We live in Grand Rapids, MI, a place I like to call the crown jewel of the northern bible belt. Many people like to picture the north and Michigan in particular as some open liberal bastion where people are accepted and accepting of whatever lifestyle one may find themselves in. These same people would be shocked to find out that our towns are littered with zealots and right wing Christian ideologues who would love to see the day that their religion is the only religion and that the classic idea of the American white middle class family is what we once again aspire to as a society. This is no longer suffice.
For years, staunch Christians have enjoyed a certain comfort afforded to their community that has allowed them to alienate people with different beliefs. They’ve also bathed in a sort of privilege that is reminiscent of theocratic super powers without regard for people not like them. Why should a growing segment of people remain silent and allow this to continue? Is it fair for your local representatives to pander to people of a specific belief and be showered with votes and support? How about your neighborhoods, should they wither and dry up from lack of resources in the community while multiple churches per block enjoy tax breaks and are not required to contribute to the communities they provide services in?
The Satanic Temple — West Michigan is offering a clear alternative to this small box style of living. Many of our citizens and community members of West Michigan don’t want to go to church 2 to 4 times a week, they don’t believe in supernatural deities, live a heteronormative lifestyle, or follow strictly conservative voices but they do want equality for all of their peers and want to live their lives how they want judgement free. We are the place for these individuals to be themselves freely. We also function as a place to pursue activism with a clear purpose. We don’t stand idly by while people protest abortions and the LGBTQ+ community. We actively make our voices not only heard but loud and vibrant.
People like us are more than tired of being bombarded with ridiculous church marquees on every corner, pictures of aborted fetuses at our clinics, prayer warriors at our stores, and chosen people in our places of work. We’re sick of the idea of religion being co opted by right wing radicals that don’t see a place for us in their hearts and their pews as people and equals.
West Michigan needs us and needs Satan. West Michigan needs strong people to fight for the right to be “sinful” and different. This region is infused with proud goths, witches, sluts, rebels, and most importantly, humanist who believe The Seven Tenets (see: https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/tenets) of The Satanic Temple are more valuable to today’s human condition than the Ten commandments or any other religious dogma that has been presented to us.
This is not a call to join us. This is not a call to turn everyone into a Satanist of some stripe. This is a statement of purpose for those of us who have already answered the call of Satan in our own lives. It’s an outreaching of understanding. It’s an acknowledgement of your existence. You who sits on the periphery of the fray and doesn’t take a side because no side fits you. You who shares these ideals yet doesn’t find a burning need to be affiliated with us. We see you. You exist, and for you, we raise hell.
To learn more about The Satanic Temple visit https://thesatanictemple.com/