About 100 religious protesters gathered Saturday in Detroit to protest the unveiling ceremony by the Satanic Temple of a large Baphomet statue.
The Temple originally planned to unveil the bronze, goat-headed statue in public on commercial property, but had to move the ceremony to a secret, ticket-only location after receiving threats that Christians would blow it up or burn it down, the Raw Story previously reported. Some examples of the threats included:
“Let’s burn the statue down!”
“Better be safe the building might fall down lol”
“This Is complete bullsh*t.I can’t wait until we take this bitch down and f*ck it up. F*ck Satan!”
“I bet it would blow up real good.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, protesters gathered at Bert's Marketplace, which was the original location of the unveiling. The property owner backed out of the agreement after vocal opposition by the local Christian community.
"This unveiling will not happen in the City of Detroit on my watch,” Bishop Corletta Vaughn of the Holy Ghost Cathedral in Detroit told the Free Press at Saturday's protest. "I’m here to stand against this being in the City of Detroit. We will not turn over our city to Satanists. It’s a violent spirit that’s moving to the city and infiltrating that place. We will drive them out of Dodge."
According to photos by the Free Press, some protesters wore T-shirts bearing the word "Jesus," and one woman is seen seated on the ground, apparently overcome during prayers.
The protest was organized by Pastor David Bullock of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, who has been a vocal opponent to the Satanic Temple and its planned Baphomet unveiling.
Earlier this month, Bullock got into a heated debate with the Satanic Temple's Detroit chapter leader, Jex Blackmore in a television segment where Blackmore explained the Satanists don't worship a deity, but adhere to the philosophical and literature-based notion of Satan as an anti-tyranny figure.
The Baphomet statue was originally to be placed at the Oklahoma statehouse in a bid to counter a Ten Commandments monument there. The state Supreme Court ruled public property couldn't be used for religious displays, a victory for the Satanic Temple's efforts to retain religious -- or nonreligious -- plurality, according to the New York Times.
The Satanic Temple promised "The Unveiling" to be a "night of “chaos, noise, and debauchery… a hedonistic celebration,” along with provocative performances and artwork, according to the event page.
Watch the Satanic Temple's Jex Blackmore debate Pastor David Bullock here: