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Debate over Satanic statue devolves into shouting match as Detroit pastor berates ‘non-theist’ Satanist

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A discussion between the Satanic Temple’s Detroit chapter president and a local Christian pastor devolved into a shouting match as tempers flared over the Temple’s planned unveiling of a goat-headed Baphomet sculpture this month.

The local Detroit MyFox station paired the Temple’s Jex Blackmore and Pastor David Bullock of the Greater Saint Matthew Baptist Church in panel called “Let It Rip,” and they did.

Bullock has been at the forefront of Christian opposition to the Satanic Temple’s 8-foot-tall bronze statue that was set to be unveiled on July 25 in public. The “Unveiling” is now being held in private because of threats.

“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 to demonize individuals who rebelled against systems of authority and power,” Blackmore said.

She said the group is a non-theistic organization that has “political and activist undertones… We understand Satan not in the Judeo-Christian concept, but in the literary and philosophical history” in which Satan is an anti-tyranny figure.

This prompted Bullock to challenge her because the group doesn’t worship Satan as a deity in the sense that Christians worship.

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“If you don’t believe in the devil, why call yourself a Satanist,” Bullock asked. “Either your group is this strong, powerful group that is expressing themselves, or you’re being terrorized… Either the devil exists, or the devil doesn’t.”

Blackmore responded that the idea that a religion has to be focused on a supernatural god is “offensive.”

At the end of the segment, Bullock launched into what sounded like a sermon.

“What people believe matters,” he said as the host told him they were out of time. “Dylann Roof believed in white supremacy, he killed nine black folks in a church.”

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The Satanic Temple received a number of threats after announcing they’d unveil the Baphomet statue on commercial property, including threats to “burn it down” or “blow it up real good.” They’ve moved to a secret location at a ticket-only event. After the unveiling, the group is currently planning on moving the Baphomet to the statehouse in Arkansas, where officials are planning to set a Ten Commandments monument.

After vowing to move their Satanic sculpture to Oklahoma’s statehouse to counter a Ten Commandments monument there, the state Supreme Court ruled public property couldn’t be used for religious displays.

The group has been an effective foil to conservative Christian claims to theocratic dominance, using language in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act intended to favor Christians to challenge abortion waiting periods, according to the New York Times.

They first gained notice in 2012 when then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott was pushing to allow voluntary prayer at public schools.

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“So we created this mock rally in support of Rick Scott where we were coming out to say how happy we were because now our Satanic children could pray to Satan in school,” co-founder Malcolm Jarry told the Times.

The purpose of moving the Baphomet statue to capitols where lawmakers place Christian displays is to counter-balance them and “reaffirm that we live in a pluralistic nation that respects diversity and religious liberty,” co-founder Lucien Greaves told Fox’s Megyn Kelly in a recent interview.

In an email to Raw Story, Greaves said Bullock has actively stoked “misinformation and hysteria” about the statue unveiling.

“In light of the recent threats we have been receiving against ourselves and our monument unveiling event, we have reached out to Pastor Bullock asking if he might condemn [the] threats of violence against us that his hysteria-mongering has provoked,” Greaves wrote. “He has failed to reply.”

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Ben Stein: Black people have a ‘very deep attachment’ to feeling like ‘they’ve been victimized’

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On Monday's edition of Fox Business' "Trish Regan Primetime," conservative writer and actor Ben Stein complained about how African-Americans refuse to be grateful for what President Donald Trump is doing for them because they have an "attachment" to feeling like "they've been victimized."

"Let me ask you, though, Ben, in this environment, we're now looking at the lowest unemployment rate for black Americans in the history of the United States of America under none other than President Trump," said Regan. "Is any of that loyalty starting to shift? I mean, are traditional black Democrats saying, hey, maybe the Democratic Party has failed me? Maybe I need to rethink this?"

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‘I don’t have to do it, legally’: Trump says he can invade Iran without Congress’ permission

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On Monday, CNN reported that in a new interview, President Donald Trump said that he can invade Iran without congressional approval — and that although he would "like the idea" of keeping Congress in the loop, he doesn't "legally" have to do so.

"I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn't have to do that," said Trump. In response to the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said he must obtain congressional approval first, Trump said, "I disagree. I think most people seem to disagree."

"I do like keeping them — they are intelligent people," added Trump. "They will come up with some thoughts. I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress which I think were helpful to me. I do like keeping them abreast, but I don't have to do it, legally."

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US foes are goading Trump because they know he’s a ‘blow-hard and full of bluster’: CNN analyst

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President Donald Trump walked back from the brink of atrocities last week, from calling off a military strike against Iran to pushing back planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in major American cities.

On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told anchor Wolf Blitzer how foreign adversaries have been emboldened to challenge Trump — because for all his bombast, they know they are calling a bluff.

"I think Donald Trump is pretty well a known quantity at this point," said Toobin. "I mean, I think people around the world know he's a blowhard, knows he's full of bluster. But that's no reason to get into a war."

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