Freedom of religion is a big part of the American constitution, and that much has been made clear after the Satanic Temple became an officially recognized religion in the country.
With this status, the Satanic Temple has been deemed exempt from all tax, has access to public spaces, can apply for grants from the government, has court standing to fight discrimination against their religion, and receives numerous other legal protections.
Just like that which are afforded to other widely practised religions, such as Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.
This news was broken by the official Instagram account of the Satanic Temple.
It is likely that this ruling will allow increased media and press coverage for the religion.
A documentary centering around this religion – as well as Lucien Greaves, the Temple’s leader – is also in motion.
This all comes after a few years’ pursuit of these legal protections, as it’s something that Greaves has believed in for a long time.
In a statement in the newsletter of the Satanic Temple, Greaves spoke about how those with religion are a privileged class, and that it is crucial that exclusive rights are not gained in a way that is inaccessible to non-believers and non-theists.
He urged his followers to pursue a future where non-profit groups of an atheist or secular nature received the same tax exemption as other religions.
In Hail Satan?, the documentary about the Satanic Temple and the life of Greaves, when asked about a gigantic Baphomet statue and whether it was holy, Greaves stated that followers of the religion do not quite worship Satan in the way many people believe.
He added that much of religious terminology is heavily loaded, and that the Satanic Temple is non-theistic and does not worship any supernatural entity.
As a matter of fact, Greaves said that the very idea that Satanic Temple members perform any form of worship is vaguely insulting, as it implies servility and inferiority.
In contrast, he stated that Satanism focuses on independence, sovereignty, and free will above all.
Interestingly, the Satanic Temple was first founded as what could be considered a joke in 2013 by just 3 individuals.
Today, though, it has grown into a religion that has 50,000 or more followers internationally.
As for what the Satanic Temple stands for, their official website has quite a bit to say about that.
The website for this religious group states that they encourage empathy, kindness, and benevolence, all while rejecting the ideals of tyrannical authority.
They are also said to push for justice, common sense, and the human conscience in a journey to pursue noble undertakings as one’s free will desires.
Interestingly, the Satanic Temple has been vocal about their opposition to the Westboro Baptist Church.
They have also advocated publically against corporal school punishment, revealed the frauds of incorrect and harmful mental health claims based in pseudoscience, and fought against all laws that unscientifically affect the reproductive rights of women, according to their website.
They have also pushed for religious equality.