According to Christian Right radio host Rick Wiles, not only has God been removed from society, “Satan is now coming in to fill the vacuum.” (This is news to me on both fronts.)
It’s not just that people are abandoning Christianity. Wiles’ biggest concern is that people are treating Satanists as if they ought to have the right to believe however they wish. That’s not true, he says: Satanists don’t have the right to believe in a higher power that isn’t his personal God. (As if Satanists actually worship Satan…)
Wiles was triggered by the fact that the Boca Raton City Council in Florida will once again allow a Satanist’s display to appear alongside a Nativity scene in a public park this winter.
“What is happening to this country?” Wiles asked. “We’ve lost our mind. And the city council and the mayor say, ‘Well, these satanists have their rights too.’ No, they don’t. They don’t have any rights. You don’t have the right to worship Lucifer. I’m sorry, but this country was founded by Christians, you don’t have the right to worship Lucifer in this country. You’re going to bring damnation and judgment on the nation.”
Oh, I think we’re pretty damned as it is…
Wiles’ whole premise is wrong. This country was founded by people of differing beliefs, only some of whom were Christian, who believed in religious freedom. That includes the right to worship Satan, the right to be something other than Christian, and the right to worship nothing at all. Wiles may not like that other beliefs are supposed to receive the same treatment as his under the law, but he’ll just have to live with it.
Incidentally, I asked The Satanic Temple’s Lucien Greaves what he made of Wiles’ comments… and let’s just say he wasn’t pleased.
As laughably backward and uneducated as the remarks by Rick Wiles obviously are, they represent a virulent revisionism that — in the American Theocratic Era of the Trump administration — suggests a very real existential threat to the most basic values of Liberal Democracy: The now much-popularized idea that “Religious Liberty” is defined as an exemption from social responsibility, taxes, and even basic decency for one religious viewpoint alone.
Nothing could be more intrinsically American than upholding pluralism, insisting that each and every individual may make determinations of religious opinion based upon their own conscience without neither coercion toward, nor discouragement against, one viewpoint or another by government intervention.
Rick Wiles is an un-American fraud. Satanists do a service to Constitutional Liberty — each and every time we request representation in “open forums” for religious monuments, invocations, and activities — by reminding public officials of a primary Civics lesson that all-too-many have embarrassingly forgot.
Those are the kindest things anyone has said about Wiles in a long time.
(via Right Wing Watch)