Communication as Imposition: The Satanics of so-called Free Speech

The purpose of this post is to stake out some particularly Satanic religious ground in the problematic struggle over so-called “free speech” in a liberal democracy. I will argue that communication—understood to minimally comprise the two acts of signaling intent to communicate, followed by relaying a message—is a form of imposition on the sovereign attention, [...]

The Satanic Temple and the Struggle for Satanic Scruple

I’m confused about how to understand the Satanic Temple (TST) and its activities these days. Time was, articles were appearing on Patheos, lauding the group’s Seven Fundamental Tenets and dubbing them “morally superior” to the (in)famous Ten Commandments of Abrahamic religion and popular, culture-war wrangling. Then, once TST’s Protect Children initiative and the Texas billboards [...]

Dangerous Exceptionalism

In late June, a slew of national reporting drew attention to the Republican nominee for North Carolina State House District 48, Russell Walker, and the fact that he freely and openly admits to being a White Supremacist. What’s more, Walker claims that God Himself is a White Supremacist and that there’s therefore absolutely nothing wrong [...]

Save the Children

I was 14 when I first traveled to Europe. It was the summer of 1991. I had gone with my mother and brother to visit two exchange students who had stayed with my family in the U.S. in recent years. Puberty pressed within me in those days with all the urgency of a volcanic fissure. [...]

In God “We” Don’t Trust

Monday, news broke that a Chicago resident and self-described Satanist failed in his argument before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to convince the justices that the motto “In God We Trust,” official on U.S. paper currency just since 1957, forces atheists to involuntarily spread a religious message every time they spend money. In [...]

A Satanic Duty to Disavow?

A while back, Vice published a piece that brought attention to some increasingly frequent and uncomfortable cozying up between prominent members of the Atheist community (such as it is) and members of the alt-right, neo-nazi community (you’ll note I consistently refuse to grant those benighted terms the privilege of capitalization: that choice is not mere [...]

A Celebration of Religious Freedom

President Trump declared January 16, 2018, Religious Freedom Day. In his proclamation, the President stated that “[n]o American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law.” This specific listing of test cases for religious liberty recalls directly the [...]

American Religious Pluralism is Real, Pt. 2

President Dwight D. Eisenhower—the president who personally presided over the changes to both the U.S. motto and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag—offered some pietistic observations on early American history and the issue of prayer at the Dedicatory Breakfast of the International Christian Leadership on February 5, 1953, an event which has been held [...]

The illusion of Christian unity and dominance in the U.S.: American religious pluralism is real

In a November post on her Patreon page, writer, thinker, and religious activist Megan Kennedy argued that we must face “a hard truth of modern American society: religious pluralism, in practice, is an illusion.” Kennedy finds evidence for her claim in the abusive treatment meted out by Fox News host Tucker Carlson to The Satanic [...]