'Largest Satanic Gathering in History': SatanCon Targets Another City That Didn't Allow Their Invocation
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The Satanic Temple (TST) is advertising its second convention to be held in Boston, Massachusetts this spring as the "largest Satanic gathering in history."
The convention known as "SatanCon 2023" will be held on April 28-30, and is being promoted as "a weekend of blasphemy and remembrance in Boston."
The theme of the convention is "Hexennacht in Boston" or "Witches Night," an ancient German holiday that occurs annually on April 30.
Even though tickets are already on sale, the actual location for the event, speakers, or vendors has not been announced.
According to the event's website, the convention is dedicated to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu for "her unconstitutional efforts to keep TST out of Boston's public spaces."
Based in Salem, Massachusetts, the group had requested to fly a Satanic flag over Boston City Hall after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that the city violated the free speech rights of a conservative activist seeking to fly a Christian flag on a pole outside the downtown building.
TST tweeted a copy of their request filed with the city property management department to raise a flag marking "Satanic Appreciation Week" scheduled in July.
There has been no response from the city on TST's flag request. The city has said it stopped flying flags in 2021.
TST also sued the Boston City Council in January of 2021, arguing that the council violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the free exercise clause of the Massachusetts Constitution by not inviting the Satanists to "pray" before their meetings.
In Boston, city council members are allowed to invite any religious leader of their choosing to offer an opening prayer. The city contends that it is perfectly legal for council members to select specific individuals to pray, and in 2021, a U.S. District Court agreed with the city on that issue.
The Satanic Temple is separate from the Church of Satan, which was founded in the 1960s.
Founded in 2013, TST says it doesn't believe in Satan but describes itself as a "non-theistic religious organization" that advocates for secularism. On its website, under the question "Do You Worship Satan?" in the Frequently Asked Questions section, TST answers: "No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural."
TST claims it has a Boston area membership of 2,449 people.
Christian Ministry Responds to TST Announcement
A Christian ministry called Intercessors for America (IFA) is responded to the announcement of the Satanic group's second convention, saying, "Our prayers will make a difference yet again. While TST plans and promotes, we will pray and fast that these efforts will actually backfire and instead embolden and empower the Church. They promise a weekend of 'blasphemy and remembrance in Boston.' Let's pray for a weekend of holiness and seeking God."
The IFA also said the TST is an adversary to the Christian faith.
"This is no neutral, 'intellectual,' quirky advocacy group. It is an adversary to the Christian faith and its free exercise in public spaces, to the protection of life, and to the advancement of Bible teaching in the public schools," the IFA said. "These rituals, practices, declarations, and beliefs are the gateway to allowing satanic footholds in people's lives. Tarot cards, voodoo dolls, hexes, and spells seem harmless to many, but we know that there is real satanic power behind those activities, and this power will ensnare anyone who participates in such things."
Satanists Targeted Scottsdale Last February
As CBN News reported last February, TST held its first convention in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Satanic Temple had announced it would hold its first convention in Scottsdale after it lost a lawsuit against the city in 2018 for not being allowed to give an invocation at one of the city council meetings in 2016.
Events scheduled at the convention included "Satanic Jeopardy" and an off-site "Impurity Ball."
Other scheduled sessions included "Devil's Food" with The Satanic Chef, using the Freedom of Information Act and other public records to Fight Satanic Panic, and "Abortion as a (Religious) Right."
TST has long argued its members' religious rights are exempt from any state laws or any regulations that might block access to abortion services during the first trimester.
TST says all abortions by its members are religious acts of Satanism and are protected under the ruling.
Promoting Satan as an "Imaginary Friend" to Children
The group also made headlines over the last year as it tried to install its "After School Satan Club" in several elementary schools across the country, drawing the anger of many parents.
The club was created by the Satanic Temple and began to gain national attention in 2016. According to their website, the group's sole purpose is to give students an alternative to Christian evangelical after-school clubs.
"The Satanic Temple does not advocate for religion in schools," the group claims on its website. "However, once religion invades schools, as the Good News Clubs have, the Satanic Temple will fight to ensure that plurality and true religious liberty are respected."
As CBN News reported, a catchy, semi-animated promotional video from the group included a song encouraging young children to embrace Satan as an imaginary friend.
The video repeatedly states "there is no hell" and tries to convince children that "Satan doesn't actually exist, he's an imaginary friend..."
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