The Satanic Temple held it’s first state-sanctioned ceremony.

The Michigan State Capitol has been the venue of numerous controversies because organizations and religious groups are free to book the capitol grounds for their cause-oriented events or displays. Last December 12, the supporters of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz held their version of the Christmas nativity. And a week after, the Satanic Temple of Detroit made its very first public satanic ceremony after being granted with the permit to do so.

Jex Blackmore, the director of the Detroit Satanic Temple spearheaded the ceremony and delivered her speech which mainly aims to define who Satanists are, detailing some of their beliefs, including their key agendas. Blackmore started by saying that the Satanist group represents the enlightenment of all humanity. She cites that Satanists promote “moral, spiritual and sexual freedom, personal independence, and insist upon personal choice in all things.” She also reiterated the idea of religious and individual freedom in America with emphasis on the separation of religion and the state.

Blackmore claimed that the group’s event is not an anti-Christian demonstration “To be clear, we are not anti-Christian, and we are not anti-religion. We are anti-degradation. We are anti-oppression.” But in her speech, the Satanic Temple director criticized Christian groups several times. Blackmore pointed that the earlier anti-same-sex marriage protest made by Christian activists at the same venue is a slander to the U.S. principle of embracing the diversity of its citizens.

According to Blackmore “The word of god has been evoked time and time again to justify opposition to the civil rights movement, to squash women’s liberation, and stand in the way of same-sex marriage. This is not ‘religious freedom.’ The inclusion of all is not oppression and the voices of the minority are not without value… These so-called ‘godly’ institutions call themselves a victim and call for radicalization – they are a snare upon our hooves. America is not an instrument of any one religious group.”

The director also detailed some of the advocacies of the Satanic Temple which revolved around juctice, honor, freedom and equality in the American society. Blackmore ended her speech by calling the audience to hail Satan “All hail the eternal rebel within all of us. To liberty, humanity, and justice. To the Satanic emancipator and end of repressive traditions. HAIL SATAN.”

The Satanic Temple’s ceremony is also marked by its very own version of nativity, the “Snaketivity.” Early this year, the Temple has also unveiled their “Baphomet” deity sculpture at their headquarters in Detroit.

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