IS SATANISM ANTI-CHRISTIAN? SHOULD WE CARE?
More and more Americans these days fret about “anti-Christian discrimination.” Just for fun, let’s take a break from curing our Easter hams with their salty tears and explore that.
A 2016 Brookings study found that nearly half of Americans believe being Christian invites as much discrimination as being black. With evangelicals, it’s 80 percent.
(For context, 54 percent of white protestants also said the country is worse off now than in the ’50s. Unsurprisingly, 69 percent of black protestants disagreed…)
Folks can get pretty dramatic with this. “People alive today may live to see the effective death of Christianity,” Rod Dreher, editor of the American Conservative, writes in his new book.
My first instinct is to ignore these whiners. (Actually, my first instinct is to get a catapult and pelt them with Cadbury eggs in a literal war on Easter, but that’s not a productive avenue.)
After all, this is all clearly nonsense. Pew Research says that 71 percent of the country are one sort of Christian or another.
Only seven percent of Americans subscribe to any other religion, with the rest irreligious. (I’m somehow both, so better just factor me into the margin of error, where I admittedly belong in most contexts.)
In Congress, 91 percent of lawmakers are Christian. Fifty years ago it was 95 percent. Also, it was probably most of the same guys, but let’s stick a pin in that for now.
And of course, every US president has been Christian, minus one secret Muslim (I’m just surrendering on this point, because there are only so many hours in a day…). And possibly also minus Trump, who presumably prays in the direction of Trump Tower five times daily and leaves it at that.
Still, fundies are convinced they’re all martyrs now. Some will even cite the prominence of Satanist groups like the Satanic Temple as evidence of anti-christian discrimination.
This brings me to last Friday. Here in the Bay Area, we got a dozen people together for a Satanic dinner party, called the Feast of Better Friday.
I’ve never particularly liked the idea of abstinence after Fat Tuesday—or of abstinence in general—so I wanted to punctuate “Holy Week” with an event about indulgence.
Everyone had a fantastic time, less the fact that I lost my sinister hooded robe somewhere. (It’s very fashionable. Everyone will be wearing one come September. Except me, now.)
But of course, just the name would give those people from the Brookings study panic attacks. So would nearly everything about the occasion.
Here’s why I don’t worry about such things though: Let’s say we changed the name. Would that help? No, probably not. Likely we’d have to change some other things too.
Stop talking about Satan, for one thing. Also, probably be in church on Good Friday. And cut down on the booze. And all the skulls.
Truth be known, we’d have to cancel the whole thing to please everybody. But then we wouldn’t be pleased.
I think of these events as satires of mainstream religion. If that offends some people, well, that’s their right.
But anybody who feels persecuted as a Christian in America just isn’t thinking clearly. And you can’t live your life trying to please irrational people. So why sacrifice our personal fulfillment trying?
Meanwhile, lots of people in church today heard sermons that I’m confident were anti-us. Better Friday comes but once a year, but there’s a Sunday every week.