Sometimes words become lies simply by virtue of who utters them.
According to KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Satanic Temple of Iowa posted a statement on Facebook Thursday regarding the toppling and destruction of its “holiday display” at the Iowa state capitol by a heroic Christian veteran.
“This morning, we were informed by authorities that the Baphomet statue in our holiday display was destroyed beyond repair. We are proud to continue our holiday display for the next few days that we have been allotted,” the Satanic Temple’s statement began.
“We ask that for safety, visitors travel together and use the 7 Tenets as a reminder for empathy, in the knowledge that justice is being pursued the correct way, through legal means. Solve et Coagula! Happy Holidays! Hail Satan!” the statement concluded.
References to Baphomet date to the Middle Ages. In the mid-19th century, however, European occultists adopted the “Sabbatic Goat” image of the pagan deity that has since “become a recognized occult icon,” according to Britannica.
On Thursday, former Navy pilot Michael Cassidy threw the idol’s head into a trash can and then knocked over the Baphomet statue. He was later arrested on a charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief.
On social media and elsewhere, however, Cassidy has received substantial support, including financial contributions to his legal defense.
“The world may tell Christians to submissively accept the legitimization of Satan, but none of the Founders would have considered government sanction of Satanic altars inside Capitol buildings as protected by the First Amendment,” Cassidy told The Sentinel Thursday.
BREAKING: @RepubSentinel can reveal that Michael Cassidy, a Christian and former military officer, tore down and beheaded the Satan altar in the Iowa Capitol:https://t.co/rIYIdZOzee pic.twitter.com/tZDsmKM5Pm
— The Sentinel (@RepubSentinel) December 14, 2023
Indeed, the Founders did not intend the First Amendment to cover satanic displays on public grounds. Their own words tell us as much.
The Satanic Temple’s statement also called for “empathy” based on its “7 tenets.” The first of those tenets, for instance, urges “compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.”
What should we make of this? Has the Satanic Temple merely mimicked Thomas Paine and the deistic radicals of the French Revolution? After all, who could object to compassion, empathy and reason?
In short, everyone can and must object.
Those who profess to follow the 7 tenets openly worship Satan. They do not hide it. “Hail Satan!” their statement read. And Satan lies. By definition, Satan lies in the service of the evil he personifies. Without deliberate deceit, in fact, Satan would not be Satan.
Thus, worshiping Satan without lies would amount to embracing Adolf Hitler’s Nazis without hatred of Jews. It cannot be done.
A famous literary example should suffice to illustrate.
In 1942, legendary Christian author C.S. Lewis published “The Screwtape Letters,” a satirical correspondence involving two demons.
Screwtape, a master devil, wrote a series of letters to his nephew Wormwood, a novice tempter. In each missive, the diabolical uncle instructed the apprentice demon on how best to alienate a young Englishman from God.
The book’s preface, however, made it clear that Screwtape — even in pursuit of his own ends — detested truth.
“Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle,” Lewis wrote of his literary demon.
In short, when those who worship evil profess concern for safety, empathy and justice, do not believe them.
When they express pride, on the other hand, take them at their word.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.