When Fox News host Tucker Carlson scheduled an interview last night with The Satanic Temple’s spokesperson Lucien Greaves, maybe everyone thought the focus would be on the recent controversy involving his group’s monument honoring veterans.
You may recall that the monument was supposed to go up in a public park in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. There was a Christian monument in the park, so the city council, to make sure things were legal, created a “free speech zone” open to everyone. Once the Satanists called their bluff and offered their own monument, however, city officials removed the Christian display and shut down the “free speech zone” entirely.
But that controversy ended a couple of days ago. So what exactly did Carlson want to discuss?
I’ve watched the segment a couple of times and I still can’t figure it out. Mostly, it seems like Carlson just wanted to talk about what the hell The Satanic Temple is in order to show his viewers why they shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Too bad Greaves never took the bait. He was calm and composed the entire time, pushing back when necessary.
CARLSON: … the point of calling this “Satanism” is to horrify, like, normal people in the middle of the country. That is exactly the point…
GREAVES: That is not true. No, no, that is not the point…
CARLSON: So what is the point? I’ll give you 30 seconds. What’s the point of Satanism?
GREAVES: Well, to sum up a religious movement and its history in 30 seconds isn’t quite fair… but I would say that Satanism embodies Enlightenment values. It is emblematic of the ultimate rebellion against tyranny. To that end, we look at the history of the crushing of the Church, and the rise of Enlightenment values, and the rise of pluralism and diversity and multiculturalism as inherently Satanic.CARLSON: Yeah… I think what you’re doing is you’re taking a Christian symbol — Satan — and you’re using it against Christians. I mean, that’s kind of the point. Because you could’ve chosen anything to name this group, since it’s basically new, and you didn’t. You chose the one thing that Christians hate the most. So, again, it’s by nature…
GREAVES: Because Satanism means something to us. It’s not an arbitrary label.
CARLSON: Right. I wish you were more straightforward about it.
GREAVES: I think you could really get into it!
CARLSON: Yeah… probably not.
That was glorious.
Carlson tried to eviscerate someone he assumed was a troll. Instead, Greaves made the case for why Satanists are on the side of common sense, reason, and inclusion. It’s one hell of a free commercial for the Temple.
I asked Greaves after the interview what he thought about the whole exchange. He talked about the hypocrisy between Carlson’s desire to promote freedom of speech while still trying to stifle the viewpoint of Satanists.
I think there’s a cognitive dissonance within the collective conservative right that threatens to divide them.
The delusion that they can maintain a claim of constitutional purism while also trying to accommodate the aspirations of their Theocratic Nationalist support is easily demolished by simple assertions of constitutionally protected equality by organizations like The Satanic Temple.
Carlson couldn’t abandon his loudly proclaimed dedication to Free Speech, rendering his complaints against The Satanic Temple irrelevant and petty. As the Theocratic Right overplays its hand for exclusive privilege in the Public Square, the now visible cracks while broaden into a wide rift.
May they be swallowed by it.
Hail Satan, everyone.