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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview
A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.
The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.
St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.
But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.
‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic
President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."
Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.
"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.
Dealmaker Donald Trump made overly-expensive deals with companies to buy supplies to fight the coronavirus
President Donald Trump proclaimed that he would make a deal with a company that could sterilize masks about 20 times. The company he was so captured by had appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast and
NBC political analyst Jon Allen explained that a company called Prestige Ameritech has been arguing for years that there is not enough domestic manufacturing. When Bannon introduced the head of the company to the Trump administration's Peter Navarro, it was a marriage of convenience.
"It's one of two contracts in the history of the American contracting database which goes back now 15 or so years where it says the White House ordered this," said Allen.