The historic San Xavier Mission in Tucson, Arizona was tagged with Satanic graffiti a couple of nights ago. It wasn’t just vandalism against a church; it was desecration of a local landmark. And to make matters worse, the graffiti included Satanic messages.
Numerous photos at the scene show phrases like “666” and “Hail Satan” painted onto the wall of the building and a surrounding wall.
For now, mission officials are painting over the graffiti, then plastering over it.
I asked The Satanic Temple’s Arizona chapter what they made of this vandalism, and Stu de Haan, who heads up the group, told me this:
The Satanic Temple of Arizona condemns the vandalism of the San Xavier Mission that occurred on April 7, 2016. We are dismayed to see allegedly “Satanic” graffiti marring this historical landmark and place of worship.The Satanic Temple does not condone vandalism in any form. We advocate for Satanic rights as well as social and personal responsibility in all endeavors. We do not engage in the destruction of property or violence towards other beliefs as this is contrary to our foundational tenets. Those who insist that Satanism is criminal and destructive are those who give rise to these types of juvenile outbursts. There are no doctrines of organized Satanism that encourage this type of action against another person or group.
Our history of advocacy and activism for equal rights demonstrates that we do not participate in activities such as this. As we are constantly faced with the threats of desecration of our own monuments and symbols, we would never wish upon others the same acts of hatred and intolerance based on their religious beliefs.
Despite what the messages said, it’s not clear who did this, why they tagged this particular location, or what the motive was. Let’s hope law enforcement catches the culprits, whoever they are.
(Image via Google Maps)