On the website of The Satanic Temple is a page listing their tenets. It begins,
THERE ARE SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL TENETS.
- One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
As any psychopath knows, reason alone does not lead to compassion and empathy. Quite the contrary: reason without God’s grace leads to selfish and antisocial behaviors.
“One should strive [to do good]…” and one will soon fail, over and over (Romans 3:10-19). This is self-evident, but some people deeply in love with themselves may yet need some gentle coaxing to be honest with themselves.
- The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
By definition, justice depends on objective and absolute laws, and even satanists know these laws.
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:14-15).
Further, justice can only be served if an authority enforces laws. The book of Judges recounts the many depraved acts of men who lived without a king to tame their lawlessness.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25).
Of course, it wasn’t a worldly king they needed, but the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
- One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
Parents have not only the right, but the responsibility, to protect and care for the bodies of their young children, even and especially when it contravenes the child’s own will.
The evident moral rules that regulate parent-child relationships are but a shadow of God’s regulating moral laws over all of us.
Your body is not your own; you were bought at a great price (1Co 6:19-20). Further, in marriage, the husband has authority over the wife’s body, and the wife has authority over the husband’s (1Co 7:4). Lastly, Jesus submitted His own will to that of His Father by specifically sacrificing His body to atone for our sins (Jhn 6:38, 1Jn 2:2).
- The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
How about offending children? At what age is a child ready to be offended? Are children always free? Can parents ever encroach upon the freedoms of their children, say, to enforce a bedtime?
On November 18, 2017, the Arizona chapter of The Satanic Temple will be hosting a “celebration of secular life,” which includes this notice in the invitation: “18+ to party, 21+ to drink.” How does this restriction not willfully and unjustly encroach on the freedom of 17-year-olds? Shouldn’t the assertion of Tenet 2 lead The Satanic Temple to “prevail over laws and institutions” in this case?
- Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
What constitutes “our best scientific understanding of the world?” Shall we submit to a judge or a jury of “our best” scientists to decide these matters, and if we do, won’t their decisions necessarily offend the freedoms of those who disagree? What’s the difference between a “scientific fact” and a “belief?”
- People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
What qualifies as doing “our best to rectify [our mistakes]?” Who defines “any harm that may have been caused?” This tenet implies that the perpetrator of the harm is responsible for defining it (Judges 21:25).
- Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
Let’s not let words get in our way as we pursue “nobility in action and thought!”
For someone who denies supernaturalism, exactly what is the materialist definition of “the spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice?” Christian theology does not deny that unbelievers know in their hearts the existence of these transcendent truths – in fact, the Bible affirms that they know (Romans 2:14-15) – but the materialist worldview is woefully incapable of accounting for it. The Satanic Temple must steal from the Christian worldview (“the spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice”) in order to assert moral order, because it’s completely missing from their own.
In other words, nobody can maintain the belief that these tenets just popped into existence ex nihilo. One must acknowledge God as the source of moral law, or one lies and commits theological larceny. It’s hardly surprising to find satanists lying and stealing.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).