By Jonathon Van Maren
One of the most grotesque videos I have ever seen is currently making the rounds on social media, and it is so brutal that I shivered when I saw it. It shows a New York drag queen named Blair Black sitting at a bar, visibly pregnant. To the tune of Ke$ha’s “Cannibal,” she produces a knife and begins sawing a wound into her belly. She then performs a chilling self-abortion, thrusting her hand into the wound and pouring blood onto her face, and finally pulling a plastic baby from her womb, lifting it triumphantly into the air, and then twisting the baby’s head off in a gory crimson shower. The gay media outlet Pink News noted the horror that greeted this demonic snuff film with amusement, headlining their article “Drag queen performs ‘abortion” on stage with fake blood and guts and a plastic foetus—and Christians are raging.”
Actually, almost nobody was “raging.” I saw the video before it went viral, and decided not to write about it in the hopes that it would vanish into cyber-space and nobody would see it. Some things are simply too evil to draw attention to, and most of the pro-life activists who saw it were simply sad and disturbed. But since then, it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and gay activists are defending it, so I want to make a few points about the recent rise of Satanists in the culture wars and why it is particularly jarring trend, especially as Satanists regularly show up at abortion clinics to confront pro-lifers in hideous and blasphemous costumes, eager to defend the sacrament of child sacrifice.
In fact, Satanists have been on the move as of late, as evidenced by one of the most popular documentaries of 2019, a film making all of the mainstream media’s “must-watch” lists: Hail Satan? The film follows the Satanic Temple, a nontheistic group that formed in 2013 and operates out of Salem, Massachusetts, where the infamous witch trials were once held. The Guardian dubbed it “the film that will change your mind about satanism,” and filmmaker Penny Lane, who started the project as a firm and sneering atheist, actually decided to become a Satanist by the time the documentary was complete. In her own words: “The Satanic Temple is a look at what religion should be.”
I don’t advise watching the film—the evil oozes from nearly every scene (many of which I had to skip entirely), although Lane does her best to portray the Satanists as merry pranksters tweaking the stupid fundy Christians and having a rip-roaring good time in the process. Despite the fact that many of the Satanists claim they don’t believe Satan literally exists, they told Lane that they are inspired by him: He was the first rebel, and he stood for freedom—freedom, the film makes clear, from God, morality, and everything associated with Christianity. Many of the Satanists do not believe God exists, but they hate Him fervently nonetheless, and Lane breathlessly follows the bizarre, blasphemous rituals that the Satanic Temple invents and adopts for the sole purpose of expressing their deep hatred of the Christian faith.
This isn’t to say that the leaders of the Satanic Temple aren’t very, very smart. Lucien Graves, their creepy-looking leader, has turned his organization into a military vehicle of the culture war, launching hideous protests against pro-lifers outside abortion clinics (many of counter-protestors dressed up as adult babies and moan hideously while others flog them) and using religious liberty laws to demand that Satanism be given equal access to public schools, public prayers at legislatures, and equal space for imagery. Most famously, the Satanic Temple has successfully gotten many Ten Commandments sculptures removed from public property by demanding that an accompanying statue of the demon Baphomet be placed next to it. Pluralism, they point out, has no moral foundation that allows for the exclusion of Satanism—and thus either Christianity goes, or Satan is honoured alongside Christ.
The Satanists make people squirm, many reviewers cackled, but very few of them stopped to ask why. Is it perhaps that, deep down, many people still instinctively recognize that some forces are not to be toyed with? That maybe, just maybe, if you try hard enough to summon someone, that person might show up? One particularly chilling scene featured an American Satanist leader as she described the movement exploding across the US. “Satanism has its claws into the hearts of the American people,” she smiled, “and that should make us take notice.” And they are forcing people to take notice by joining the culture wars on the side of the progressive Left, the abortion industry, and the LGBT movement. Despite the discomfort they cause, many on the Left are already welcoming them with hearty chortles.
What should really give us cause for pause is that we now live in a time where Satanists no longer feel as if they have to perform their blasphemous rituals in secret. Now, they can make their case on America’s morning shows and apply to give invocations in public places. Satan obviously believes that he no longer needs to disguise himself—his followers, wearing horns and declaring their allegiance to him, are openly attempting to have idols to the Prince of Darkness erected next to the 10 Commandments on state capitol grounds. Good and evil have always been at war with one another, but it says something about the times we live in that the followers of the Prince of Darkness are confident enough to advocate for their evil practices in the full light of the noonday sun.
A documentary from my friends over at Created Equal takes a closer look at some of these trends: