In a few days, we’re gathering in a mildly top secret Bay Area location to burn Donald Trump in effigy.

February 1 is Imbolc Night, a date for pagan fire festivals. And it borders on Candlemas, which conspiracy assholes will tell you is a day when Satanists perform human sacrifice.

That’s nonsense, of course, but it’s fun to screw with them with this kind of thing. So it seems a fine night for it.

Now, the Satanic Temple only ever condemns policies rather than specific politicians. And the Church of Satan seems to feel that politics are beneath it.

So we’re not gathering in the name of any of those groups. We’re just some concerned citizens who love the devil (although he’s a myth) and hate Trump (who is, sadly, real).


trump effigy burning satan san francisco

You’re doing it right.


Why invoke Satan to oppose the president? The literal devil’s advocate case against Trump is pretty straightforward:

First, Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, everything-phobic administration threatens many of us personally. In Christian myth, Satan is the ultimate and original outsider, and a patron of those not covered in the status quo.

Two, Trump assumed the presidency despite losing the vote by millions. As the story goes, Satan was the first to rebel against arbitrary authority, so we invoke his name while doing the same.

Three, this government includes zealots like Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos, whose extreme (if hilariously silly) religious views make terrible policy. As these people deem Satan their ultimate enemy, he’s an ideal avatar to protest them.

Four, Trump has launched a broadside attack on America’s scientific and educational institutions. Satan embodies human knowledge and enlightenment, and the Satanic Temple (of which, for the record, we are not a chapter) even made scientific fact one of their founding tenets.

Five, Trump’s agenda is openly antagonistic to the environment. Satan is traditionally deemed the God Of This World, owner of the “Kingdoms of the Earth.” As we believe only in this world, we resent an attack on it.

Six, some people have made the mistake of comparing Trump to the devil. We want to make the contrast as stark as possible.

And a bonus reason: We love smores, and the smoldering remains of an old-fashioned pagan effigy (actually a pinata in this case, but you’ve got to allow yourself some fun…) toasts them pretty well.

Now, some people (we call them “losers”) will probably argue that we can’t change anything with a protest. This is true, in the same way that you can’t become rich just by showing up to work for one day, and you can’t bury someone by digging just one shovelful of dirt.

But who said anything about stopping after one?

Originally published January 2017.


trump effigy burning satan san francisco

The fires are hungry.