Good works. That's the highest calling of any religion, to make the world a better place and to help elevate humanity. And that extends across all faiths, from Christianity to Scientology to Islam to Satanism. Yes, to Satanism.
The Satantic Temple is working to adopt a highway in New York City. You may have seen these guys in the news this week; Lucien Greaves, official spokesperson for the Temple, was charged with desecrating a grave when he officiated a Pink Mass - a gay make-out session - at Fred Phelps' (founder of the Westboro Baptist Church) mother's tomb. This seems like a bullshit charge since they didn't vandalize the grave, but it's Mississippi and this is the result he clearly wanted. So they're pretty solid guys, in my opinion.
I don't know what connection, if any, they have to Anton Levay's Church of Satan. Here's a sampling of their beliefs:
To embrace the name “Satan” is to avow skepticism in the face of all things, even — especially — that which is held sacred. To stand forth as a “Satanist” is to rend from the persecutory, affrighted mob a convenient out-group label, demanding that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations.
Satanism is not mindless abandon and depravity, but a philosophy that drives us to lead fruitful and dignified, epicurean lives. Satan, the symbolic force of design that would urge humanity toward refined pleasures of the Arts and Sciences. Satan, who first brought the fruit of knowledge to Humankind that thereafter we might live not as naked brutes in the wild, but develop our cultural splendor into ever more aesthetically and technologically advanced heights. Ours is the Humanistic Satan who would sacrifice His own Heavenly residence so that Humanity might learn to understand and enjoy the physical world they inhabit.
Satanists are often natural aestheticians who revel in the grandeur of human artistic, architectural achievements while also often drawn to the idiosyncratic and bizarre that are all too typically misunderstood, feared, and discarded.
With compassion, the Satanic Temple accepts all who are just and compassionate.
That's pretty cool to me.
They're using IndieGogo to raise money to adopt a highway, which would force the New York State Department of Transportation to erect a sign saying the Satanic Temple was responsible for the upkeep of a stretch of public highway for two years. Every motorist who passes by will see that Satanists are maintaining the highway.
Once approved, the New York Department of Transportation will erect a blue-and-white sign acknowledging The Satanic Temple as the adopters of the designated piece of highway, helping promote a message of Satanic Civic pride and social responsibility.
I'm all for it! This is a nation of religious plurality, right? We're supposed to accept the beliefs of others, no matter what. I think it's high time that Satanists got into the self-promotion game.
Because this is an IndieGogo campaign they will receive all funds raised even if they don't meet their goal. If the NYS Department of Transportation denies them their highway, they'll use the money to contest the ruling in court.