Satanists will be rallying later this month in an effort to show support for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The intriguing cohort is throwing its weight behind the Republican politician in an effort to praise his “defense of religious liberty,” according to a press release put out by The Satanic Temple, the group that is organizing the event.
On Jan. 25, adherents will show up on the steps of the Governor’s Office at 1 p.m. ET “in a show of solidarity.” Neil Bricke, founder of the temple, will deliver remarks to those in attendance.
The statement mentions Scott’s recent approval of Senate Bill 98 — a controversial measure that permits students to read inspirational messages at school-sanctioned events — as a central reason for the gathering.
The Huffington Post has more about the contentious bill that was signed in early 2012:
Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed one the most controversial bills to pass in the House and Senate: SB 98, which permits school districts to allow students to read inspirational messages of their choosing at assemblies and sporting events.
Although the word “prayer” was explicitly struck from the bill’s language, the legislation is largely seen as a way for the State to sneak in religion into public schools.
Students are currently permitted 2 minutes in the morning for silent prayer or mediation.
While one might assume that Satanists would have an aversion to these inspirational messages — proclamations and sentiments that may, in many cases, be Christian in nature — The Satanic Temple is singing a very different tune. In fact, Satanists apparently see the measure as being one that reaffirms their own religious freedom.
“The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who — particularly with SB 98 — has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school,” the release reads.
The group believes that it is misunderstood and its members apparently hope to engage the public to correct what they see as mischaracterizations of their religious views. The press release, based on copy from the group’s web site, goes on to describe what The Satanic Temple believes about both God and the devil:
“[We believe] that God is supernatural and thus outside of the sphere of the physical. God’s perfection means that he cannot interact with the imperfect corporeal realm. Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind’s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning.”
The Satanist group is expecting more than 100 adherents to show up for the pro-Scott rally.