I have written many times before about the Satanic Temple and their efforts to keep the public square secular and open to all beliefs and not have it become the domain of those who favor one religion over other religions or religion in general over non-religion. Their demand that their statue of Baphomet be allowed in any public space that allows religious symbols has proven to be a potent political and legal argument against religious exclusivity but their broader goals are to promote social justice and equality.
The members of the group are deliberately ambiguous about whether they really believe in the existence of Satan or worship him in any way. But the quasi-religious trappings and rituals that the group adopts serves two purposes: it provides members with the social benefits of belonging to a group of like-minded people the way that other religious congregations do, and it prevents religious groups from excluding them from the public sphere on the basis that religion has special privileges that exclude the non-religious. It forces people to come to grips with a difficult question that is often elided, of what makes something a religion.
A documentary about this movement called Hail Satan? has just been released.
Here’s the trailer.
They look like a really fun group.