Steve Hill is running for the California State Senate from District 21. He’s one of four candidates on the ballot for the June 7 primary, and, per the state’s rules, the top two vote-getters that day (regardless of party affiliation) will be on the November ballot.
You might expect someone in his position to play it safe and only talk about his key issues — improving education, fixing the criminal justice system, and creating jobs — but he’s using the opportunity to be very open about who he is: An atheist with ties to The Satanic Temple (a non-theistic group).
According to a press release from his campaign:
America’s offices of political authority have been overrun by spineless candidates who neither understand the function of their posts, nor the limits of their power. Lobbying interests have installed establishment politicians whose loyalty to their money interests have put us in an ever-widening income gap. Corporate interests promote xenophobic propaganda against immigrants and asylum-seekers while exploiting immigrant labor at home, and operating child-labor “sweatshops” overseas. Education is underfunded while our overfunded military complex continues to build a sprawling and superfluous clandestine bureaucracy in an attempt to justify its budget. All the while, nationwide, congressional representatives and senators have demonstrated that their loyalties to their religious faiths completely supersede any presumption of loyalty to Constitutional values of pluralism and true Religious Liberty. In fact, “Religious Liberty” seems to have now become political jargon translating, in practice, to “Christian Evangelical exceptionalism.”
While America suffers, still attempting to recover from an economic collapse brought on by irresponsible bankers unrestrained by an impotent SEC, many of our own politicians are more concerned with defining us as a “Christian Nation”, rather than resolving fundamental issues for all citizens, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, or Satanist. Debates rage across the nation regarding religious monuments, public prayers, and whether or not discrimination against another is a protected religious privilege. While we should be tackling real issues — sheltering the homeless, fighting for a living wage for the disappearing middle class — we seem to be squandering our time arguing whether a particular form of religious expression should enjoy a status “more equal” than the rest.
This is a disgrace.
If there is one thing that the presidential primaries have revealed, it’s that the American public has grown weary of the Establishment, and for good reason. When future historians try to figure out how a sideshow clown like Donald Trump managed to secure the GOP’s nomination — if not the presidency — they’ll have to consider the extreme disenfranchisement and distrust of Americans who ultimately came to prefer anybody at all who could speak openly, and on their own terms, rather than another groomed puppet managed by insidious sponsors and a committee of pollsters.
I am Steve Hill, and I’m running for the Senate in California. I am neither an establishment politician, nor is my sense of civic responsibility compromised by religious loyalties. In fact, my religious opinions are completely aligned with democratic First Amendment values. As an atheist and organizer for The Satanic Temple’s Los Angeles Chapter, I fight for true Religious Freedom: freedom to believe or disbelieve, as one sees fit, with such opinions holding no power to either expand or inhibit the civic capabilities of anybody who expresses them.
I hope that my election to the Senate in California will serve as a nationwide wake-up call declaring that era of theocratic assaults against our Constitutional liberties has come to end. The age of corporate-sponsored candidates has come to an end. Let us come together to advance the supremacy of none, but to elevate our less privileged, and provide future opportunities for our children. The time is now. Thank you.
Lucien Greaves, spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, had nothing but praise for the candidate, telling me:
In a nation where our largest religious population fights to uphold discrimination as a religious value, exonerates religious daycares and schools from meeting basic standards-of-care, still allows for punitive beatings — corporal punishment — in a significant number of public schools, based upon archaic scriptural edicts, it’s refreshing to have a candidate running for office who advocates for wholesome Satanic values.
As theocratic evangelical politicians continue to pig-headedly overplay their hands, imposing their superstitious public displays, restrictions upon reproductive rights, and fighting for regressive measures against gay rights, the more The Satanic Temple will have to offer in the way of a counterbalance. I’m extremely happy that Steve Hill is on the ballot, and I look forward to seeing him take his place in the Senate.
“Wholesome Satanic values.”
Can’t wait to see that phrase in an attack ad.
It’s tempting to call this a publicity stunt, but it’s more than that. This is about a candidate who doesn’t believe he should have to hide important parts of his identity in order to get elected to public office. If people want to use it against him, bring it on; he’s not afraid to defend himself. If he can’t get elected by being honest, he doesn’t want to get elected at all.
It’s worth noting that Hill dipped his toes in the water last year during a special election to the same State Senate seat. He lost, but that was to be expected of a write-in candidate. The seat went to a Republican who officially ran unopposed and once held public office in the state. She decided not to run again this year due to health concerns, leaving the door wide open for Steve and his three opponents this time around.
You can donate to his campaign right here.
Do it for Satan.