As debate continues over a monument that the New York-based Satanic Temple is set to release later this month in Detroit, Michigan, a Christian pastor recently faced-off against a representative of the group in a heated segment that aired on WJBK-TV.
Jex Blackmore, president of the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple and Pastor David Bullock of the Greater Saint Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, clashed last week over the definition of Satanism and the statue, which features a giant goat-headed deity.
The proposed monument has stoked controversy since its design was unveiled last year after a controversial Ten Commandments display was previously installed on the Oklahoma state capitol grounds.
A court ruled earlier this month that the Judeo-Christian-themed symbol must be removed, leading the Satanic Temple to announce plans to possibly place its monument in another state.
"The statue is supposed to create a dialogue?" Bullock said, calling the monument polarizing. "Well, statues don't talk and if you wanted to have a dialogue with other faiths — I mean why not send an email in advance?"
But Blackmore hit back, claiming that it was the pastor who is being polarizing.
"You've already made decisions about who we are, you've defined us for us, you've effectively taken our voice away from us and said that we are bringing evil to Detroit," she shot back, with Bullock responding, "No, you're putting words in my mouth now — I said mockery."
Watch the heated debate below:
The clash continued, as Blackmore alleged that there are many misconceptions surrounding Satanists.
"There is deep misunderstanding about Satanism as a religion in all of its various forms, because Satanism and the term satanic has been used as a political tool ... throughout history," she said, going on to share the definition. "We attempt to assert ourselves and our Satanic rights ... we understand Satan not in the Judeo-Christian concept, but in a literary and philosophical history in which Satan is a cultural hero, a liberator, the ultimate rebel against tyranny."
Bullock pushed back against that definition, though, saying that it seemingly makes no sense.
"Why call it satanism?" he asked. "If it's a political agenda, if you're a nontheist and you believe Satan is a literary figure ... if you don't believe in the devil, why call yourself a Satanist?"
The unveiling of the controversial statue, which was slated for release on July 25, will now be held in private due to reported threats, according to Raw Story.
(H/T: Raw Story)