." It is the Ha-Satan that temps Jesus in the desert, and temps him to cast off his human form and be solely Deified.

up
Voting closed 0

*sigh* As someone who had read some satanic works in my life, there are different fractions of satanism, one of them is LaVeyan Satanism, and part of their bible list sins which include stupidity.

What the Satanic Temple is doing is stupid, you move in (are they based in Salem or is there a Boston church?), don't want to talk to people or be interviewed by the public and then demand to be treated equally, you don't give the city councilor you mailed out to a chance to respond, wait in till you get rejected. Before you move up the chain of command.

Do this: open your doors to the church and educate people in what you believe in, what you celebrate, who are the members. Help out the community, do a walk, do a food drive, something that's heads a positive light. Show the pubic of Boston that you are not some losers living in the basement in moms house, but human beings who are good people. Then.... Ask to do prayer. What the Temple is doing is trying to play the victim!

up
Voting closed 0

dpalomares, tell me more about the "pubic of Boston"

up
Voting closed 0

to be in the LeVeyan mold. They oppose those Westboro Baptist walking bungholes, so points there.

LeVey was an obvious showman / charlatan, but his religious philosophy didn't involve worshiping an evil deity and had nothing to do with the hysterical Christian view of Satanism as indulging in ritual human sacrifice, goat-humping and such. He mostly espoused a mix of hedonism (can't throw stones there) and the kind of Ayn Randian selfishness-is-awesome hoo-hah that people with normal human empathy recognize as awful once they turn 14. Fundamentalist Christians (fundies of most major religions, for that matter) strike me as a lot more dangerous, and nobody questions their right to get a seat at the table.

Where are the Pastafarians in this kerfuffle?

up
Voting closed 0

Because Massachusetts has some pastafarians.

But then where do you stop? Will atheists ask for a moment of silence, or whatever is they ask for? What about Discordians? Church of the SubGenius?

up
Voting closed 0

Will atheists ask for a moment of silence, or whatever is they ask for?

I think we'd just ask for the Council to get to work and stop wasting everyone's time with moments of silence or prayers to whichever god.

up
Voting closed 0

If you've actually read LaVey's work then you know that going to Randian levels of selfishness is a big no-no. Don't mess with others if they haven't messed with you is a major part of the philosophy.

up
Voting closed 0

is just "Ayn Rand with ritual and trappings." "Don't mess with others" is a fig leaf on an essentially selfish, greedy philosophy. Rand followers are arrested adolescents.

up
Voting closed 0

Are using their noodles and staying out of this one.

up
Voting closed 0

♪RAAAAA-MENNNNN♪

up
Voting closed 0

Oh, the Satanic Temple is mostly a bunch of pranksters - they go about looking for situations where there's an establishment-of-religion issue like a 10 Commandments plaque at city hall or a prayer group in a high school, and then ask for equal treatment. Which is how they got that enormous statue of Baphomet built for the Oklahoma statehouse, and got permission to distribute atheist and satanic coloring books in elementary schools in Florida.

up
Voting closed 0

but with death-metal symbology?

up
Voting closed 0

To me, this seems like a cynical setup for a lawsuit. They want public notice of being "excluded" from a club they never actually tried to join. That club is not "speaking in front of city council" which is a thing they have every right to do, but "being selected as civic minded religious institutions to lead our non-denominational invocation" which is a thing they have not actually tried to do.

I agree 100% with dpalomares.

up
Voting closed 0

Like the rabbis, imams, monks, and whoever is in charge of Hare Krishnas?

Well, people like to talk about the dog whistles on the right, no? I'd say this is the left wing version of that, except that there are too many decent liberals that would be unfairly slandered by such a statement.

up
Voting closed 0

That Dapper is coming back?

Good. He owes me $5.

up
Voting closed 0

How about we just do away with any religious element? Religion should not be involved in politics. Religion is quickly dying off as rationality takes over. A forward thinking city like Boston, who has been ravaged by child molesting priests, should be on the forefront on the separation of church and state.

up
Voting closed 0

I DO like the formality of starting a meeting with some kind of invocation. It's the "Oh Lord we pray to you" nonsense that bugs me. How about if the religious folks who come in are told to keep their comments along the lines of "May we all live in peace and help out our fellow mankind, amen."

up
Voting closed 0

Millions will vote for Trump...aside from that....

up
Voting closed 0

A bunch of time-wasting foolishness.

up
Voting closed 0

most definitely. Agree 100%

up
Voting closed 0

I have a feeling someone from Law Department will be paying a visit to Michelle Wu's office today to discuss the issue.

up
Voting closed 0

i care exactly as much if these guys lead a prayer as i do if the christians, muslims, jews, or jedi do

(its exactly zero)

(edit: ok it would be kind of neat if jedi were real but only if they had real lightsabers too)

up
Voting closed 0

IF YOU BRING YOUR LIGHTSABER TO CITY HALL IT MUST BE SHORTER THAN 2.5 INCHES. YOU HAVE TO PASS THROUGH SECURITY WHEN YOU ENTER THE BUILDING AND THEY WILL MEASURE IT WITH A RULER.

up
Voting closed 0

letters like that. I've decided it makes even the most nonsensical and irrational posts more convincing. What is the trick? Holding down the shift key is a pain, makes me have to hunt-and-peck type. Please share your secret of sounding like a deaf senile person.

(Either that, or show me how to do the Irony font on uHub.)

up
Voting closed 0

on your keyboard for that. It's called CAPS LOCK.

up
Voting closed 0

on keyboards for at least a year. I would have noticed that by now.

up
Voting closed 0

I hit CAPS LOCK by accident on a regular baSIS. ;-)

up
Voting closed 0

I CAN EMPHATICALLY (AND ONLY EMPHATICALLY) TELL YOU THAT IT REALLY GETS MY POINT ACROSS. NO ONE EVER RESPONDS TO MY EMAILS OR COMMENTS ARGUING WITH ME SO I'M CLEARLY WINNING EVERY ARGUMENT!!!

ON TO THE NEXT ONE!!!

up
Voting closed 0

The State House stenographer is a Satanist?

up
Voting closed 0